Mental Health

How To Light Up Your Day

How To Light Up Your Day
Published: 2021-05-28
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The sun is rising, casting a soft, rosy glow across the cool grey sky, gently warming all it surveys as it quietly welcomes us to yet another new day.

Sleepily, we climb out of our comfortable cocoons, yawning and stretching as we shuffle off to the kitchen for that hot cup of tea or that steaming mug of coffee, sliding ourselves into our lives for one more morning, not noticing the glorious New Day that lies before us, brimming over with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered.

Instead, thoughts and images of what needs to be done stumble through the fog of semi-consciousness as the day begins to unfold. The job awaits, the children need feeding and dressing. The boss is cranky this week. Your coach is pushing too hard—or not hard enough.

You really don't feel like hitting the track. That appointment conflicts with your gym time.  There are all those repairs that need doing.

And on and on it goes...the endless list of Stuff To Do or Things To Think About. Before we're even functional or have had a bit of breakfast, we're already weighted down by responsibility and what we “should, ought and must do.”

And then there's the added Really Difficult Stuff.  The relationship that needs life support and is in the intensive care unit. The blazing row you had last night and didn’t resolve. The teenager who's rebelling. Or the one who has been missing for months. The job you lost. And your house might be next. The potentially terrifying test results you're anticipating at the doctor's office. The best friend who is in crisis. The funeral you have to attend on Thursday. The chemotherapy you're facing. Your widowed parent who is fragile and ailing. Your “life” is having an adverse impact on your performance and you can't get on top of it. And on and on it goes...

So just how can days like that be filled with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered? How on earth are you supposed to notice that soft, rosy glow outside, that wonderful sense of newness and excitement that it holds as it spreads its smiling warmth across everything in its path?

You just do. It doesn't discount any of the Stuff that demands your attention, or insists upon cramming itself down your throat. It doesn't mean the painful parts of your life will vanish. It just means that you must not forget the blessings, because they're as real a part of your life as the parts that hurt or are an enormous burden, and that will consume you, if you let them.

One of those blessings is the ability to choose what occupies your thoughts, at least some of your time. It is the ability to give yourself permission to stop worrying or beating yourself up because your performance hasn't been all you'd like it to be lately. It's allowing yourself to have a little fun, do something that makes you happy or that makes you feel good, or that lets you take some time to be creative and reconnect with yourself.

At any time in the midst of the most miserable day, you can close your eyes for a few moments and think about someone or something that lights you up. And if you stay focused on that image and those feelings, even for just a few moments, you're bound to find a little respite from your stresses.

Your weary spirit needs nourishment. It needs rejuvenation. That steaming, hot bubble bath. Turning off the phone for an hour. Reading a favourite novel (again) at any time in the midst of the most miserable day. Dusting off the deck of cards for a game of rummy with your partner. Goofing off with your kids or your pals and enjoying something completely different. Soaking your feet while sipping on wine. Looking through old photographs. Disappearing into the woods or up a hill or going for a swim.

It doesn't take much time in a day to give yourself a break from your stresses, even if it's only as long as it takes to spend a few moments here and there, thinking about what's important to you and about the people who matter to you.

Trust me. No matter how dull and laden with responsibility your life is, no matter how off-track you are with your performances lately, no matter how dark and miserable things might seem, there are blessings, too, and opportunities to make it a better day. Just pause for a few moments and notice that rosy, glowing sunrise as it gently reminds you that there is another New Day, another chance for you to reconnect with yourself, your life, and with all the blessings the world has to offer. Allow its warmth to fill your soul, awakening beautiful old memories that will nourish you and urge you to create equally beautiful new ones, now. Today. And every day.