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Small things that will help you get through the day

by Amanda Collins

Small things are powerful. A simple smile, song, or a smell has the ability to turn an entire day around. Small things lift you up, even for an hour, and make life seem special and worth it.

That’s the power of small things.

Below you’ll find 32 small things which will make you smile, laugh and put a bit of shine in your day.


  1. Change your sheets. There is nothing quite like the feeling of clean sheets. It can be a pain to strip your bed and put new sheets on, but the feeling of sleeping in clean sheets far outweighs the effort to put them on!
  1. Smell something lovely. It’s been proven that smelling nice things, like flowers, a favourite perfume, baked cookies, or even coffee, has the power to lift our mood. So splurge on a $5 bunch of flowers for yourself, spray on some perfume and enjoy the lift it gives you.
  1. Get out in the sun. Science has proven that 10 minutes of sunshine a day has the power to activate feelgood chemicals in your body. So go and sit out in the sun and let it warm you up for ten minutes.

the sun is good for you

  1. Turn your living room into a movie theatre. Bring a little bit of the cinema experience into your home by turning your living room into a theatre. Get some movie posters for the walls, have a ‘treat stand’ and enjoy some great nights in. For inspiration, check out this woman’s living room transformation – it’s pretty impressive.
  1. Find a moment of awe. The natural world is full of wonder. Go for a walk to the top of a hill, head to the beach at sunset, or take a long look at the detail of a flower. Just spend five minutes being awed by nature.
  1. Gratitude. The key to daily gratitude is to fit it into your everyday life. It may be that at dinner with your family you each say two things you’re grateful for, or when you first walk through the door when you get home from work, you put your keys down and spend a few moments thinking of three things you are grateful for. Whatever works for you, just make it a daily ritual.
  1. Eat different. Choose a fruit or a vegetable from the supermarket that you don’t recognise and go and make a meal out of it.

dragon fruit is good

  1. Do something for someone else. Making someone a nice dinner, or writing them a hand written note telling them what they mean to you will not only brighten their day, but yours as well.
  1. Take pictures. Grab your phone, or your camera, pack a lunch and head out into the great outdoors and start snapping photos of things that take your fancy or that make you smile. Look for nice pieces of architecture, the movement of grass or a beautiful cloud formation. You will be amazed by all the things you miss or skip past in your day-to-day life. Inspiration is out there, go and seek it!
  1. Get some culture. According to studies, visiting a museum, art gallery, theatre, or joining a local club can boost happiness levels and lower anxiety and depression.
  1. Call someone every day. Chatting to those we like and love can really get us out of our heads, and back into life.  You don’t have to talk about war and peace, a simple ten minute ‘How’s things?’ can make a big impact on your day.

having a chat

  1. Learn a new skill. There are so many tutorials on YouTube, as well as online courses, that if you want to pick up a new skill, it’s as easy as turning on the computer. Think of all the amazing things you could learn: drawing, sewing, languages, cooking, fencing, how to service your car… the list goes on and on!
  1. Chocolate treat. Do you like hot chocolate? Why not try the most decadent version ever! Simply buy a block of chocolate, melt it down, add some warm milk and stir. Bliss!
  1. Do what you loved as a child. Did you love flying a kite? Games of Monopoly? Making sculptures out of clay? Spend an hour or so doing an activity that you used to love as a kid and feel your joy levels soar.
  1. Add a burst of colour. Colour has the power to affect our mood. Why not add a bright burst into your life with a coat of bright nail polish, or a colourful mug for your morning coffee, or even a big colourful bunch of cheap and cheerful flowers for your bedside table.

colour is good

  1. Ask a simple question on Facebook. “What was the funniest thing you have seen today?” Or you could try “What is the kindest thing you have seen today?” the variations are endless, but the result will be a list of everyday goodness to restore your faith in people!
  1. Hug someone. When people hug, chemicals are released in their brains which actually make them feel good. That Free Hugs movement has the right idea!
  1. Smile and laugh. Yes, it might seem like the last thing you want to do, but cracking a big wide smile like you mean it, for ten whole seconds can actually improve your mood.
  1. Buy a gift for someone else. Interestingly, studies have shown that we get more pleasure out of giving a gift than receiving one. So if you want a pick me up, head to the shops, pick a little something for somebody, wrap it and give it away. Then ride the feelgood vibe for the next few hours.

buying gifts

  1.  Get Happy. According to Spotify, Pharrell’s song Happy is the happiest song in the world. So if you’re struggling, pop on Happy and have a dance.

Get inspired to change your life!

A course from Open Colleges could be your ticket to a whole new life. Whether you want to get a job, change jobs, climb the career ladder or just explore an interest, Open Colleges has the course for you. Enrol today and start learning tomorrow. Who knows where it will lead!

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