We’ve all been there: the morning starts off okay, but then one thing after another begins to go wrong, and after a certain point, it feels like there’s no way to turn the day around—you may as well cut your losses and just binge-watch TV on the couch. That’s a completely human and normal response, but the truth is, there are a lot of ways to help you hit the reset button and get back into the swing of things. So the next time you believe you’re just having a bad day and there’s nothing to be done about it, try one of these simple strategies. Ten minutes later, you’ll be ready to get back on the horse (or at least you’ll be ready to start considering riding again).
1. Try a Calming 10-Minute Yoga Routine
While all forms of yoga have their benefits, some are intended to be more relaxing, while others are more intensive. For instance, ashtanga yoga is a great way to work your core, but for days when you need to relax your mind more than tighten your abs, this 10-Minute Yoga routine is ideal.
2. Sketch Something
Making art has been shown to lower stress, improve focus, and reduce anxiety—and if you don’t think of yourself as a creative person, don’t worry. Reduce the pressure by simply drawing whatever is right in front of you: a sleeping dog, a plant in the windowsill, or a pile of mail spread out across a table. Just let your brain relax and try to see what’s really in front of you, rather than what you think you’re supposed to see.
3. Prepare A Healthy Little Snack
When you’re busy or stressed, it can be easy to feel like you just don’t have time to eat. But no matter what’s going on, a snack can help give you a little boost of energy. Here are some great, easy recipe options for when you have a few minutes to put something together, but if you have zero time on your hands, try this healthful treat instead: a handful of almonds, a couple of dates, and some dried coconut chips, mixed together in a bowl. This combination isn’t just tasty, it’s also filled with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and fiber, so you can feel good about what you’re putting into your body while you’re eating it, an hour later, and a day later.
4. FaceTime A Friend
Schedule a break you can look forward to throughout the day by texting a friend in the morning to see if they have a 10-minute window in their afternoon schedule. It doesn’t have to be a big conversation to be meaningful—even a small catch-up with someone you care about can be beneficial to you both.
5. Go For A Quick Nature Walk
10 minutes may not sound like enough time to really enjoy the outside, but even a quick walk outdoors can help reset both your body and your spirit. Whether you live in the country, have a home in the suburbs, or you’re a city-dweller, you can choose to appreciate the nature that’s right around you, whether that’s a sweeping mountain view or a squirrel running across a telephone wire.
6. Practice Another Language
Learning a new language has been repeatedly proven to be great for you: it’s amazing exercise for your brain, and every small win of learning—and then remembering—a new word or phrase can give you a little dopamine boost. Many educators believe that spending just ten minutes a day learning another language is far more effective than doing a weekly two-hour class, whether the student chooses to use an app, podcast, or book.
7. Try A Guided Meditation
Meditation can be intimidating—after all, every time your mind starts to wander, there’s a tendency to feel like you’re not “doing it right.” A soothing guided meditation, on the other hand, can really help you take time to relax while someone else does the work of keeping you focused on the present moment.