Bad days happen. Not even the most positive attitude in the world can stop them and sometimes, you just have to accept the total shitstorm in which you find yourself. Accept it, but don't let it define you. The best way to deal with a turd-tacular day is the same way you'd deal with any day that forecasts inclement weather: prepare for it, and protect yourself.
Here are some tips to get you geared up and ready to take on your day. More than take it on: these strategies can help you make the most of it.
1. Ditch the Optional Commitments
Dealing with a bad day is demanding enough on it's own: you don't need to load on more crap. Once you see your day going sidewise, eliminate any optional tasks: cleaning out the eaves, laundering your delicates, going to your neighbor's cousin's daughter's ballet recital. If you don't have to do it -- and if you're feeling like you really don't want to do it -- then don't. You need all your energy to take care of you, and do the things you absolutely must do.
2. Step Outside
Whether we're at home or work, a hit of negativity can really pollute our space. Step outside to get some fresh air. Go for a walk. The exercise will never go amiss, and as little as 15 minutes in the sun cast give your body and brain a healthy hit of mood boosting and body edifying vitamin D.
What's more, the change of scenery will help to remind you not to get too caught up in your own, insular thinking. It can help you see the bigger picture, and situate your own problem in it. Sometimes our problems are big -- life or death big -- and even perspective won't alleviate these problems. But, often, our problems have become blown out of proportion in our minds, and a little perspective can go a long way to make us feel better.
Of course this would be on our list. One of the best ways to burn through all that soul-destroying negativity is to sweat it out. Exercise has long been lauded for its mood-boosting abilities, so in addition to all the physical perks of a good ol' sweat sesh, you'll also feel less stressed when you're done.
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4. Don't Booze!
The exercise high is one thing: there's no consequence. No painful, head-splitting repercussions. When you try to drink your pain away, you have to pay for it. Alcohol mimics serotonin in your body, which is a happy hormone. When you drink, your body stalls its production of serotonin. After all, it doesn’t need to produce it. It’s getting it from another source (i.e. the booze). So, while you may feel a little lighter after a drink or five, when you stop drinking, your body is in a happy hormone deficit. As a result, you will feel depressed and anxious. And, since alcohol also disrupts optimal sleep patterns, it also makes you even more tired and sluggish. Cue the hangover.
It takes a while -- anywhere from a few hours to even a few days, depending on factors like your age, sex, and how much you drank -- for your body to restore the hormonal balance the booze has disrupted. The bottom line: after tippling your pain away, you’ll likely feel worse than when you started to imbibe. Drinking alcohol when you're feeling bad is a short-term solution that can create longer-term problems.
Instead of booze, opt for a mood boosting, body cleansing, energy enhancing bottle of kombucha. It’ll pick you up, without letting you down.
5. Recognize the Rage
You’re angry. You’re upset. You’re sad and frustrated and panicked and stressed. It sucks, we know, but ignoring it or trying to mask it will not make it go away. You have to acknowledge pain to be able to move past it. This does not mean you have to dwell and wallow: simply that you acceptance is part of the healing process, and you can’t change what you don’t recognize. So, have your moment where you embrace the rage, and then work on making the situation better. You can use any of the strategies we’ve already discussed.
Making the most of a terrible day isn’t about glossing over the crap. It’s about surviving it without letting it spur you into decisions that will make the situation worse. Remember this: pressure can either burst pipes or make diamonds. You can use these tips to help you shine, despite the shit.
Excellent information – especially the tip about how alcohol stalls the body’s natural serotonin production! Thank you for this article! Very motivating – right when I needed it <3
Keeping it real as always