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  • Writer's pictureNatashia Larkin

14 ways to pick yourself up after a bad start to the day



We’ve all been there, it’s barely 9:00 AM and you’re already willing the day to be over. 


It’s not an ideal start to any day, especially if it’s a work day and you’ve still got your entire shift ahead of you. 


But there is good news. 


You don’t have to let a shitty start to the morning define the rest of your day, with a little bit of self care, you can turn it around. 


How you choose to refresh and restart will really depend on who and where you are, as well as what you’ve got planned for the rest of the day. 


But here are 14 suggestions for picking yourself up and making sure you have a better day. 


1. Take a breath and be mindful 


It’s important that you give yourself some time to just let go of the world. 


You could find a quiet spot to meditate (maybe outdoors if the weather is nice) or even just take five minutes to just sit and have a cup of coffee and give yourself some time to reflect. 


Breathing exercises can be a great way to help clear your mind and they don't have to take long. In just a few minutes you can change your whole outlook on the day. 


2. Clean up your space 


OK, I’ll admit it, I can be guilty of leaving last night’s washing up until the next day and this is never a fun thing to stare at all morning, especially when you’re mood is already low. 


That’s why I like to take 10 minutes when I get up to have a quick clean-up, so I have a tidy space to enjoy for the rest of the day.


 In particular, I find making the bed early always helps me feel like I’m heading for a productive day, do you get that? 


But you can also tidy your desk, put the washing away, clear the rubbish out of your car; or whatever it is that makes you feel better. 


3. Have a shower 


It is such a small thing that we take for granted but having a shower can quickly help you to feel refreshed, motivated and ready for the day. 


This can be all it takes to change your perspective on the whole day. 


And while you’re in there, why not throw on some of your favourite songs and sing at the top of your lungs? It’s a double whammy for feeling better. 


4. Get dressed


I LOVE my pyjamas. I wish it was socially acceptable to wear my Muppet trousers and oversized Stranger Things T-shirt everywhere. 


But sadly it’s not and actually sitting about in your pyjamas all day can have a negative effect on your mood if you're already struggling. 


By getting dressed (even if it’s in yoga pants and a baggy hoodie) you’ll probably find you feel more productive and prepared for the day.


5. Go for a walk 


Going for a walk and getting some fresh air can clear your mind, especially on a sunny morning.


Maybe choose somewhere nice to walk like the beach (if you live nearby) or your local park. 


Or, if you're short of time, even just a walk around the block can help reset your thinking and get those endorphins flowing.  


6. Make a to-do list 


Sometimes when I’m feeling stressed out writing a list helps me empty my brain and give me a bit of direction for the day ahead.


Plus I bloody love writing a list! 


Start by writing down a few things you’d like to accomplish during the day. These don't even have to be big things. It’s perfectly acceptable to write smaller tasks like making your bed or calling your mum. 


Just being able to check things off your list, no matter how small they seem, can be the pick-me-up you need to continue on a successful trajectory. 


7. Do your most important task first


Are you a procrastination pro? Because I know I am! 


I can distract myself for hours doing non-essential tasks whilst convincing myself I’m being productive. 


But this is not always helpful and can leave you feeling like you’ve barely started the day. 


So instead,  if you’ve got something important or time-consuming that you need to do, perhaps you’ve been putting it off for a while now, get it done first thing! 


This will give you a huge sense of achievement for the day, but it also frees up your time later to relax without having it hanging over your head like a grey cloud. 


8. Do a workout 


Is there a better way to let go of the stresses of the world than to sweat it out? 


Whatever your favourite workout is, be that going for a run, a HIIT workout or some chilled morning yoga, a good exercise sesh can have such a positive impact on the rest of your day. 


So throw your leggings and trainers on and get started. 


9. Get back in bed 


This one might not work for everyone, certainly not if you’ve got to go to work, but if you have the opportunity, why not literally start your day again?


Get in bed and have another half an hour's sleep. That way, when you wake up, you can start your day all over again feeling refreshed. 


Alternatively, you can watch a show or read your book in bed for a little longer before you get up and get ready. 


10. Watch your favourite show 


If you’ve got time, pop on an episode of your favourite show, even if it’s on in the background as you’re getting ready. 


And even better if this is a comedy show as a little laugh can instantly transform your mood. 


11. Put your phone down 


It’s crazy how much our phones can impact our mood. 


We’ve all been guilty of this, waking up and reaching for our phones, immediately checking our emails, Facebook, the news, Instagram or whatever it may be. 


And just one negative impression from online content can instantly affect our mood. 


So if you’re feeling crappy about the day ahead, take 10 minutes for a digital detox. Instead, sit and read a book, take a deep breath, have a coffee or sit in the garden. 


12. Cook (and eat) a good breakfast 


We all know that a hearty breakfast is a great way to start the day, but if you love cooking, then this can be a real boost. 


Even if you don’t love to cook, set 10 minutes aside to prepare yourself a tasty (and ideally healthy, though that’s up to you) breakfast. 


You then get the pleasure of sitting down and taking some time out to eat. 


13. Read a chapter of your book 


Are you currently reading a good book? 


Why not pick it up and enjoy a chapter or two over your breakfast, morning coffee or even on your commute? This can take you away from your own life for a moment and give you a chance to unwind and reset. 


14. Pet your pet (or someone else’s) 


When I feel like crap, one thing that is always sure to make me feel better is the company of a furry friend. We have our little whippet, so she is my go-to gal, but I’ll say hello to other people’s dogs, passing cats, even the birds in the garden. 


It’s amazing how quickly you can feel better with the help of a furry friend. 


It’s time to pick yourself up! 


It’s never too late to bring your day back. No matter how late in the day you get started, the point is that you get started. 


And some of these things are so simple, but you’d be amazed at just how quickly they can turn your day around. 


So choose one, choose two or do them all; just try to pick yourself up and get started, otherwise, if you're anything like me, you’ll find yourself in a guilt spiral by about lunchtime, having achieved very little with your day. 


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