When the slog of it all, this epic trek through quicksand that life so often is; when it all gets too much, we need to have a really good day. In fact, we need to make TODAY a good day.
You know what it’s like. Life is frantically whizzing by and we start to wonder what it’s all about when, out of the blue, just one good, easy day makes it all seem worthwhile. Everything falls back into place and all is right with the world once more. The power of a good day.
So, when life is getting the best of me, I immediately start looking for my good day. So often it seems to wait just a little bit too long and I wonder if it’s possible to speed my good day along for me. Make it come on a much-needed Monday, rather than a planned Friday… something like that.
This might help too: Can we choose happiness?
Can it be that simple? Can we plan for a day like that? I really think we can. Little tweaks here and there – eating breakfast outside, for instance – or bigger ones – reconnecting or forgiving. All of this helps to make today a good day, and maybe tomorrow a nice one too.
Make today a good day
Those whisper-soft moments that are gone in a heartbeat, so perfect that barely notice them. Look for them, embrace them, let them be the things that define your day. A warble of laughter, a tilt of a head, the light just so… pay attention to them all. This is particularly important when you’re going through a rough slog with the kids: noticing the small things they get right can help so much. And focusing on their beautiful souls, instead of their diabolical attitudes, makes an immense difference.
2. Have breakfast outside
Starting the day outside with birdsong mingling with idle conversation in your ears and good, wholesome food in your belly. Well, that’s a very good start to a very good day indeed. Try some of these brekkie ideas:
3. Go for a walk
It’s very possible to walk away from your troubles and towards your plans all in one leisurely stroll. Fitting in a morning or afternoon walk to and from school might work for you? Walk with purpose, taking care to notice everything around you and work out where it fits inside your day. Be strong and amazing as you go. Even better if you have a canine companion to chat to as you go…
Forgiveness can be hard, but not forgiving is almost guaranteed to make you harder.
Forgiveness can be hard, but not forgiving is almost guaranteed to make you harder. Learning to let things go and rise above the hurt is so important if you want to live with a hopeful heart.
++ Tiny Buddha features 30 tips for letting go of hurt or anger. ++
Set the table and cook yourself something nice or take a sandwich in a lunchbox to a park to linger and enjoy. Lunch should be a full stop in your daily plan, not a comma. Here are some delicious ways to pause:
6. Get active
Go horse riding or swimming or mountain climbing, or snorkelling, or bushwalking or do some gardening, or pick some flowers, or anything else that gets you outside and makes your whole body sing. Connecting with nature makes any day a good day. At the very least, take your shoes off and walk in a patch of grass somewhere. Hear those feet singing?
You can’t have a bad day when you’re wrapping a gift for someone you love. It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Buy a copy of their favourite magazine and wrap it with style. A lovely notebook, a small pot plant, a box of pretty papers. The wrapping is the most important bit of all because it says ‘I took them time because I care a lot about you’. I like to unexpectedly gift a favourite cookbook to a friend: Sophie’s A Basket By the Door is a current favourite.
Kindness costs us nothing but is worth more than gold. A simple kindness is so easy to give and is felt by so many for so long. Send a note to a friend, thank your postman, give your neighbour a baguette, bake your mum a cake, compliment the shop keeper, visit an older relative, make a garland for your teacher, pat a dog… just be kind.
Tending to your own patch of earth, growing food or pretty flowers or foliage is a wonderful way to reconnect with the world. Thoughts are slower in the garden and plans are more meaningful. Dreams are carefully tended and answers are found buried there in the earth.
Being outside as twilight merges with the stars is a beautiful feeling and one that is open to us every single day. Eating outside makes a simple meal an absolute joy to round off a wonderful day. Set a table or a picnic blanket in the backyard or at a favourite spot. Make the meal a simple one – cold meats, cheeses, salads and some fresh, crusty bread and stay a little longer than you should.
The #1 thing you can do
Did you notice a theme happening here? The number one way to make any day a better day is to get yourself outside. We don’t spend enough time in nature (or even just outdoors). Research has shown that more ‘green time’ can have excellent impacts on our mental health. The benefits are physical too – they’ve even shown that it reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. So, to have a good day today – and a healthier one tomorrow – take yourself outside more often than you’re used to.
How will you make today a good day?