30 Ways to Brighten Your Daily Routine

The smallest things can make the biggest difference.

We’ve written about morning rituals to start your day a little sunnier, but there are plenty of small things you can do from dawn ’til dusk to keep your routine light and lovely. Here are 30 tips to try to brighten any day of the week.


Wake Up Fresh. Resist the urge to touch your cell phone. Instead, stretch and wiggle around in bed. Smile up to the heavens and thank the universe for another beautiful day. Set an intention for your day before getting up slowly and starting your morning madness.

Music Soothes the Soul. Music is magic. Explore and discover new bands and genres—and bring back your all-time favorite old school jams. While in your car, at work, and lounging around the house, steer clear of radio junk and put on a good playlist, take a deep breath, and reconnect.

Pack Snacks. If you’re like me, snacks can be key to a happy and productive day. In the midst of my morning ritual I take time to pack a few small snacks – like dried fruit — for the day ahead. I carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated as well. I’ve discovered I end up saving lots of money and avoid that dreaded “hangry” feeling.

Start a Ritual. Sit down and design a morning or evening ritual that you perform each day. It doesn’t have to be grand or elaborate, just a short series of life celebrations.

Switch Up Your Look. Every now and then change your usual perfume or lotion, style your hair differently, or wear something in your closet that you’ve been holding off on. Spontaneity helps us stay emotionally fresh.

Play Outside. Have you lost your connection to nature? Step outside and notice the smell of the weather, stare into the clouds, and lay in the grass. Share the shade of a tree with a friend and have a picnic, star gaze with a lover, or take an evening walk. Resuscitate your connection with Mother Earth.

Give More. No matter what your routine is, always give more than you receive or expect to receive. Be kind and generous.

Declutter. Cleanse, rearrange, get rid of, and simplify. This applies to the mind, body, spirit, and your environment. Tidy up your bedroom and work space. Take deep breaths often to reset the body and brain. Streamline your thought process: Think less, do more.

Brighten Your Palette. We are what we eat—eat bright and live bright. Consume foods that are bright and natural in color. Luminous yellow bananas, bell peppers, and squash; juicy red watermelon, apples, and yummy peaches; earthy green kale, kiwi, and avocados … Are you hungry yet? Try adding luscious purple snacks like eggplant, beets, and prunes.

Make a Bucket List. Life is short. When we stop to think about it, there are important things on “our list” that we want to accomplish before we die. Compose a long list of what you desire to do most in this lifetime. If you need some inspiration check out 10 things everyone should have on their Soul’s Bucket List.

Cook Something Light. Take a little extra time to make a delicious meal for yourself. Treat yourself to light and healthy chow and feel good from the inside out.

Learn to Meditate. Devote ten minutes per day to a meditation practice. There are lots of ways to meditate. Find which practice works for you. Don’t believe in the power of meditation? Check out the top 10 reasons to meditate.

Snail Mail. Write and send a letter to someone you love. Want to keep it short and sweet? Send a postcard instead. Help bring snail mail back to life! Everyone appreciates a little reminder that you’ve been thinking of her.

Stop, Drop and Yoga. It’s as easy as that… Stop. Drop. And do yoga. It’s exhilarating, and often the perfect break from daily routines that we’ve been craving.

Laugh More. Learn to laugh at yourself. Life doesn’t have to be so serious. Tell stupid jokes and listen to comedy on your way to work. Smile at strangers, have tickle fights with kids, and remember what it’s like to giggle, snort, and drool because you’re laughing so hard.

Turn O Your Text and Email Notifications. Whoa! This one is fun, right? Let go of your need to be in control every moment of every day and just exist. Having less distractions means being able to focus more on the important things, like the people around you. Don’t miss out on real feelings while buried in electronics deciding which emoji best represents how you feel.

Snuggle Your Pet. Add in a few minutes of cuddle time everyday. Give your pet some extra love and absorb their love in return. If you don’t have a pet, love on a friend’s pet or give more people hugs!

Make Your Bed. A good friend asked me if I made my bed every morning. My response was, “No, why would I do that? Nobody sees it but me!” He told me that I should wake up every morning and make my bed, that it would make me feel better and help get my day started. I didn’t believe him until I tried it. There’s something subtle and comforting about leaving and coming home to a made-up bed. It’s a small but powerful adjustment.

Sleep with the Windows Open. Just to switch things up.

Dance. Dancing in public may make you nervous—but nerves are good. They mean you’re feeling. Get out of your comfort zone and dance! Dance in the oce, on your way to your kitchen, while out on the town, and when you go to a concert.

Play Hooky. If you’re always on time and never take sick days, play hooky once in a while. Go see a movie in the middle of the day or eat ice cream and watch your favorite Netflix series. We all need a little break now and then.

Write Things Down. Instead of spending your day typing, texting, and adding to your digital calendar, pick up one of those things we used to call “pencils” and write. Jot down your to-do list, write a love note, or take notes by hand.

Reinvent Yourself. Start peeling away layers from the inside out. Meditate deeply and discover your true passions in life. Then, go for them. Switch your path and reinvent yourself. We can always become better versions of ourselves.

Change Your Commute. Carpool with friends, take the bus, ride a bike, or walk!

Pick a Flower. Flowers are symbols of happiness. Go buy a bouquet or snip a flower in your garden. If you’re feeling extra happy, gift it to a friend and brighten her day.

Rearrange Your Digs. Move your furniture around, switch up the placement of some knick-knacks, or reposition your oce set up. Keep the feel and vibes of your surroundings fresh and spunky.

Go Local. Instead of going to the usual super market or convenience store try out a local farmer’s market. Start a habit of purchasing fresh and local produce.

Walk Barefoot. Lose the shoes and get earthy. It’s freedom time for the feet!

Bake Cookies Just for Hell of It. Look up a new recipe, turn on some loud music, and bake to your hearts content! Eat a few and then share with your kids, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Everyone loves a freshly baked cookie.

Give Hugs and High-Fives. Lots of them.

Photo by Amy Hart

Written by Zuzu Perkal for Sunsweet.