The hustle and bustle of college life does not allow for a lot of time to stop and smell the roses. With classes, clubs, work, homework, and trying to have a social life, it gets pretty stressful and overwhelming. Going day after day with busy schedules and no time to stop and take a second for ourselves can sometimes consume us.
All of the little negatives add up and before we know it, we have bad days, that turn into bad weeks, that turn into bad months. However, just one positive thing can turn an entire day around. Here are 10 simple and easy ways to add a couple of positives to your day that will ensure a feel-good day for yourself and others!
1. Hold the door for someone behind you.
This is so simple and can easily make someone’s entire day. Holding the door for someone coming in behind you seems to be an obvious act of courteousness, but it is something people don’t think to do when they’re in a hurry while running from class to class. Ultimately, you’ll add maybe 15 seconds at most to your walk, but you’ll leave a far longer impression than 15 seconds on whoever you held the door open for. This is a super quick and easy way to make someone else feel good and probably get the chance to exchange a smile. There is nothing better than a positive double whammy!
2. Give someone an honest compliment.
So many of the compliments people generally use are generic, “I like your shirt” or “You look really good today!” It is easy to compliment someone on their outward appearance, but when was the last time someone complimented you on your work ethic, your passion, or your overall character? Next time you notice someone who always works really hard or radiates kindness, tell them! People don’t hear honest compliments enough, and they can make your day as well as anyone else’s whom you give one to.
3. Clean your room.
Ugh, the dreaded suggestion. As much as people hate hearing this as a way to feel better—it really does work! Take it as “you time” by lighting a candle, throwing on your favorite tunes, and get cleanin’! It’s a great way to get up and moving, and it feels so good to plop down afterward into a freshly-made bed when you’re all done. This is almost a surefire way to bring at least a little calm to your day.
4. Go through your closet and donate some clothes.
Everyone has those select few clothing items they keep in their closet on the off-chance they might possibly one day maybe wear them—but in reality, toss it! If your closet is full to the brim and stresses you out just to look at, go through and organize everything. Once you have some stuff you realize you really don’t need anymore, donate it to a good cause instead of trying to sell or get rid of it.. There are plenty of organizations that take lightly used clothes and give them to those in need. Your own university might even have an organization that takes clothing donations. At Winona State University, we have an organization called Dream Closet that takes donated clothes and puts on a big free shopping event for students and the community. It’s a great way to lighten your closet load and feel good while doing it!
5. Write letters to friends, family, etc.
Handwritten letters are so underrated. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail is such a feel-good thing! To know that someone took the time to sit down and write out a letter shows you how much they care. Take some time to write out letters for friends, family or whomever else you want! It’ll feel good to write to loved ones, and it will make their day when they see your letter in their mailbox.
6. Buy yourself flowers.
Maybe this one is a little cheesy, but it’s the thought that counts! If not flowers, treat yourself to an ice cream cone, that book you really wanted, or a little plant. Buying yourself something small every once in a while can be a great way to give yourself that much needed pick-me-up.
7. Make every day Earth Day.
If you see trash on the ground, pick it up. This is another really easy and seemingly obvious one, but it’s something people don’t always think about. Taking care of our beautiful little world is crucial, so you should feel good about helping out ya girl Mother Nature and picking up that wrapper blowing across campus.
8. Give yourself compliments.
Just like giving others compliments, don’t forget to give yourself a few, too! Remind yourself just how awesome you actually are. Write sticky notes and put them on your mirror or in your books to give yourself a couple of pick-me-up compliments. Before or after you brush your teeth, look in the mirror and tell yourself a compliment every day. If you say it enough, you’ll believe it.
9. Take a little time to meditate.
Whether you call it meditation, clearing your mind, or just taking a second to relax, do it! Taking 30 seconds to stop what you’re doing, clear your mind, and take deep mindful breaths can change your entire day for the better. It won’t erase the stress, but it will calm your body and your brain enough to handle what you have ahead of yourself.
10. Take time to stop and smell the roses.
Literally or figuratively—slow down and give those fresh spring flowers a whiff (they might be muddy and stinky, but it’s the thought that counts), or just slow down and take in your surroundings. Unpeel your eyes from your screen while you’re walking to class and look at the birds, the flowers, the grass, the mud—it doesn’t really matter what it is. Taking the time to be mindful of your surroundings can surprise you at how much peace it can actually bring you.
When you’re starting to feel stressed out and overwhelmed, remember these 10 simple and easy ways to give yourself and those around you a feel-good day.