5 Things to Do to Make Your Day Better

5 little things smaller

If you’re like me, the daily grind can get a little grating. Some days the work piles up, others you’re riddled with anxiety, or sometimes you can’t seem to get out of a funk. In the past, I would succumb: I’d work halfheartedly and spend twice as long doing it, I’d let anxiety paralyze me, I’d collapse on the sofa and waste the day watching Parks and Rec on Netflix for the third time (it happens).

But over the summer, I realized that incorporating little rituals into my everyday routine can make a world of difference. Even something as small as going for a short walk can reinvigorate you. So, for the next time you find yourself feeling crazed, or uninspired, here are some of my favorite ways to re-center.

1 // Hang up some string lights.

Turning on lights is basically a guaranteed mood-boost, especially in the colder months when it starts getting dark early. But there’s something undeniably magical about string lights: they’re delicate and whimsical, and I always feel a little happier when I have mine on. Around Christmas time, my mom lines the living room windows with them, so they always make me feel warm and cozy. I love these from IKEA – they feel a little less stark than a regular white string.

2 // Treat yourself to an afternoon pastry.

I do this one so frequently that it’s practically become a part of my routine. I’m partial to cinnamon buns and scones, but whatever the pastry, taking a break in the late afternoon for a little snack is one of my favorite indulgences. I’ll grab a pastry in the morning (or make it myself on the weekends) so I have it waiting for me when I get back home. Knowing that I have a treat waiting for me usually helps me push through my work and gives me something to look forward to.

3 // Curl up with a milky cup of tea and the news.

I usually combine this with the previous idea. I’m at my most calm when I’m wrapped up in a plush throw (the one pictured, from Urban Outfitters, is my latest obsession) with creamy black tea in hand, scrolling through the New York Times on my iPad, classical music playing in the background.

4 // Read something funny.

Laughter, after all, is the best medicine. There’s nothing quite like reading a “Shouts & Murmurs” story or revisiting a favorite David Sedaris piece to snap me out of a funk. (Here’s my favorite book of his – but they’re all good.)

5 // Listen to a podcast while you go for a walk.

Now that the weather is cooling off, going for walks is one of my favorite things – especially in the evenings, when it’s cool and crisp and dusky. In the interest of multitasking, I like to listen to podcasts while I walk, so I’m learning something new and exercising at the same time – some of my favorites are The World in Words (all about languages), 99% Invisible (cool design history), and The Stockholmer (stories of people doing amazing things in – you guessed it – Stockholm). Alternatively, switch out the walking for coloring in a coloring book if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

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Work Tips



I’d be perfectly happy if I could spend all of my time reading books outside in the sun, cooking, and shopping online, but sadly, those things don’t accomplish much other than amusing me. But only recently have I come up with a routine that makes doing work – dare I say it – kind of enjoyable. I do a lot of work at home, so it’s easy to get distracted or lose motivation. So today, I thought I’d share my six tips for getting work done and staying motivated.

1// Create a Work Space: If you’re working at home, it’s definitely tempting to camp out on the sofa with your laptop (and maybe a bag of pretzels…), but it’s way better to work at a desk or table. Make a work space – I have an office, but it can be as simple as a desk or table in a quiet space. Whatever the case, make it a clean, distraction-free space that you love – my office is filled with white lacquer furniture and bright red accessories – but make it a designated work area. If you spend extra time there, it stops being a serious place to do work (and you might as well just stay on the couch). And if you make it a clean, pretty and inspiring place, you’ll actually want to go there – it’s like tricking yourself into doing work.

2// Hydrate: It’s easy to get bored when you’re doing work. Sometimes I eat when I’m bored, convinced that if I’m munching on a pretzel (pretzels are totally my weakness) I’ll be able to focus on doing work. But instead of consuming all those extra calories, I’ll keep a glass of ice cold water on my desk (you can substitute tea, coffee, or whatever else you like). It gives my mouth something to do, keeps me feeling refreshed, and helps me achieve my goal of staying hydrated.

3// Keep a Notepad Handy: A lot of times when I’m working, lots of miscellaneous things pop into my head and have the potential to distract me. That’s what I should write a blog post about! I need to find a new quinoa recipe. I should see if that one skirt from Zara is still available. Instead of acting on the thought, I keep a small notepad nearby to jot things down – it ensures that I’ll remember them for later, but helps me keep my mind focused on the task at hand.

4// White Noise: Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t work effectively in total silence. No matter what I’m doing, I always have to have some kind of background noise. I remembered reading about Coffitivity awhile ago, and started using it this week. I love it. It totally feels like you’re in Starbucks, and it’s just enough noise to keep that catchy song from running through your head and driving you crazy.

5// Keep Your Space Well-Lit: This one really goes without saying. It’s hard to stay positive in a dark area, and letting lots of light in – be it natural or artificial – keeps you motivated, happy and awake.

6// Know When to Take A Break: If you feel yourself getting burned out, take a break – step outside, do some lunges, pet your dog, grab a snack – do something to rejuvenate yourself. But don’t make it too long, or else you’ll lose all motivation and it’ll be really hard to get back to work.

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