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When my alarm goes off on Monday mornings, it can be hard to make myself get out of bed. I’m a serial snoozer and often wake up and scramble to get ready in the morning. Rushing out the door really does not help me get a good start to my day.
Even if you do not have the same difficulties getting out of your cozy bed in the morning as I do, I think we can all agree that we have days that seem to drag on, days when you can’t wait for quitting time so you can get back to your bat cave and veg out on the couch.
There are some simple tweaks I have found that help me cultivate burst of joy into my day. Simple things truly can make a big difference in your day and unexpectedly lift your mood. While there could be a lot of things that are out of your control at work or at home, there are little things you can do for yourself that can fill you with happiness and improve your mood.
Different things work for different people and there is no one-size fits all solution. It’s a good exercise to think through some of your favorite things, things that make you smile and make your day a little better. They don’t have to be big, extravagant or expensive. Maybe it’s a photo of your kids as your screensaver or a favorite souvenir on your desk.
I have included below some of my favorite ways to improve my day and cultivate joy. They are easy and accessible to most people and can truly “upgrade” a so-so day to one that leaves you smiling as you go on about your tasks.
1. Cup of tea or coffee
I love tea so having a few different types at my desk gives me a lot of great options when I want a cup. I like to splurge in the tea department and buy some fancier ones that can I can sip on when I really want to treat myself. For example, I love the chocolate strawberry tea from Republic of Tea. While it can be pricey, it really makes staff meeting just a little bit better. I also keep an electric kettle at my desk so I can indulge in a cup of tea any time the mood strikes.
If coffee is your thing, then investing in a small coffee machine for your cubicle and some good coffee could be a great option. I have several coworkers who love coffee and have a Keurig at their desks. There are so many different options for beverages with a Keurig that most coffee lovers should be able to find something to satisfy their cravings.
2. A nice mug
Having a beautiful or funny mug for your beverage can really upgrade your enjoyment. Mugs with pretty designs or hilarious sayings can really help you show some personality and add a decorative element to your desk. There are so many choices that you are sure to find one that will bring you joy.
If you’d rather have a mug that will keep your beverage nice and hot, I’d highly recommend getting an insulated tumbler. I have a Yeti tumbler and love how it keeps my tea and coffee hot. I can also use it to keep my drinks cold so it’s a great option for tailgating or going to the pool.
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3. Add some music
Listening to your favorite music can really increase your level of enjoyment and improve your mood. Next time you are getting ready in the morning or taking a shower, put on Spotify or play a favorite playlist and you will find yourself singing along and tapping your foot.
Music has such a powerful effect on our mood so you can really use it to make your day just a little better. If you have a boring or repetitive task at work, plug in your headphones and fire up some tunes to help you get through it and even enjoy it. This will also help you tune out office noise a little better and improve your workflow.
4. Build margin in your day
This may seem counter-intuitive but the bigger margin you build into your day, the happier you will be. Try to schedule any meetings or appointments far apart and give yourself extra time to get there. Don’t rush from one thing to the next, trying to get as much as possible into your day. Being over-scheduled only results in added stress.
Giving yourself a lot of time between meetings and appointments allows you to catch your breath. There is no joy to be found in rushing and being stuck in traffic as you frantically try not to be late. The less you schedule into your day, the happier you will be.
5. Upgrade your chores
Some people really enjoy doing chores – I’m not one of them. Anything I can do to make my chores just a little less of a drag is a win in my book. Enter podcasts. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks (check out Audible) is a great way to pass the time and make doing chores a little more enjoyable.
Next time you have to do the dishes or clean the bathroom, plug in your headphones and fire up something that will keep your interest and help you pass the time. Before you know it, the chore will be done and you will be happy that you not only got some work done but actually learned something interesting.
6. Special snack
It’s always a great idea to keep a few special or favorite snacks at your desk to serve as a pick-me-up. Munching on a favorite food can improve your mood and help you power through an energy dip in your workday. Just make sure to take a small break and truly enjoy your snack rather than mindlessly chomping it down as you rush to meet your next work deadline. Taking the time to pause in your day and truly savor a treat will give you a much-needed break and a small boost of happiness.
7. Colorful office accessories
Let’s be honest here, the standard office accessories found in most supply closets are quite plain and drab. Plain yellow sticky notes and black binder clips are very boring. Upgrade your desk area with some snazzy office accessories that will make your heart sing.
Next time you are at the office supply store, pick up some fun binder clips, pushpins, sticky notes and other fun and stylish accessories that will make you smile when you use them. The nice pops of fun colors and patterns will really upgrade your desk and bring some joy in your day.
8. Nice pens
Having a nice pen is one of those little things that can really make me happy. Everyone has their own office accessory favorite but I love writing so much that pens can really make me quite happy. There are so many different pen options out there and most of them are quite an affordable way to add a little pizazz to your work.
A few months back I discovered the Pilot Frixion pens and it was love at first stroke. I love the fact that they glide with the ease of gel pens yet I can easily erase something and not leave any marks or holes in the paper. It makes for much neater note taking. They also have a wonderful variety of colors, which means no more boring black or blue. My current favorite is the purple one.
9. Nice planner or notebook
I love planners and notebooks. Having a beautiful planner that fits my needs and lets me plan out my days and weeks is always a priority. I love the ability to customize it and design exactly what I want. I love my planner from www.personal-planner.com. They have a variety of sizes and module options to help you create a planner that truly fits your particular needs.
They also have the option to order a customized notebook that will take your note-taking to the next level. You can add your name or initial to the cover and select the design theme so you end up with a notebook that you truly enjoy using daily. If you’d rather pick from a more generic variety of nice notebooks, I’ve always found Barnes & Noble to have a good selection full of cute options.
10. Use nice dishes
Bringing your lunch from home instead of going out can truly be the best option from both a financial and health perspective. It lets you control the type and amount of food you eat and makes it less likely that you will have an unhealthy lunch. Not to mention all of the savings of not having to pay for the greasy, sodium-filled food you usually find in restaurants.
However, eating lunch out of containers can be less than glamorous. If you would like to upgrade your next lunch experience, keep a real porcelain plate and bowl, along with real (not plastic) utensils, that you can use to serve and enjoy your lunch. It will truly elevate your lunch experience and make you happier.
There are many different ways you can cultivate some joy into your days. The important first step is to make that a priority and figure out what things bring a smile to your face then focus on different ways you can incorporate them into your every day.
What are some of the ways you have found to bring some joy into your days?