We don't actually have broccoli for breakfast.

We don’t have broccoli for breakfast.

I’m convinced it is the little things that make life beautiful or unbearable. I can rise to the challenge of a true crises. I’m good in an emergency. But a crazy morning can get me down. Here are some things that help me on the hard days:

1. Make the bed. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I walk through a clean bedroom to get dressed . And how much sweeter it feels to climb into smooth sheets at night. Making the bed signals my brain that the day has started. And it makes me feel that life is a tiny bit less messy.

2. Wash the dishes. Or at least stack them in the dishwasher. It only takes a few minutes to deal with breakfast bowls, spoons, and glasses before I leave for work. It is much easier to face supper prep later if I don’t have to scrape Cheerios off the counter first.

3. Kiss my husband. Or hug my kids. Or pat the dog. Or call my mother. Or greet my neighbor. At the very least, I smile at the guy who picks up my garbage as I pull out of the drive. Relationships make everything better, and I try not to take them for granted.

4. Pray. Sometimes I write out long prayers. Sometimes I sing them. And sometimes I can’t even put a clear thought together. On those days, I read the Psalms and let my soul pray through someone else’s words. The point is to connect to God.

5. Empty my In-box. I try to take immediate action on everything that has come in overnight so they don’t nag me all day. I respond, delete, schedule, or file. If it happens to be a picture of my grandchildren, I open repeatedly throughout the day, however.

These little items of daily maintenance are the keys to keeping me sane. And optimistic, of course.

What works for you?