Rachel Paige
Updated Dec 15, 2014 @ 8:03 am

We’re deep in the season with the shortest days of the year, yet somehow the days (especially when spent trapped at your desk) can seem seems to drag on and onnnnnn. Not to mention, today is Monday and that dreaded Monday feeling can make seem keeping your zen ’til Friday feel almost Herculean.

The truth is, this is no way to think about your weeks! You deserve to feel great this week, and every week! And there are lots of things you can do to make each and every day a little bit brighter.

Here are ridiculously simple things you can do that just might make this week one of the best of the year.

Laugh hysterically

They say laughter is the best medicine, and it actually might be. What makes you laugh? Like really truly belly laugh? It might be something as simple as a kid joke that is actually hilarious, or your favorite episode of Friends. Whatever it is, get lost in it for a second and laugh so loud that everyone around you wants what you’re having.

De-clutter something

Have you been staring at the same pile of bills for two weeks? Do you know there’s a pile of stuff in your car’s trunk that you’ve been avoiding? Take a little bit of time and completely clean something — whether it be a big undertaking or just folding all of the clothes in that weird pile in your bedroom. You have no idea how refreshing it is to organize and sort something, and how cleansed it will make you feel afterwards.

Actually call your best friend, don’t tweet, text, or snapchat them

Let’s be honest, we all fall prey to the quick text to relay important information to friends, but stop yourself next time you try that. You don’t need to start an hour-long conversation over the phone, but when was the last time you received a phone call from a friend yourself? Take the time and actually dial those numbers, simply to hear the voice on the other end. It might even start a new habit for the two of you!

Read a poem you love

You might hear the word ‘poetry’ and immediately have an emotional yawn, but don’t. Somewhere in your childhood, there was a poem you read in an elementary school class that you just loved (you might have even needed to memorize it for school! Or made it your AIM away message — I’m looking at you “Nothing Gold Can Stay“). Find that one poem that’s stuck with you all these years, and go back and reread it.

Dance as wildly as you can

We all have that one song that when we hear it, we just can’t help but dance. No judgments here as to whatever that song may be, from Taylor Swift to Queen. Crank that song up and really dance like no one is watching.

Call someone in your family that you haven’t talked to in a while

Start with Grandma. Grandmas are always so thrilled to hear from you, and a quick little phone call just to catch up will make their day. Grandmas are also really great for gossip, so if you’ve got something you just have to talk about, and you don’t know who to tell, call Grandma.

Paint your nails your favorite color

You might be in an environment that requires simple nude colors for work, but the second you clock out paint your nails the craziest neon color you can find. Or, if you’re someone like me who spends 75% of your day watching your fingers type, paint them your absolute favorite shade so that you can have that little splash of color with every keystroke.

Sleep in

Is sleeping in a “good” idea? Maybe not. But go for it anyway! Completely organize your life the night before, so you can take that extra half hour in the morning to sleep in without having to hit the snooze button four or five times. You’ll feel way more refreshed, and everyone will be jealous when you say you slept in (but still be on time for work).

Buy something online simply for the thrill of waiting for the delivery

Considering snail mail seems to be the stuff of history books, there’s still online shopping to fill that post box anticipation void. Do you necessarily need anything right now? No. But there is something strangely exciting about patiently waiting for a package to show up at your door. Better yet, send a surprise gift to someone else.

Make your favorite comfort food for dinner

Comfort food is magical. Forgo all notions of vegetables and fiber for dinner, and instead dig out that waffle maker you never use and give it a workout. Maybe there’s even a recipe that you’ve been meaning to try, but know is a little challenging. Test your culinary skills and give it a go. Cooking is the best, because not only do you feel accomplished once it’s done, but you get to eat the fruits of your labor.

Connect with an old friend

Is there one person you’ve been meaning to reach out to in the past few months that you haven’t gotten around to yet? No time like the present, my friend. Wherever they are now, you’ll probably be able to find them online. So whether it’s through Facebook or LinkedIn, seek out that one person you’ve thought of the most over the years, but simply haven’t connected with. You’ll feel like a whole new person — and your old self.

Do something nice for a stranger

In true pay it forward fashion, do something nice for someone you will never meet again. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, or even buying the person behind you at Starbucks their venti latte. If you happen to pass a mother clearly struggling with kids and shopping bags this holiday season, insist on holding doors for her. Even something that little goes a long way.

Give someone an epic hug

It’s never really been scientifically documented as far as I can tell, but there are different kinds of hugs. And sometimes you just get an awesome hug from someone, so go ahead and return the favor. Hugs are simple, and show someone you care, even if it’s just your dog.

Do a little bit of nothing

When was the last time that you truly took a little time to do absolutely nothing? You might think you’re doing nothing as you lie on your bed and aimlessly scroll through website pages, but that’s still something. And you might not want to get as extreme as some low-key meditation or yoga, but how about a walk without a set destination in mind? Tune yourself out for a bit, look away from whatever screen is in front of you, and check out. You’ll feel so much better when you check back in.

[Images via here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.]