Happy routines are small, easy-to-execute activities that you can do every day to add some sunshine to your regular mundane days.  Several years ago, I discovered my happy routines and have been practicing them regularly since then.

My first happy routine is to make my bed every morning.  In my bed, I have a fluffy blanket with matching duvet cover and sham pillows in my favorite color — silky grayish blue with brown and bronze stripes. It makes me happy to see the duvet cover looks smooth and neat, the stripe patterns are all aligned, and the sham pillows look puffy and organized.  Sometimes, when I am in a rush to leave for work, I’m tempted to just leave the bed in the mess.  But I need to remind myself that making my bed will make me feel good and therefore force myself to do it.  Also, making my bed look nice is symbolic for me.  Seeing my bed look neat and pretty makes me feel like my life is organized, even though the rest of my bedroom looks like a war zone, with stuff lying around.  Psychologically, it also feels relaxing to come back home, open my bedroom door and see a pretty bed, ready for me to jump into.

My second happy routine comes from my experience in France. I went to France for the first time five years ago.  Every morning during that trip, I started the day with hot chocolate and croissants. When I came back from that vacation, I decided to continue my vacation habits and made it my happy routine. Having hot chocolate and pastries in the morning always gives me a nostalgic moment of my wonderful vacation in France.  In addition, eating breakfast is good for my health.  Although in my mind, it is more a “happy meal” than breakfast.

A happy routine can be, but doesn’t have to be an activity that is logically good or a task that you “should” do or “have to” do, like eating three meals a day, taking vitamins, exercising, or calling your parents.  It can be any activity, but it must be an activity that you just feel happy when you do it.

Small happy routines can make a big difference in your everyday life.  Each day, there are big and small issues for us to deal with like traffic jams, work problems, kids getting sick, complaining customers, forgetting an umbrella when it rains, etc. We don’t always have easy control over those big and small problems.  Having small, easy-to-execute, happy routines that don’t harm others and yourself ensure that you will have at least one happy thing in your life that you have control of…every single day.