How to Have a Better Day Than the one You’re Having

beside the seaside 2I left my bed in the middle of the night woken by a snotty snoring husband and kept awake by a coughy spluttery teenager. Sneaking down to the furthest point away from THE NOISE, I unleashed the spaniels who inevitably thought it was sodding Christmas. Consequently, I found myself lying under a pooch blanket willing Stephen Fry to lull me back to sleep with The Goblet of Fire until the alarm went off at seven. Four and a half hours later. I’ve felt much much fresher than I do today.

Being the mother of all spiralers, my special gift is to too often let a bad start to the day wrap its Dementor like fingers of doom around the rest of my waking hours and drag me screaming into the abyss. No, YOU’RE overdramatic.

In a bid to live a happier life I’ve been working on not letting a crappy start set the tone for the day; life is sadistic enough without chucking a stinking soul sucking mood on top. Here at the teeny tiny things I’ve done to make today better for me in the hope that some of them might also work for you:

The morning coffee. Instead of grasping it in one hand whilst emptying the dishwasher, writing an overdue column and de-pooping a dog simultaneously with the other, I just stopped. For five whole minutes I sat and enjoyed every mouthful. To the untrained eye it *might* have looked like I was staring into space trying not to dilute the sweet sweet caffeine with my tears. I was being mindful, in the moment, clearing my head. Also works with green tea, a good cup of builders or a smoothie you may or may not have tried to put kale into. Does not work with gin.

List like a boss. I spent another five minutes writing a list. A list of things that absolutely had to be done today and that I could conceivably manage on my three hours sleep. You really don’t need to add to your despair by trying to put your over tired brain to work on rewriting physics or something. Baby steps. Every tick is good for the soul.

Eat well. I wanted to shovel refried Chinese takeaway and jar of Nutella into my face but instead I shoved in a bowl of cereal and grabbed some fruit on my way out of the door. I also wanted to eat a decent lunch of avo and mushrooms on toast but I arrived home to dog vom and instead had sweet black tea on the kitchen floor.  Eat properly, hungry and tired is a very bad combo.

Smile. I’ve been trying to do this airy fairy thing where I smile before I open any door so that whatever’s on the other side is met with a smile. The downside is that I look like I’m smiling at doors but the upside is that I keep getting lots of smiles in return. That’s never a bad thing.

Make someone else’s day. Another complete hippy dippy offering but do something nice for someone else, even if you just tell them you like their hair. It’s always nice to be nice and it’s guaranteed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Dance party for one. There’s not much better in life than a kitchen dance party but on a day like this the song has to be absolutely right. This is not, repeat not, a Bridget Jones All By Myself moment. This is a Christina Yang before Burke realises she hasn’t really moved in with him moment. That’s what we’re aiming for. I went for Jackie Wilson’s Reet Petite, my all time cheerer upper.

img_4825Move. I’m ‘lucky’ in that I have to get outside every single morning whether the sun is shining or not hashtag doglife. Actually being forced to get up and move is at least 462 times better than sitting in my pyjamas feeling miserable about how tired I am. Move your arse. NOW.

Read Something. Whatever you choose – news, novel or relentlessly perky blog post – just escape for a few minutes, learn something new, get a different perspective. Just step outside of your life for a sec and then come back and try again. On the kitchen floor with my tea I read a couple of pages of Birds Without Wings. It’s beautiful.

The Sun’ll Come Out….tomorrow. No, stop. STOP Hard Knock Life-ing. Just remember that tomorrow is a whole new day that brings with it a fresh start and the chance to try all over again.

Reading this back, after that first Dementor bit it’s all a bit cheery and practical. I think this means I’m growing as a human being. It may also mean I drank gin at eight this morning and passed out in the shed so the rest of this is a sweet sweet fantasy.


Apologies for the spaniel bodily function chat, it’s just my life.

Little Acts of Self-Love
The Shed
  • This is a beautiful, helpful, real post. Thank you. <3

  • This is the perfect post for me to read this morning since I woke up with a cold and feel like actual death. Arggggh!! I might just try that door smile thing, if not just to make myself laugh 🙂

    “This is a Christina Yang before Burke realises she hasn’t really moved in with him moment.” Ahhh those WERE the days!

    Thanks for the tips lovely and I hope your day really improved xx

  • I loved this post, it was very much needed this morning so thank you! 🙂 You’ve also reminded me of how much I adore solo dancing barefoot around my flat so thank you for that too! I hope your day improves.

    Peta xx

    P.S Love the spaniels, they are, as always, abso-bloody-lutely gorgeous

  • Charlie Elliott

    Reading this has just made my day better, so add THAT to your list and smoke it!
    Charlie, Distracted

  • Great post – and exactly what I needed to read this morning! Thanks 🙂

    Kate |

  • I just fell in love with you a bit more for using a Grey’s Anatomy Dance Party Reference. Not only are those dance parties good for the soul, but I fitbitted mine the other day and it was legit cardio. Stephie xx

  • AnnaInternational

    Oh, I hear you on those days! Today was one for me…woke up totally unrefreshed so decided I was going to do all the above and make myself feel better – first off, bowl of muesli with banana and yoghurt. So far, so good. Then discovered an actual stone in my cereal (Dorset Cereals – apparently this is a bit of an issue for them) at about the same time as half my tooth came shattering off. FML. It hasn’t really gone that well since, tho I keep trying to get back on track. I did just answer the door to a delivery of amazing rose gold trainers, so there’s that! 😮 x

  • I moved house on sunday and I think I was in need of your post a day earlier! Tired from the 7 hour drive across the country, hungry as the kitchen boxes hadn;t been unpacked – it felt very VERY overwhelming! Next time I have a day like that, I think i’ll refer back to this little go to guide 😉 xx

  • Oh my goodness this post. You’re right, it is all too easy to let a bad mood consume our day but what’s the use in that? It sounds like a great idea to just take 10 minutes at the beginning of the day to have a nice drink and to make a list. It just makes everything seem a bit more manageable doesn’t it?

    Also, how cute are your pooches. I wish I had a dog, it’d definitely help me get outside more and having a fluffy animal around the house can always make a bad day better, right? 🙂