Do you ever feel like when things are going wrong, even more things are likely to go wrong? It’s like once you’ve headed down that bad day slope, it’s so hard to bounce back.
I’ve been really trying to focus lately on not letting a bad day get the best of me, and wanted to share a few things I’ve found that can help turn anyone’s mood around.
1. SERVE. Look for someone to serve. It seems counter intuitive to look outside yourself when you most need a pick-me-up. But 99% of the time, I feel better when I find ways to help someone who might be struggling. This does not have to be a big thing at all. Text someone who has been on your mind. Write a thank you note. Bake a batch of cookies for someone. Sometimes, taking the focus off of me and my bad attitude, can transform the day.
2. GO OUTSIDE. Go for a walk. A jog. A jaunt. Sit on your porch. Color with sidewalk chalk. Shoot some hoops. Pick some weeds. Look up at the sky. It’s amazing what a breath of fresh air can do for your mood.
3. TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR ENVIRONMENT. One of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever received was to take a look at your child’s environment when they are acting up. Are they hungry? Too hot? Tired? Are their shoes pinching their feet? So often, we get frustrated when our kids act out, before we even stop to take into account if there’s something contributing to the behavioral issue. The same can be true for you. If you’re feeling “off,” then you are probably acting “off.”
It sounds a bit obvious, but the same thing goes for yourself. Lots of times I’m so busy meeting the needs of my little guys that I forget to make sure I get a snack, a small break, or even just a drink of water. For me, one of my triggers is when my house just gets too noisy. It’s such a simple thing to turn down the volume on the Disney music my kids are jamming out to. But allowing myself enough quiet to think straight helps me be a much more patient mommy. Sometimes, the opportunity to change my environment just isn’t there. Part of being a mom includes, at times, being stretched to your limits of physical and environmental comfort. But as much as possible, it’s good to make sure you are comfortable too.
4. LAUGH. Find something funny. Watch an episode of The Office. Talk to someone who always makes you laugh. Try to look for the humor in a frustrating situation. For example, when I found my kids fishing for their toothbrushes with their toy fishing rod in the toilet, it was disgusting at the time, and I was annoyed at first. But when you think about it, it’s a little funny. Having a sense of humor can definitely turn your day around.
5. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Ride it out. Sometimes, there’s just not a good solution to a bad day. Some days are like that, even in Australia (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day Anyone?). On those days, you just do your best and go to bed with the intention of trying again tomorrow.
I am a big advocate of giving yourself permission to feel what you feel. If you are feeling sad, discouraged, frustrated, angry, hopeless — allow yourself to own those emotions. Acknowledge that what you are experiencing is difficult and take a moment to identify why you feel that way. Don’t berate yourself for having negative emotions. Everyone experiences them; they are what make us human. That doesn’t mean you need to dwell there forever. In fact, It is important to work through things and move forward. But allowing yourself permission to cry when you are sad or rest when you’re upset is important and healthy. It’s hard to bounce back if you refuse to validate your natural response to difficult situations.
Most of all, hang in there. You’re doing better than you think you are. And things have a way of working themselves out.
How do you shift YOUR mood on BAD days?!