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Make it a Good Day!

written by Richard G. Wirtz, PsyD

The well intended wish we offer one another, "Have a good day!", has become a very commonplace expression. It is generally genuine and heartfelt, but it is also missing something important - our own intent and effort.

In this wacky, challenging world we're living in right now, so much of what we have grown accustomed to in our day to day life has been put out of reach temporarily. Not being able to see the people we love, go to work, casually go into the grocery, dine in a restaurant, or see a movie, has changed our lives radically and temporarily hijacked many of the activities that bring us joy.

Never has it been more important to take the perspective that we must "Make it a good day!" To not leave that outcome to chance but to actually create a day that we enjoy and look forward to. Here's a suggestion about how to do that:

Create some structure and routine - Humans are creatures of habit and routine. We often approach certain tasks, times of the day, and interactions with others, in repetitive, predictable ways. For many people, going to work creates an enormous amount of structure and often requires routine to perform successfully. When we are involuntarily out of work, we may enjoy the break for a while and then begin to struggle with the lack of structure. We sleep in later, flounder around throughout the day, lack a sense of purpose, and ultimately start to feel bored. These experiences usually do not result in feeling fulfilled or overly happy. Since the external sources of structure have been taken away from us right now, we have to create our own.

Even if it's just for a week, try going to bed within an hour of the same time every night and awaken within an hour of the same time every morning. Start your day with a routine that you enjoy - a fresh cup of coffee, some enjoyable music, a good book, a walk, some good food, etc. Then create some goals for the day that will organize your efforts and potentially result in some outcome that you enjoy or feel good about. Eat other meals at fairly predictable times and fix healthy foods.

With this approach you are making your own good day and not wistfully hoping that it will happen to you.


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