As the mornings - and evenings, for that matter - are getting darker faster, I think we all need a little pick me up sometimes.
No matter how down, upset or frustrated I feel, there are some things that are guaranteed to cheer me up quickly. I hope they might help you too. Here are just a few of them...
1. Write a good friend a good letter
I think it's so lovely and thoughtful when someone actually takes the time to handwrite a letter rather than boshing out a Facebook message. And it’s just as lovely to receive a letter. Handwritten items are sadly becoming a bit of a lost art, but seeing a friend’s handwriting makes you feel closer to that person and you know it’s taken so much more time and effort to prepare. Plus, I still find it exciting when I get a letter through the post that isn’t a statement or a bill.
2. Have a dejunk
Cluttered home: cluttered mind. I really think that when your home is untidy it contributes to your stress levels. When I can’t find something, or I keep knocking things over because there are just piles of crap everywhere, it doesn’t help my productivity. Whether it’s the kitchen, lounge or bedroom (in fact, a messy bedroom may even affect your sleep), a good tidy up is really satisfying. You could even clear out some of your unused items and take them to a charity shop. Extra brownie points.
3. Make a batch of cookies
This is especially satisfying when you make some from leftovers. I’m talking oat granola, raisins, a few bits of chocolate, cinnamon at the back of the cupboard, whatever. It’s fun to bake cookies and even more fun to eat cookies. The results will make other people happy too!
4. Sing and dance when no-one is looking
I do this in the shower and when I’m getting ready in front on the mirror in the mornings. I even have a Spotify playlist called ‘happy’ for when I need a quick fix. I stick in on – loud – and have a good boogie. It cheers me up instantly.
5. Go for a run
Exercise is a stress-relieving activity and, when combined with being outside, lifts our mood and calms us down. Not only that, but the obvious benefits are that running regularly will massively improve your health. A run first thing in the morning gives me loads of energy and makes me feel great about myself.
6. Watch a cheesy rom-com
Sometimes, it’s great to watch something that requires no effort to just ‘get’. Sure, romantic comedies are generally unrealistic and predictable but can be just the ticket to transport you to somebody else’s world for 90 minutes. At times, I substitute the film for Sex and the City and Teachers boxsets.
7. Have a girly night in
Invite some friends round for a pamper night – you can do face masks and hair masks while having a gossip with a glass of vino. You could even make your own last minute exfoliator by mixing oatmeal with warm water. Treating yourself to a bit of luxury and sharing that experience with others is bound to have a positive effect.
8. Buy a bunch of flowers
Even better, grow and pick them yourself! It’s so simple but having a pretty bunch of flowers really makes me happy. They look and smell lovely, and brighten up even the emptiest and dullest of rooms.
9. Have a bath
A bath accompanied by bubbles and candles always relaxes me, and in doing so, calms my mood. I don’t know if it’s the heat, the silence or the down-time to think, but it works every time.
10. Drink hot chocolate
How fun is it to make your own hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows? It’s so simple but indulgently delicious – and goes great with homemade cookies...(see point 3)
Image via Jamison Judd's Flickr