We all have days where we wish we could go back to bed and hunker down and pretend our problems don’t exist. Bad days, hard days, crazy days, and even horrible days seem to find us no matter how awesome our plans are. What are we supposed to do on those days? Here is a few tips and tricks to managing and reducing the number of bad days you are having.
1. Identify the Stressor
I don’t know about you but when I bounce (or crawl…mostly crawl) out of bed in the morning, I really am planning on having a good day. We all want to have a good day. If not we wouldn’t get out of bed in the first place. But then something happens. It could be that your breakfast spills down your shirt, you get in a fender bender on the way to work, or you forgot about an assignment due right now. Those are just a few of the wrenches that can be thrown at you without notice. What is important when you are having a bad day is to trace those emotions back to the source. Why you want to do this is so that you can separate the action/thing/event/news from you.
When you can separate your bad day "triggers" from you and your day then it just becomes a bad “moment”. You then can pick up where your day left off and go on having a good day trying not to dwell on the one bad thing that happened earlier.
Start to practice this technique with your smaller daily upsets. Once you have learned to master the bad hair days you can then move onto not being bothered by the bigger surprises that would normally derail your entire day. Don’t be afraid to use a little humor too. Some of the best advice I received from a good friend was that when bad things happen laugh right now. Don’t wait to find the humor in the situation later. That way have more time to laugh and less time to cry.
2. Focus on the Reward
Now as I know some bad days go they just don’t seem to end with one event happening after another. On these types of days, it is important to focus on the good things, or rewards, ahead of you. It can be the idea of going home and eating a favorite meal, being with family, going to a fun event, or even just allowing yourself to relax with a good show or book. Placing a reward in front of you is a good way to power through the negative block that a “bad day” can put in your way.
What if you don’t have anything wonderful planned? Make one up! On my really bad days, when I feel like nothing is working for me, my outfit is a disaster and world hunger is my now my problem to solve, I tell myself that I can go visit my mom and tell her about all my problems. Works every time.
3. Give People (and Yourself ) Space
Sometimes a major part of our bad day is the people around us. Negativity seems to spread like the common cold. It starts out with one person and by the end of the day the whole house or office is grumpy. It reminds me of one of my favorite stories about kicking a cat (horrible I know. But you have been warned.)
The story goes that one morning a man got out of bed a little grumpier than usual and spilled his coffee down his shirt and angrily went to work slamming the door on the way out. After getting to work he yelled at his assistant. His assistant then was grouchy with his secretary who was then snarky to a co-worker. That employee went home after a long day and was short tempered with their little boy. Finally, that little boy, feeling frustrated and mad since his parent was short with him didn’t know who to take out his anger on. So he went over and kicked his cat. Wouldn’t it have been better if the first man that morning would have just skipped all the steps in-between and just kicked the cat right then and there and gotten it over with?
Though that story sounds ridiculous it happens all the time. We go about our days and other people try to spread their bad day to us in forms of mean comments, being short, angry, easily upset, or being cold. When you notice this happening, and it’s easy to pick up on, make sure you do two things: realize their rudeness has nothing to do with you personally and get some space. Space can mean actually leaving the area, or it can mean just lying low. If you can avoid interacting with this person while they are in this mood. It is better for them and for you.
When YOU are the one having the bad day then you need to get some space yourself. Distance yourself from the problem, the situation, the area, our people who you might have a tendency to lash out to. Don’t trust yourself to be your kind, wonderful self when you are having a bad day. Make sure that you aren’t contributing to the problem of sucking people into your bad day. Get space and save a cat for getting unfairly hit.
Unexpected things happen to us all the time, and just because they do doesn’t mean that they have to ruin our whole day. Practicing these tips to conquering your bad days will help you keep bad “moments” or even events from stealing your whole day. Start to learn what works for you in forms of rewards and getting your space. Practice distancing yourself from the problem and not allowing your whole day to unravel because of a minor upset. Easier said than done but with practice everything becomes more natural. Believe me, following these tips and making them apart of your good day tool kit, will help you to find happier days and less grey clouds.