Whether you’ve been a fitness freak for 20 years or have a long-term monogamous relationship with your couch, some times, you just don’t feel up to your best.

Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe it’s that time of the month. Or, maybe your boss has it out for you today. No matter how hard you try, or don’t, not every day is perfect.

But, luckily, you have the power to seize the day. Any day.

Here are my tried-and-true, fail-safe ways to instantly feel better, no matter what’s going on.

  1. Drink more water. Whenever I’m dragging, unable to focus or just not up to my best, a huge glass of ice water feels magical. More often than not, we have those feelings when we’re dehydrated. Chugging water will nourish your body, helping it to function better, recharge your brain cells, improve your mood and reduce headaches and migraines. It baffles me that some people literally drink no water during the day. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces. (For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water.) Once you’ve worked up to that amount, try to drink a gallon of water every day. Your body will thank you for it.
  2. Go for a walk. Taking a walk is one of my favorite ways to spend my lunch break. It gives me time to myself to think and reflect, or just listen to music. While my brain is, more or less, resting during a walk, my skin and body are supercharging thanks to the natural vitamin D in sunlight. Experts suggest spending at least 15 minutes in the sun every day, without sunglasses for adequate vitamin D exposure and absorption. Not to mention, a quick 30-minute walk will put you a couple of thousand steps closer to your daily goal!
  3. Read in bed. Ending your evening with a good book instead of a tv show or a game on your phone will calm your mind and let your body know it’s time for bed. This will not only ensure you get a better night’s sleep, and, therefore, help you feel better during the day ahead, but can also help you destress and decompress after a long, hard day. The improvements in your vocabulary and concentration are just a bonus.
  4. Make a list. There’s a reason therapists, motivational speakers and wellness coaches constantly encourage people to use positive affirmations — they work. When you’re feeling low, saying these kinds of statements to yourself can boost your mood and your confidence to help you feel better. Make a list of all your positive attributes and what you like most about yourself as reminders of how awesome you are. Start with thinks like, “I’m kind to others,” “I’m strong,” and “I’m a hard-worker” and go from there. When I make these lists, I tend to make them specific to how I’m feeling at the moment. If my pants are fitting quite right, I focus on body-positive statements.
  5. Play with your pooch. Studies have shown that dog owners are as emotionally close to their dogs as they are to their closest family members. Spending time with your cat or dog can lower your stress levels, give you comfort, get you moving, boost your confidence and combat loneliness. As if you needed an excuse for kitten cuddles or puppy kisses.

What about you? What’s your go-to method of improving your mind, your mood or your day?

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