You wake up in the morning, one eye is almost swollen shut from allergies, you stub your toe on the way to the bathroom, and then you start your period (sorry guys).  Most of us women have had days like this.  The question is, how do you turn that awful start to a day into a great day?

There have been many times when I let a morning like this ruin the rest of my day.  Why?  Because I DECIDED that my day was ruined.  Poor me.

The easiest way to make a bad start to a day turn good is by recognizing what’s happening.  Take a look at your situation calmly and take a few deep breaths.  Then, INSTEAD of thinking about “the bad thing” that just happened, think about something that makes you really happy.  It may be your daughter, your dog or maybe even your spouse!  Before your anger can spiral out of control, you’ve already started to change your mood without even realizing it.  Take it a step further and make yourself smile—it’s nearly impossible to stay mad while you’re smiling.

So what are the 3 things you can do to feel great TODAY?  Now before you continue to read this, make a promise to yourself that you will do these 3 things either today or tomorrow.  It’s really simple and I promise you’ll feel great.

  1. Acknowledge an older person. This could be as simple as walking with an elderly man across the street while have a brief conversation or telling a woman how much you adore her scarf.  Living in Center City Philadelphia, I run into all kinds of people every day.  I’ve sadly learned that not everyone wants to talk—which took me a while to get used to.  But when I say hi AND smile to an older person (smiling is essential), it really seems to make his or her day.  You can make someone’s day too–perhaps a member of your family.  The beautiful woman in this photo is my GRANNNNNDMA (as I used to call her).  She always laughed when I said that–we all loved her and sure do miss her.

2. Go for a brisk walk during your lunch break. There’s nothing that breaks up the day better than a nice walk.  If it’s a lovely day, then it’s an added bonus.  If it’s cold or hot or rainy or just plain ugly, see if you can still find the beauty surrounding you.  And think about how lucky you are when the days are nice.

3. Cook a fabulous, healthy meal with your favorite person. So often, we make plans to go out to dinner.  Tonight, do your entertaining at home.  Cooking is as much fun as eating when as you’re doing it with someone you love.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate—simply go shopping in your fridge and pantry and throw together a great meal.  Don’t follow a recipe—just make it up as you go.  Being married to an Italian man, I’ve learned the secret to this:  as long as you have a constant supply of olive oil and garlic, you can make anything taste great!

Oh, and don’t forget the wine!  This Kaiken Malbec is one of my favorites and it’s not very pricey.  If you’re a cab lover, it’s nice too.  So buy 4 or 5 bottles and keep them in a special place for the next time you decide to have a special date night at home.