We All Need One: 6 Ways You Can Make Today a Guaranteed Good Day

published Sep 18, 2017
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Life gets crazy. With work, family, friends, and budgets to tend to everyday, it’s easy to get burned out. While some of us may try to micromanage our daily lives to ensure smooth sailing, the reality is even the most thought-out schedules are subject to change, leaving us in a tailspin.

But fret not my fatigued friends: there’s still a bona fide way to take command of your whirlwind day. The secret? Remembering that you’re in charge of your emotions, and more importantly, totally in control of how you react to your overwhelming day. Since you’re the boss, here are six simple but effective ways to have a guaranteed good day—no matter what kind of curveballs are thrown your way.

1. Get up early

We know hitting the snooze button might seem beneficial at the time, but the truth is, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes, designating some downtime for yourself in the morning is a great way get in a positive mindset about the day ahead. Whether you use this extra time to enjoy your favorite espresso drink or watch the news, you’ll start each day feeling relaxed and in control.

2. Take the long way to work

If you absolutely can’t take a few extra minutes for yourself in the morning, consider taking an extended route to work instead. Do you drive to work? Take the scenic route for a change. Public transit? Get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. Either way, you’ll forge some instant “me-time” and likely feel much less overwhelmed about the rest of the day.

3. Make to-do lists

While you can’t predict the outcome of your day, you can always plan ahead. Daily to-do lists are a wonderful way to visualize what your day looks like ahead of time, so you can better navigate your way through all the unexpected stuff that might come along. If you happen to find yourself feeling overwhelmed, just sneak a peek at your to-do list to remind yourself you’ve got today totally under control (even if that means tackling some of your tasks tomorrow).

4. Have a little fun

If your day gets particularly crazy, force yourself to take a break and instead do something entertaining for a few minutes. Whether it’s picking up a good book for five minutes or simply breaking out into song, sneaking in some impromptu fun-time is a pleasant way to gain composure and stay positive throughout your day.

5. Get creative

Who cares if you’re not technically an artist, taking a short creative break—think: a ten-minute coloring session or listening to an uplifting playlist—is a proven way to clear your mind of stress and hopefully, refocus your attitude.

6. Make sure you feel great

Whether it means doing yoga, drinking a smoothie, or simply sporting your fave pair of shoes, make sure you approach your day feeling good about yourself every morning, and your state of mind will likely follow suit.

Real Advice for Real Life

Want some more ideas? We asked some happy and in-control people for their best good day guarantees.

Caitlin Donnelly, Fashion Client Partner, Los Angeles: “No matter how late I’m running, I always make sure to water and talk to my houseplants every morning. This way, I leave for work feeling like I’ve already accomplished something and despite being so busy, can still be a good plant parent.”

Kevin Hickey, Writer, Brooklyn: “Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed I try to stop and do something nice for someone. It’s a positive distraction and the pleasant feedback blunts the stress of whatever happens to be bothering me that day, at least for a little while.”

Jamie Azar, Cytotechnologist, San Diego: “The perfect day-starter for me: a homemade latte and an episode of ‘Fixer Upper.’ I slowly drink my espresso while I watch an episode, then I get ready for work feeling relaxed and better-prepared for the chaotic daily grind.”

Carrie Percy, Clinical Dietitian, Chico, CA: “I get up early enough every morning to stretch, do a dance-related workout, and spend some time with my dog Lola before I go to work. It’s the best way to face my day.”

Your turn: Tell us how you psyche yourself up for a good day!