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How do you purposefully make your day a little brighter?

(35 Posts)
ASwanLake Sat 18-Jul-20 21:48:57

I have been going through a tough time recently with anxiety and depression. I read a book about improving my self-esteem using CBT principles. One of the things it suggests is planning your day to include both things that are productive as well as things that are enjoyable. However I have really been struggling to think of little moments I can add to my everyday life to make my day more enjoyable. I live quite a passive life and have got myself into a bit of a rut which I think has contributed a lot to the way I have been feeling.

Therefore I would love to know ways in which you add a bit of happiness or comfort or peace to your day. One thing I have been doing is taking my morning coffee into the garden and sitting outside whilst drinking it, it is such a small change and no extra effort and yet it improves my morning a lot.

OP’s posts: |
Cherry321 Sat 18-Jul-20 21:50:56

A walk helps me

weegiemum Sat 18-Jul-20 22:00:45

I was going to say the garden. I have long-standing depression and anxiety and find even 15 mins outside (watching my guinea pigs grazing!) makes a huge difference.

Flowers in the house help me - at the moment sunflowers are quite cheap and just looking at them cheers me up. I also take 10-15 minutes in the morning to apply some nice moisturiser to my face and hands. The smell helps and it's self-care too which is important in depression. I was shopping with dd2 (she's 16) on Friday and she reminded me to buy more. I don't spend much money on make up or anything like that, so face cream and perfume are my treats.

I think it's important to think about your senses - so sitting in the garden I hear the breeze and my piggies chirping and smell the fresh air, and see the flowers. I listen to music (my Dd1 bought me a Bluetooth speaker for Christmas), smell my products, look at my flowers. I make sure I eat a tasty healthy lunch.

It's not one thing. It's lots of little choices. You start with one and things keep on feeling better!

Gah81 Sat 18-Jul-20 22:07:09

I do the following things daily atm, unless otherwise specified:

-A walk on the common first thing in the morning, when no-one else is about.
- A croissant and coffee for breakfast at my little folding table every other day
- Taking time out to stroke my cat.
-(Occasionally) buying fresh flowers.
- Putting on perfume first thing in the morning and just before I go to bed
- A slice of cake
- Cuticle oil and hand/foot cream before I go to bed
- slipping into silk loungewear as soon as I finish work
- wearing only natural fibres: cotton, silk, cashmere.

All these things give me lots of joy and add a bit of luxury and sensory pleasure to each day.

ASwanLake Sat 18-Jul-20 23:59:04

So many great ideas, thank you. I already go on a walk with my dog but I might try and go early in the morning as well as in the evening. I also like the idea of fresh flowers, I might treat myself to some when I do the food shop next week. I also love the idea of a croissant and coffee for breakfast! I may make that a new Sunday tradition.

OP’s posts: |
Appuskidu Sun 19-Jul-20 00:18:34

This is a lovely thread-life is all about the little things.

Planting things in the garden and watching them grow.
Having posh coffee in a nice mug sometimes, rather than my usual teabag in a cup.
Painting my toe nails in a nice colour.
Texting random funny things to my best mate and receiving similar texts back.
Sitting in the sun with my book.
Fish and chips.
A cold glass of Chardonnay on a warm evening.
Watching my very neatly pegged out clothes drying on a windy day.
Watching a thunder storm.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 19-Jul-20 01:16:23

I'm working from home during the pandemic. I'm always horribly tired at about 4pm. Ive started to let myself watch a netflix show at this time so I have a proper break. I enjoy it, return to my work much less tired, and subsequently get more done (i have a job that is not time monitored so yes this is perfectly reasonable!). It's just I've never given myself permission for an afternoon break before, even though I routinely work til 7 ish.

Smallsteps88 Sun 19-Jul-20 01:21:18

A lovely breakfast gets me out of bed every morning. For me that means a bacon sandwich. I’ve made myself a project of sorting out my back yard so i can have a table and chair and enjoy my breakfast out there. Currently it’s very depressing but I’m enjoying the work of fixing it.

I also really look forward to my evening walk with my dog.

violetbunny Sun 19-Jul-20 01:24:18

Nice loose leaf tea
Subscribe to an online yoga class
Baking
Cuddling my two beautiful cats
Kindle Unlimited subscription

Gah81 Sun 19-Jul-20 06:41:49

Woken up and read this and think I am going to have a bacon sandwich after my walk! (I am very suggestible). Perfect for a Sunday.

MrsBobDylan Sun 19-Jul-20 07:06:19

I find hobbies that I can do at home really help me with anxiety. For me it's crochet and sewing. I love the smell of my domestic sewing machine, it is from the 1960s and it is a lovely colour and shape. My other sewing machine is an old bartered industrial one which makes a continuous hum and smells of machine oil. I love the noise, particularly the click click of the needle.

If I wake early I lie in bed planning out how I will make my next project, what materials I need and in what order.

I had an emotionally messy and unpredictable childhood. With therapy and medication, I have a happy adult life, but I rely on my projects to give me me a sense of order, security and purpose.

MrsBobDylan Sun 19-Jul-20 07:08:42

Oh and my black pug - we are both emotionally needy and can be that with each other 😁

MysweetAudrina Sun 19-Jul-20 07:09:54

An hours yoga every morning at 7.30am. Before lockdown I used to go to my studio before work but since lockdown they have gone online and I created a lovely space in my home where I can roll out my mat and practice every morning. The kids and dh are normally still asleep so there are no demands on my time or competing energies in the house. This is my time for me to connect with my body and my breath.

I also like to have a scented candle lit. Atm I am loving neom candles but I also have an oil diffuser and use lovely mixes depending on my mood.

I also get regular pedicures and have my toe nails painted bright colours and my eyebrows waxed (obviously couldn't get this done during lockdown)

I created a small reading area in my sitting room during lockdown, just an armchair, small table and some plants so I could sit with a book in the window and read if I wanted.

I turned my spare room into a yoga/office space and painted it in calming colours so I would have a nice space to work in during lockdown.

I make sure I have fresh sheets and covers on my bed and always shower in the morning and put on fresh clothes as I always feel better afterwards.

I remind myself of all the things in my life that i have to be grateful for

BitOfFun Sun 19-Jul-20 07:12:39

I sit at my sewing machine, and spend an inordinate amount of time stroking my fabrics grin.

MrsBobDylan Sun 19-Jul-20 08:06:07

@BitOfFun my sewing machine has lovely smooth, cream enamel over steel and it is beautiful to touch. I am sewing with wool blankets at the mo, making blinds and cushion covers, and I spend time having woolly snuggle!

Beechview Sun 19-Jul-20 09:47:00

The things that make my day better are
Going for a walk
Making time to read a book. I’ve been reading in the garden and it’s been lovely
Being in touch with friends and family either by calling or texting
Eating healthy
I’ve started a free course from coursera so true to do a bit of that a few times a week.
Looking at the stars if it’s a clear night

Fanthorpe Sun 19-Jul-20 09:53:26

Having a really loud sing. Clean sheets. Polishing something til it shines. Finding something that makes me laugh. Smiling at someone in the street and getting one in return. Definitely flowers. Repotting my plants and watering them. Deadheading so things look fresh.
Going for a fast walk with music playing.

Piccalily19 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:58:47

Chasing/playing with my dog cheers me up no end, we both have a mad 10 minutes of running round which releases loads of endorphins and watching her zoom round the house/garden is fun too.

I also give my partner a really long hug/squeeze when needed. Someone told me it’s scientifically proven that a hug isn’t beneficial unless it’s a long one (think they said at least 10 seconds but I’m not 100% on time). Apparently only long hugs connects people and releases happy hormones.

And finally lying on the grass on a sunny day watching the clouds (an ice cream also helps but I guess I can live without that ha)

Rainbowqueeen Sun 19-Jul-20 10:03:43

lighting a nice smelling candle

Some form of exercise - if no time for a walk, simple stretches or yoga at home

I go outside every day

I love to cook so aim to make one new thing a week. I spend time during the week looking for things to make and locating the perfect recipe.

Turn on some fast paced music and dance like no one is watching

Call or text a friend

Iiketoreadeveryday Sun 19-Jul-20 10:34:45

Listen to music throughout the day while working
Enjoy a good cup of tea/ coffee
Smile and laugh daily
Pot about in garden
Make one of my favourite meals once a week
Read a magazine my favourite of all
Or read all sorts online

I'm not sure if you can get a Nz app called Mentemia - A well-being App Or find something light that is similar
Indulge in a hobby
As pp said share jokes via text or memes.
Stop and chat to someone and just listen.. I've tried it is amazing we're the conversation goes or what you learn about them.

As you said it is the little things like
Buy flowers, so lovely
Croissants
Sit outside

Our radio plays a advert which says to name 10 things you are grateful for each day
It helped once our locked down was over here, also while we are in a cold winter and get down.

TheOrchidKiller Sun 19-Jul-20 12:31:02

Try The Blurt Foundation. They have a website for people suffering from anxiety & depression and they have loads of ideas for self-care, and ways to help you do it.

I need to get back in the habit of doing some of these things again. It's about actually scheduling them in, I think, and making the effort to put the phone down /out of sight. I'm finding current life is making it harder to do some of the things that usually cheer me up, but this thread has given me some ideas.

Thank you!

OverTheRainbow88 Sun 19-Jul-20 12:33:39

Every morning after I wake up I open every certain in the house and every window regardless of the weather to make it as airy and bright as possible.

I go outside everyday for at least 3 hours regardless of the weather

SheldonSaysSo1 Sun 19-Jul-20 12:35:50

The best thing I find is a nice hot bath, good bubble bath and maybe a good book. I agree with opening the windows as much as possible and a brisk walk even if its only for ten minutes. You could also aim to connect socially with someone everyday/every other day whether that be in person, via phone/text/email etc.

gloriawasright Sun 19-Jul-20 12:38:43

Playing music really loud .and singing loudly ( and badly)

StuffThem Sun 19-Jul-20 12:39:38

I love this thread and these ideas!

I like a nice cold fizzy drink - so I'll often have a few cans in the fridge so I can have a nice drink in the evening. Having nice posh herbal teabags for occasionally too, and ground coffee in a cafetiere. I'm out of the habit, but this thread has prompted me to start again, of a nice cafetiere of coffee on a nice posh tray i was given in a nice matching mug with a posh biscuit or cake, on a Sunday as a routine.

Yes yes to a nice bunch of flowers. I also have a sunlounger and sit on it in the garden with my dog most evenings at the moment until it's too cold and I have to go in.

I'm also trying to build in time out with a magazine.

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