I’ve been thinking about little things that can make a big difference to my mood recently.
I’m not entirely sure why. I read about a survey a few days ago, which sought to identify the 10 happiest moments during an average working day. It included things like getting a compliment from the boss or a client. It started me thinking about moments that make me happy. The ordinary moments that are extraordinary in their ability to make me smile and feel better about myself and life in general.
I wasn’t sure if I had 10 everyday moments that make me truly happy. After all, a lot of of the time it can just be about getting through the day. ‘Surviving’ the trials and tribulations of life as best you can. Blimey, I probably sound like I’m on a right downer at the moment!
Thirteen moments that make me happy
It turns out that I needn’t have worried. I counted all the the everyday things I could think of that help lift my mood and came up with around 13 of them. Thirteen ordinary moments that make me happy and lift my mood. Sometimes it’s all about the simple things, right?
1. Not being woken up by hungry cats pawing at my face at 5am
One thing that always makes a big difference to my mood is how much sleep I’ve managed to get. I’m not even talking about those moments when I get a lie-in (which are rare). Just being woken up by my alarm instead of my cats wanting their breakfast at the crack of dawn can make a big difference to my mood. Granted, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s bliss.
If you’re in need of some quality snooze time, check out these tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.
2. Drinking a glass of water or juice in the mornings
This might sound a bit silly, but drinking a glass of something cold first thing always makes my body feel more refreshed. I can literally feel it travelling through my body, waking it up and reinvigorating it.
3. Getting a seat on the tube during my work commute.
This is a biggie. The London Underground tube is always so busy that getting a seat feels like a real victory. Not that I let it show. You must never smile on the tube. Or make eye contact. And whatever you do, do NOT try to talk to someone else. These are unspoken rules.
4. My first cup of tea of the day
A cold drink in the mornings always refreshes me, but I still can’t make complete sense of he world without that first cup of tea. This might be more psychological than anything else, but it does help to settle me down and put me in the right frame of mind for the day. I also tend to have it at work or when everyone else is asleep. This means I get to drink it hot, in one go and in peace. Every parent’s dream.
5. Getting outdoors during my lunch hour
We keep being told how exercise is good for both our mental and physical wellbeing. That’s not really what I’m talking about here though.
During the week when I’m working, it’s so easy to feel chained to your desk. Before you know it you’re eating a sandwich in one hand while typing an email with the other. Your lunch break vanishes before your eyes and you end up not having an actual break at all. This can easily leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
It’s why I always try to get outdoors during my working day, even it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes. It can be difficult to do – I’ve definitely felt too snowed under with work before now – but it always lifts my mood. I also feel more productive and able to cope when I get back to my desk.
6. Going to the toilet on my own
I wasn’t sure whether to put this one on the list, to be honest. I know this is something that would make lots of parents happy, but for me it’s a strange one. As a parent you spend so many years wishing your children would let you have a wee in peace and then, as they get older and start leaving you to it, you kind of miss the attention. That’s the stage I’m at right now. Don’t judge me for it.
7. Being greeted by cuddles as soon as I get home after a day at work
It’s nice to go to work, have some adult conversation and think about stuff not connected to my children, husband or house. But by god, I’m always so happy to get home to my family in the evenings.
Olivia and William will run to the front door when they hear my key in the lock and greet me with smiles and cuddles. There’s nothing better after a long day. And it’s one of the many reasons why young children are awesome.
8. My children actually getting along
Okay, who else can relate to this one? Olivia and William often bicker like cat and dog. Being a constant referee can be draining, especially when one child will often end up hurting the other’s feelings to such a degree that they make them cry. I know this is typical sibling behaviour, but that doesn’t make it any easier to manage.
They’re not like that all the time though. When they get along they can be as thick as thieves and it’s amazing to watch them when they’re in that sort of mood.
9. When my husband has dinner on the table when I get home from work
This is one of the reasons why I married my husband, James. He works in TV news and as such often has to work a constantly changing shift pattern. It means that he’s sometimes at home during the week. When he is, James always does his best to have our dinner on the table for when I get home from work. I love this – a small gesture that actually means so much.
10. Bra off. Pyjamas on.
I love getting comfy in the evenings, especially after a busy day at work. Getting into your PJs right after your evening meal might seem a little lazy to some, but for me, it mentally signals that the ‘hard’ part of the day is over. I can finally kick back and relax with the people I feel most comfortable with.
And sometimes, you just can’t beat a full-on PJ day at home. Of course, if we ever get unexpected guests it means frantically pulling on any ‘proper’ clothes I can find so people don’t think I’m massively unkempt!
11. Getting the kids to go to – and stay in – bed
As much as I adore my children and would lay down my life for them, one thing that gives me great pleasure is getting them to bed on time. Not only that, but getting them to actually stay in bed once I’ve put them there. As Olivia and William are getting older this is starting to get harder – damn them having opinions and thinking they know what’s best for themselves! – but I’m not letting this one go without a fight. I need some downtime, goddammit.
12. My ‘leaving work on a Friday’ Twitter gifs
If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I post a weekly gif thread all about that feeling when you leave work on a Friday. It’s childish and silly, but it always makes me giggle.
13. Quality time with my children
As a working mum, I want to make the most of my time at home with my children (doesn’t any parent regardless of whether or not they work?)
I love it when I manage to forget the weekend chores and make the most of family fun, (it’s not always possible very single weekend) and get out and about in the fresh air. Olivia and William are growing every day, learning new things and developing their own identities. It’s why you won’t find me wishing the days away, even during the hardest of times. I want to be right there with them, sharing as many moments as I can and laughing a lot. That makes me truly happy.
What everyday moments make you the happiest?