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Do this at night to improve your day

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Mama said there would be days like this, but she didn't say they'd come this often! Do you ever feel like that?

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Instead of brooding about a bad day, which can lead to fights with friends and family members, there are things you can do instead. After all, remaining in a bad/depressed state of mind tends to make other things go wrong, too.

Dr. Jennifer Taitz, a clinical psychologist and author of End Emotional Eating, says we should write down three things we were proud of during our day, no matter how bad we thought the day went. Focusing on the things you do right will provide you more motivation for the next day.

When trying to select nightly rituals, first complete a list of your values. If spending time with your family is a top priority, let your kids select a book each night for you to read to them. You might also consider spending a few minutes before you go to bed complimenting your spouse on something he/she did that day you noticed and appreciated.

Do you set an alarm to get up every morning? According to Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, you should also set an alarm to remind yourself it is time to wind down. She stresses that a good night's rest is crucial in order to have a good morning, which will then set the tone for the remainder of your day. Instead of staying up late to watch a favorite program, DVR it and watch it at another time.

Taitz also recommends we not bring up touchy subjects five minutes before anyone's bedtime (children or spouse's) as nothing ever gets resolved in five minutes. Let it go until the next day when everyone has had their rest. You may find it is not even that important any more.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, says that putting things back in their rightful place has a calming effect. As a result, she recommends we spend ten minutes doing an evening tidy up just prior to bedtime. A quick straightening each night can make a substantial dent in the cleaning you'd normally have to do the next day or the weekend.

Dr. Alicia Clark, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, says it is essential for us to have a routine for winding down. One suggestion is for us to cut off all electronics 60 minutes prior to going to bed because the brightness of electronic screens simulates the blue light of dawn and turns off your serotonin, the neurotransmitter that induces sleep.

Clark also notes anything we can do in the evening to prepare for a hassle-free morning is time well spent. Little things like pre-selecting your outfit, setting the coffee maker, having your car and work keys where they belong, and placing any other items you need to take with you by the door can save you time and stress in the morning. Keep a notepad and pen by your night stand so you can jot down things you remember during the night without having to get out of bed to do so.

These ideas should help you have a great night as you prepare to have a wonderful day.

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