Suggestions for Having A Good Day

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan
11 min readMay 11, 2020

Simple Ways to Have a Better Day

I’m a teacher. It was the last weekend of summer, and I was headed back to school. I love my job, and I don’t usually mind the end of the summer. Usually by then I’m ready for structure, routine, and social interaction. Last summer, though, I lost about a month to an emergency appendectomy, so I wasn’t quite ready to go back and I was feeling a bit gloomy. To improve my mood, I spent some time thinking about what my best days shared, and a created this Good Day Manifesto so that any time I felt down, I could turn to it and take action, because who doesn’t want to have more good days?

As the pandemic stretches on and we face more time in lockdown and an uncertain future, I thought other folks might also benefit from my manifesto, so I humbly share it with you. I wish not just a good day, my friends, but a great one!

1. Get up early (or at least not too late).

Let’s face it: If you sleep until late morning or early afternoon, you’ve already missed a whole lot the day, meaning you less time to have a good. The best days are the ones that feel expansive, and waking early literally expands the amount of time before you.

Tomorrow Magazine makes a strong case for waking up early:

  • First, many famously productive people credit waking up early as a secret to their success.
  • Second, some studies suggest waking early improves mental health and even boost creativity and improving your decision-making abilities all day long.
  • Third, regularly waking early will help you avoid sleep deprivation by normalizing your body clock so you develop better sleep routines.

Exactly what constitutes early? It varies from person to person. The Michelle Obamas of the world think 4:30 is a good time to rise. I think 4:30 is the middle of the night. For me, waking between 6:30 and 7 on non-work days feels optimal. In fact, if I sleep later than 7:30, I wake up feeling like I’ve already lost precious time from my day, and so I find myself feeling stressed as soon as I get…

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan

novelist, teacher, sourdough enthusiast, dog-lover, folkie and a whole bunch of other things, too.