Image : Little Girl Blue on Flickr
I don’t know your good day to bad day ratio. I’m not sure if things easily set you off kilter, or if aint no body gonna slow you down (oh no, I’ve got to keep on movin’ – 80’s friends sing on). I can only guess what your last week looked like and how you might be starting off this week.
But, what I am certain of is that we all have days where we would like to crawl back under the covers, seasons where things are trying, and moments where are moods are messing with us.
I’m really trying to pay attention to myself, lately. And, by that I mean I’m looking for patterns and trying to put my finger on what things trigger or change my mood (for both the good and the bad).
For instance, I’m learning that I get frustrated, which in turn makes me grumpy, when I’ve put together a plan and I can’t work it out as planned. When I stop to think about it, this should be no new revelation. I was like this as a teenager. Now, my everyday plans (to get this done or accomplish that, etc) get interrupted on the hour because….children! And, life doesn’t solely revolve around me, as I thought it did when I was a teenager (oy!). Sadly, adaptability is not a strength of mine (have you done a Strengths Finder Test?). Likely, not getting bent out of shape when my planning does, will be a life long work of mine. When we identify patterns and personality traits about ourselves we then have the information we need to find practical ways to better our days and ourselves, in general.
Whatever it is that sets your mood or day in the wrong direction, here are four practical ways to recoup a bad day :
1) Find something to be grateful for and say thank you.
For me I like to say thank you in prayer, because when I say it out loud, it literally stops my mind from focusing on all the things are not going right. Another way is to write a thing or two down, that you are grateful for, on a board or in a journal. To keep it before your eyes all day. This is something, I’d like to start to do.
2) Complete “A” Tasks
A lot of times, bad days begin to formulate when we feel overwhelmed. We can tend to obsess about everything instead of focusing on one thing. When this happens, make it your goal to accomplish one thing on your list. Knowing that you have “one” thing to do can sometimes be the best way to knock that one thing off your to-do list that you have been putting off forever. Many times, you’ll find momentum, or a burst of energy, to do more.
Any kind of movement is good. Move your body, move thoughts out of your mind. I have found yoga to work especially well as many times other forms of movement are just another thing to check off my to do list. Yoga forces me to slow down and to breathe. I’m astonished at, both, how often I tend to hold my breath, and how much breathing slowly and intentionally calms me down helps me to think clearer.
I’m not talking about eating your feelings. I can report, from experience, that french fries are only a 5 minute fix. I’m talking about mood boosting foods. Make sure you eat foods rich in Omega 3’s (Salmon, walnuts, spinach, flax seed, chia seeds). Countries that have a regular diet of fish tend to have less depression. And, don’t forget chocolate….it actually releases endorphins. Just go for dark chocolate, which has less sugar and other healthy properties.
3) Do something for someone else.
Any kind gesture will do. Give a compliment. Help someone in need. Smile at a stranger. Buy someone coffee. Send a text to a friend telling them what they mean to you. Doing something for someone else gets your mind off yourself. Giving always gives me a great feeling.
4) Go to Bed Laughing
I don’t laugh enough. Some people, naturally, laugh more than others. I’ve learned I’m kind of a serious person and certainly an over thinker. Sometimes, I have to be intentional about laughing, as lame as that sounds. Laughter is medicine. And, we all need a daily dose of it. One good way to take it is to watch something funny. While I love to read before bed, I just as much love to watch something lighthearted or funny (Thank God for Jimmy Fallon). It’s good to laugh the days tension away and to go to bed thinking happy thoughts….it’s sets the course for the next day.
I hope you’ll be able to use some of these practical practices when cloudy skies threaten to pass by.
What are you favorite ways to recoup a bad day?