I'm normally an unavoidably happy person, to the point where I think my optimism can even irritate those around me. I love to enjoy everything that's given to me in a day, from my morning porridge, to a chilly walk to work, right up to that last sip of Sleep Easy tea.
Inevitably, it's not always like this, we all have bad days, and my bad days can sometimes be so dark and grey that I find it hard to speak when not necessary. Yesterday was one of these days.
Following a wonderful but emotional weekend, and a front-page tragedy that was much too close to home, I woke up on Monday morning with a heavy ache in my chest. I couldn't fight it, I couldn't smile through it; I wanted to hide away in bed all day but instead gritted my teeth and pushed through: pretty much always the only option. Days like this used to be quite common and would often last for a few days at a time, but these days it comes as a shock when I find that I don't actually want to get out of bed - a shock to me and to everyone around me, it would seem!
Towards the end of the day, when I had sat silently and worked in a haze of grey for a good few hours, my colleague made the first chip at the ice wall with just a few kind words. Such kindness helped to melt some of the grey away, and so I made the decision to bring positivity into the rest of the day in every way I could.
I breathed deeply when walking home and enjoyed the fresh air. I watched the leaves fall around me, making autumnal collages on the surface of the canal.
I pushed myself to go out running in the wind, and laughed as my legs were blustered around from underneath me, threatening to topple me over. I felt the cold gusts through my running top, and took my lungs and legs to their limit to exorcise the negativity right from my system.
I had a hot shower and took the time to exfoiliate and moisturise my dry skin, washing away the sadness and caring for myself the way I wish I did more often.
I drank a fennel tea and made a big bowl of salad, preparing myself for a week of tasty, healthy lunches and freeing up my time in the evenings. I adapted this recipe, because 'back-on-track' is always where I want to be.
I cooked for Daniel, who is busy studying every evening for an exam next week. I took care to make it special, enjoying just sitting, enjoying our food and chatting, and I even did the washing up afterwards!
I cosied up in spotty pyjamas, burned some jasmine oil, and enjoyed University Challenge and a homemade blueberry muffin (and I got 13 in UC - my highest ever score!!).
The thing is that it's not always possible to keep a positive mindset; it would be unfair to even try and live up to social expectations in that way. But I find it so important to maintain positive and mindful actions in everything I do, even when it isn't my first choice. There are days when I want to hide under the duvet in a silent storm, but bringing small doses of positivity into the day, making them a natural part of routine, makes it possible to pull through those days instead of turning them into a downwards spiral.