It's the 11th of June as I'm writing this. To be honest, this post was saved as a draft with only the title and absolute zero content in it for MONTHS but I never get around to writing about it.
But today, today is the perfect day to write it out - finally- because my experience is pretty fresh at the moment.
So, I have this theory : We can't always HAVE a good day. We have to make it a good day. I mean, there's just a lot of things in our control that we don't even realise ARE actually in our own control. So often do we go with the flow of the moods the day presents us with, doing absolutely nothing about it.
It doesn't have to work like that you know.
Let's take today for example. I woke up an hour later than I had initially planned on. And I woke up feeling so groggy and miserable. My body was sore from yesterday's workout. I didn't want to get out of bed at all!
I had practically surrendered to the 'flow' my day was going to take me on. I wanted my day to be productive but I wasn't expecting it to be. I got out of bed reluctantly and proceeded to do my morning routine.
I did my usual routine without much thought in mind for the day ahead - I had already kinda given up remember?
After breakfast, I headed back to my room. And then something changed. Not in a single moment as such. But I guess something had been changing gradually. And now the change had been completed. I felt a lot better than I did when I woke up. I actually felt the energy in myself to go about the day and do what I usually do on a normal productive day. And not just physical energy. I felt mentally better.
And then, I did get on with my day, pretty well by the way. It's 5pm as I'm writing this and I've already worked my way through most of my to-do list. I also managed to do a few chores around the house and also ticked off a few of my daily habits that I'm focusing on for this month.
And I feel good about myself.
If the post has been sounding a little pointless or a little vague to you up until now, let me get straight to the point:
There are a lot of things that are actually IN OUR OWN control as we go about our day. And for the things that we have no control over, we have the freedom of response to them. We have the knowledge that since this particular thing is not in my control, all I can do is accept it and choose to react to it in a way that's beneficial for me and all the others involved in this scenario. This knowledge can lend you a lot of peace in your day to day life, trust me.
Moving on to the things that ARE in our control:
We love to be lazy and pretend like we cannot control the situation we are in and just let time pass by thinking it'll do something on its own and render your peace back into your life. And we believe this because we've experienced this. But this is not what happens everytime you feel miserable or even 'meh'.
Being aware of all the things that you can actually do to improve your day and the way you are feeling about it is crucial to turning your day around. You need to take charge here, its your life!
In essence: We can't always HAVE a good day, but we can always MAKE it a good day.
So, what can we do to MAKE it a good day? Here are 6 ways to take control:
Write down a list of all the activities that make you feel good Its ironic that we don't feel like doing the things that make us feel good when we're actually not feeling good. These activities just slip from our mind when we're feeling a little down. So do yourself a favour and keep a list of such things handy. Let me recommend a few - Move your body - this helps so much. Exercising is my new favourite thing to do and no matter how my day is going, I never skip out on it. It takes my day to another level. Spend some time on a feel good hobby - doing something that's fairly easy for you and will help you relax a little, that's always nice. Reading, listening to music, singing, having a dance party by yourself, cleaning your space are some common things you can add to your list!
Introduce routines and habits in your life Adding habits and routines to our everyday life is the kindest thing we can do for ourselves. That's what saved my day today, do you now realise? The changes were happening as I went along with my morning routine. Habits and routines (routines are merely a chain of habits strung together that you do during a certain time of the day) become automated tasks for us over a period of time, meaning, our brains don't have to think twice about it before doing them! And when these routines include things that are beneficial to your body, mind and soul, your day is going to instantly get a lot better once you do them - no matter at what point you started. That's what happened to me today and I am so thankful to myself for investing my energy in forming a morning routine.
Do something different or differently Although routines are great to automate certain things that make us feel better, they can, at times, add a little monotony to our lives if we're not mindful about them. So if routines alone are not working out for you, a good thing to do is add a different activity to your day. It can be something from the list we made above or just something nice you feel like doing at that moment. Another thing you can do is do your exisiting routines a little differently. For example, if I'm not really in the mood for a regular workout, I'll switch it up for a fun, dance workout. It gets the job done and proves to be a lot more fun for that day. You can similarly alter your other activities - maybe switch up the order, place or time of things. It'll definitely help.
Set an upgraded version for tasks you might skip on when you're not feeling up to it Remember when we were little and would occasionally get cranky during meals and refuse to eat? Our parents would come up with insane ideas to make meal times more fun. The 'Kau cha ghaas and chiu cha ghaas' technique works. And here's how you can make it work in adulthood. Set up two versions for the same task. The regular version is for normal days when you feel like doing the task. The upgraded version is a more fun or a fancier version that'll basically trick you into doing that task. Here's an example: Journaling: On a regular day, I journal before I go to bed. I sit on my bed with my journal and my pen and write about my day. Journaling PRO: On these days, I light up a fragrant candle, put some lofi music on in the background, sit at my desk and then carry out this activity. Sometimes I'll even add some chamomile tea to this ritual. See what I did there? Save these PRO versions for days when you'll need it.
Lean towards self-discipline rather than motivation This isn't obviously a one step solution but more of a mindset shift. I'm still trying to incorporate it into my life effectively but I've learned its importance. Not only is self-discipline more efficient for us in the long run but it's also going to make us feel good after we've got that task done by leaning on self-discipline. It is rewarding. Self-discipline is a great tool to add to our lives to bring about consistency and efficiency in the things we have set out to do.
Know that feelings are temporary - we don't want this half an hour sadness to ruin our 24 hour day, do we? I am still learning to be good at this, and yes, it's a struggle. But it's also important to know. In that moment of boredom or sadness, it feels like it's eternal and that we might never get away from this. But that's not true. Negative feelings have a way of gripping us and taking control over us. But when we can step back from them and realise that this will eventually pass, we gain back our control.
So, these are a few ways I've learnt along the way. The most important lesson remains to be that we have the power to change the course of our day for the better in most situations. We just need to realise and take charge.
I hope that this post was useful for you in some way or the other. If it was, let me know in the comments below!