Ways To Brighten Every Day

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact. These are some little things that I do throughout my day to make it just that little bit better.

Try to learn something new

Most of us have a couple of areas that we know super well and can easily forget that there is a whole world of information and ideas out there. I really love picking up a new piece of knowledge everyday and with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, it has never been easier to learn something new and interesting.

Get enough sleep

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Anybody who has ever had a big night out knows how terrible feel the next day. That’s because, believe it or not, our bodies need sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep puts you in a better mood the next day and helps you to think more clearly and feel more energised. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday and trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. I usually aim for around 10:30pm to 7:30am. Try to switch of any technology an hour before sleeping, as it can disturb your sleep! I like to end my days with a bit of reading.

Spend time with loved ones

This could be hosting a family dinner or ringing your best friend for a little 10 minute chat. Whatever it is, I guarantee it will make your day feel just that little bit more special. They’re called ‘loved ones’ because we love them, so why wouldn’t we take some time everyday to have a hug and a laugh with them?

Eat well and stay hydrated

Easier said than done? If, like me, you appreciate good food, it’s really important to find a balance between eating what you love and what is good for you. Eat healthily makes you feel good, both physically and mentally, but remember that it’s okay to treat yourself every now and again! Also remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try getting into the habit of bringing a drink bottle with you everywhere just to remind yourself to keep sipping (If I don’t do this, I feel like a raisin by the end of the day I’m so dehydrated!).

Help somebody else

This definitely kills two birds with one stone, as the old saying goes, as it not only brightens your day but somebody else’s as well! We all need a helping hand every now and again and it can feel really good to offer that to somebody. Next time someone looks lost, why not give them directions? If someone has too much to carry, offer to lighten their load. Seeing their appreciation makes it totally worth while.

Be optimistic and express gratitude

Attitude is so important in everything you do. I think it’s key to approach life with a positive mindset. Whenever I catch myself complaining, putting someone (or myself!) down or just generally being negative, I make sure to stop myself and turn whatever I was saying or thinking around. I also like to keep a ‘gratitude journal’ where I jot down three things that I’m grateful for everyday. Make sure you express your love and gratitude to the people around you too, it will make you both feel good!

Do something that you enjoy

I know that we are all very busy and it can sometimes feel like our ‘to do’ lists just keep growing, but it’s really nice to take a little bit of time out of everyday to do something just for you. Whether it’s getting stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to start for three months, catching up on your favourite t.v show or just going for a nice walk in the park, we all deserve to have a fun break in our days!

Stretch/ exercise

Exercising doesn’t always sound like the most fun and I know that, for me, it can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation. But it’s important to remember that ‘exercise’ doesn’t have to mean running a marathon or competing in the Olympics. Just taking the dog for a walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator is enough. Whatever it is, I always try to do something active everyday. I find that it helps me to concentrate and think more clearly and, with a bit of music and some friends, it can even be enjoyable!

Get outside and unplug

I think this is so important. In today’s digital age of technology, you can feel trapped. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing people out together who are on their phones instead of actually talking. We all need to remember to step back from technology every so often and just look around us. The world is a beautiful place full of incredible things waiting for us to explore them, so I try not to spend all of my time indoors.

Smile and laugh

Laughing is the best feeling in the whole world. Finding something in everyday to have a good chuckle about and it will definitely help to bring some joy into your day. I take every opportunity that I am given to smile and I’m definitely that person who smiles at strangers. Smiling and being smiled at makes everybody happy and I think it’s really nice to spread the sunshine. It’s not hard, after all.

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Favourite Books Ever!

I’ve always loved reading and I try to squeeze a bit in everyday. It really helps to broaden your vocabulary and improve both your comprehension and communication skills. But aside from that I just find reading really interesting. It’s a great pass-time and can take you places you’ve never even imagined! I know that some people do find books a bit “boring” so I’ve put together a list of some of my favourites that will hopefully interest you, too! I really hope you guys enjoy it.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

image3Morgenstern’s debut novel ‘The Night Circus’ is a captivating and enchanting work of the imagination. It is a unique blend of striking beauty in a dark world and walks a fine line between dream and nightmare. The writing is simply spell-binding in its ability to weave you into a world of magic and mystic and leave you feeling that unmistakable wonder of childhood (and a passionate desire to visit the circus!). ‘The Night Circus’ follows the love story of a young couple tangled up in the ‘Le Cirque des Reves’ and the sensual writing will have you lost in the unexpectedly delicious colours, smells and tastes of the circus. This story is playful and will put a smile on your face; definitely worth a read.

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

image1I’m just going to say it: Charles Dickens is one of the greatest novelists of all time. He has a knack for whipping up unique, outrageous characters that work to pique the curiosity of readers. ‘Great Expectations’ is no exception and is my favourite of his works. The main character, Pip, is a young orphan boy who, when left a lavish allowance from a mysterious benefactor, travels to London to begin a new life. It involves a passionate love story, serious social commentary and an exploration of development all in one. Full of artful twists and surprises, I was consistently at a loss to predict how this story would turn out. Dickens’ singular use of description works to paint a stimulating picture of this tale and succeeds in producing a wonderful novel with a clear sense of unity throughout.

 A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

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This is a powerful novel of love, loss and hope. It follows the young teenager Conor, whose single mother is dying of cancer. Conor is haunted by nightly visitations from a monster and is forced to face painful truths in order to come to terms with loss. The story is completely heart-breaking but has a brave, honest conclusion that is ultimately emotionally rewarding and gives hope for the future. ‘A Monster Calls’ is beautifully crafted, filled with raw emotion, bitter humour and deep compassion. Though painful at times (the first book to ever make me cry!), this moving tale is definitely worth it.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

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‘Jane Eyre’ is a complex novel, combining features of romance, gothic and coming-of-age. The main character is a strong, independent female who, despite suffering great loss and cruelty, fights to overcome her appointed place in society; a truly an admirable role-model who I rooted for her from the very beginning. The heart and soul of ‘Jane Eyre’ is the fierce love between her and the passionate, brooding Edward Rochester. Though I am still not convinced that I actually like Mr Rochester, he is an extraordinarily fascinating character. Charlotte Bronte’s eloquent yet understated writing style works to make ‘Jane Eyre’ a captivating and engaging story. If you do find the start a bit slow, try to persevere because it really is worth while!

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

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Cliche, I know, but this romantic comedy is, and forever will be, my favourite book. And the best bit? I was actually named after Mr Darcy! This Jane Austen classic tells the story of a young woman better than her circumstances, and the comical misunderstandings that ensue between herself and the eligible bachelor, Mr Darcy. I was charmed by this book’s witty repartee, clever and vivacious female heroine, heart-rending love story and amusing social commentary. Despite being published over 200 years ago, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is still extremely relatable and relevant today. It is a book I always go back to and I fall in love with it again every time. I really recommend ‘Pride and Prejudice’ if you’re just getting into classics, as it was the first that I ever read and I am now completely obsessed! I would also highly recommend the 1995 BBC mini-series of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.