Yesterday morning was pretty terrible. The Bit didn’t want any part of anything we were trying to get her to do, from washing her hands to eating breakfast. There were five screaming fits before 7:30 a.m., and I was more than done by the time it was time to go to school.
All of that frustration left me feeling pretty awful, and it took me until the afternoon to really snap out of it and get anything done. So as much for me as for you, I present a list of things we all can do to try to change a day that’s had a bad start.
- Work out. I know most people can’t drop everything and exercise for an hour like I did yesterday morning, but even just getting away from your desk and taking a walk around the building can help. When I worked outside the home, the vending machine and good coffee were in different buildings, so there was always an excuse to get away when things got awful. Which brings me to
- Have a snack, or a drink. I probably negated that whole hour on the stationary bike by snacking through the day, and I know that stress eating is not a good solution, but if you can convince yourself to eat a healthy snack — nuts, say, or a piece of fruit — that little boost of calories and nutrition can help jumpstart your brain. Or try a cup of tea or coffee (probably not alcohol while we’re working!).
- Make something. Sometimes crafting a little something is just the thing to get out of a funk. It didn’t work for me this time, but I will often turn to knitting or even just doodling on a piece of paper when I need a mental break.
- Write it out. Since making something wasn’t happening, I turned to a piece of paper and just started writing. It felt very morning pages, which I haven’t actually done in years, but have been thinking about getting back to. It was kind of nice to write down those ugly thoughts of running away to be a hermit anywhere with a beach. I got to get it out without having to say it out loud, which is nice for me. If you’re a talker and have a trusted friend you can share your escape fantasies with, feel free to do this out loud.
- Take a nap. I did not resort to this one, and again I know most people can’t most of the time, but a physical rest is always good for the disposition. Even just closing your eyes for a couple of minutes and “meditating” or thinking about a calm place can help.
- Read something funny. Or inspirational. Or even sad if you feel like you need to cry to move past whatever is bothering you. If all else fails, go check in on the Bloggess.
- Reframe your problems. When things are really bad, a game of “it could be worse” might be helpful if it will allow you to shift your perspective and not just feel worse about how ungrateful you are. There was a moment yesterday when I reminded myself I’m really lucky to get to be a mom when there are so many who want to but can’t, or who have had their children taken away through violence or accidents or whatever. It doesn’t take away the sting completely, but at least it reminds you there’s something good when the bad stuff is gone.
- Do something. Make progress on some little to do or goal for the day. Send an e-mail you’ve been putting off or do a little task that will make you feel more in control of things.
- Clean something. I cleared off a table in my office while listening to an awesome podcast by Vickie Howell and Sister Diane about creative burnout and online jealousy. It was two good things in one!
- Watch a funny video. If, for example, this video of Brad Paisley singing “The Ballad of Honey Boo Boo” doesn’t make you feel better about your life, you may need more help than I can provide. (Thanks to my buddy Rhonda for sharing that one!)
What do you do to turn a bad day around? I’d love to hear your tips!
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