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