Here’s a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for note. Don’t worry. Be happy. In every life, we have some trouble. When you worry, you make it double. Don’t worry. Be happy.
Bob Marley, Don’t Worry. Be Happy.
We all love the weekend and, maybe, we have been wondering how can five days last like forty-eight years. Doing the same things over and over for days can be a drag. More often than not, I kill these five days hoping for the weekend to come earlier than scheduled and then spend the weekend wishing Monday would come a bit later. Friends, this is the vicious circle of the life of an adult. But, I am not regretting anything. I just hope there is something I can do to make every day a good day.
But, how does one have a good day?
Here are ten things I think to be indispensable to having an amazing day. Please note, however, that the list is more like a note to myself than, say, “professional” advice or anything of that sort. These are the things that work for me and I am hoping they do for you too.
Tip 1: Plan your day the night before.
Remember what they say about chance? It is when preparation meets opportunity. And, it can never be truer than that. I have met several people I thought to be control freaks for taking painstaking effort in planning their day ahead and I used to laugh at the thought of limiting what you could do to a list. I mean, obviously, there was just so much to accomplish. Well, as I grow more mature in my career, I realize that I have to plan things ahead for the same reason that I used to laugh at it: there is just so much to do in one day. Indeed, life is a lot easier when all that we do are well thought of: less chaos and less stress — not to mention more productive.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to write things down. It is also one more reason for you to show off that expensive planner you bought with the coffee.
Tip 2: Drink a lot of water.
Hugh Jackman shared how he was told to hold off drinking water until his shoot was done. He was shooting Wolverine then. Yes, he had that ripped and sculpted physique we all envied but he had perhaps the worst day of his life too. He was dizzy. He was cranky. He felt like he would die and never finish the shoot.
Drinking a glass of water right after waking up and before eating breakfast is well recommended. It clears skin impurities. It improves the mood. It drains toxins away. And, it aids weight loss too. And, if these reasons are not enough, just remember Hugh Jackman, okay?
Don’t forget your eight glasses of water today.
Tip 3: Eat breakfast.
Breakfast is the most underrated among meals. Skipping breakfast may be the biggest mistake we can do today. We fast when we sleep. So, we have to replenish our body with the energy we need to survive the day.
Binging on lunch may not be a good idea too. Experience tells us that a heavy lunch makes us too full to function and sleepy. We do love our siestas but we can’t really indulge sleep when we are at work, can we?
Weight loss fanatics will tell you to always eat light dinner — or supper, as some may prefer to call it. Food becomes energy after it is digested. The assumption is that we sleep after dinner. So, the energy is unused and will then be stored in the body as fat.
Hey, what’s for breakfast?
Tip 4: Meditate.
No. You don’t have to sit lotus and go into a trance or something. Meditation is basically clearing the mind of all its burden. Sitting still while listening to the buffets of the wind or the crashing of the waves may do the trick just as effectively as, I don’t know — levitating inches above the ground maybe.
The purpose of the exercise is to give the self some time to be still and enjoy its stillness. Sparing fifteen minutes a day is good enough.
One may go deep into the technicalities of meditation too. Many resources can be found online. But, for now, let us be content with simply enjoying the tranquility that sitting still and clearing the mind offer. Inner peace, I believe, is what they call it.
Tip 5: Exercise.
I heard two of my workmates talking about getting fit. One complained how hard it was to watch his diet and exercise. He wanted to give it all up and just be the couch potato that he was. The other scolded him saying: If you cannot do it for yourself, do it for those whom you love and those who love you — and, true it is indeed.
Studies have shown that a thirty-minute brisk walking or running improves one’s physical condition significantly. It also brightens one’s disposition as the body produces happy hormones as it perspires.
Tip 6: Talk to people.
Don’t underestimate the effect of good company on you. Whether we like it or not, we are social animals. As such, we love to communicate, to listen and be listened to. Communication, after all, is one of the most important inventions of man made necessary for survival.
The challenge, however, is choosing the right people to talk to. Surrounded by the wrong people is even worse than being alone.
Tip 7: Read.
When was the last time you last read? I mean actual reading — not the quick browsing through emails nor the painful technical reading of reports. I mean reading and actually enjoying it.
Despite the proliferation of reading materials nowadays (E-Books, PDF’s, etc.), we rarely go pick a book and read it. Perhaps, the only reading that took the bulk of our time happens on Facebook. It is not that it is bad but, surely, better materials to read are available elsewhere.
I actually appreciate what Wattpad does — giving exposure to many fresh literature out there. I only wish there would be some measures taken to ensure quality in the materials. Project Gutenberg also offers free PDF copies of several classics and many others.
What does reading have to do with having a good day? There is no better reason than that it cures intellectual myopia. It is that apparent want of perspective prevalent, but not exclusive, among millenials — myself included. And, that is a shame considering how far technology have gone. Thanks to the internet for shrinking the world we live in, information is now passed around at a faster rate and in a broader scope. All you need to do is to go and read. If you think reading is hard, try ignorance.
Tip 8: Daydream.
Daydreaming is peculiar to sharp minds — or, at least, somebody told me. Daydreaming can be fun. It gives the mind the opportunity to wander. It is the wellspring of imagination and I don’t have to overemphasize how powerful imagination can be.
I know it sounds trite but it is worth reiterating. The only limit to who you can be is your imagination. Bring out the inner child in you.
Tip 9: Be productive.
What is better way to having a good day than having a sense of purpose. Know what you do and do it — only then will you be able to say that you are really having a great day.
Dostoyevsky said it best. He said: The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.
I don’t think I can say it better than that. Friend, live well. Know what you are living for.
Tip 10: Get enough sleep.
The body badly needs healing after a grueling day. Sleep is nature’s way of recovery. I cannot overemphasize the importance of sleeping.
Some say life is too short to be wasted on sleep. Well, life will certainly be shorter if you don’t sleep. Lack of sleep increases the risks of heart disease, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes and many others. Plus, sleep deprivation does not only ruin the body but also every other aspect of living. Nobody likes a grumpy character, for sure. Take it easy, friend. Hit the sack.
Having a good day, in the end, is a matter of perspective. You can choose to have the best of days or the worst. Just in case you are having a bad day today, always remember someone somewhere is pushing a door that says “pull”. If that doesn’t make you feel better, then I don’t know what does.