You know how it goes. Your morning starts like this: you wake up, literally on the wrong side of the bed. When you get to the shower you find there is no hot water. Then you head into the kitchen and discover that your husband took the last cup of coffee. You leave for work, feeling defeated and find yourself living through a series of unfortunate events. My reaction on these days is to go home and sleep for hours. Sleep until it is dark outside, and then continue sleeping until whatever is plaguing me has left. This might be a bit extreme, and maybe not an option for many of you. However, it does beg the question – what do you do when you’re having a bad day? I don’t actually have the luxury of sleeping until the end of time, but my natural inclination is to hide. A bad day is just that, it’s a day. It’s a day like any other, except our capacity to handle small hiccups is greatly diminished. So what can you do to stay sane when the universe is throwing all it can at you?
Find a way to laugh. I always find the “prancersize” videos to be extremely hilarious and entertaining. When I know that my day is not going in the best direction, I find something to laugh at. If the “prancersize” videos aren’t your thing, try something else – cat videos, watching celebrities read mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel, or something from Funny or Die. Whatever you do, try to inject a little humour into your day. Laughter goes a long way. I also find it entertaining to pull coworkers into my office so that they can enjoy the hilarity that is “prancersize”.
Listen to music.
Specifically, something that cheers you up or gets you motivated. Stay away from music that is dark or has some kind of significantly sad meaning for you. It will only make you feel worse. “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift might be cliche enough for this post. Or even “Happy” by Pharrell. My personal favourite is anything by The Killers. This definitely can put me into a different frame of mind. Why? There is something about the beat, and maybe the rhythm, but I can be seen belting it out in my car. You might even want to make a playlist that you can keep handy in order to stave off these days before they get out of hand.
Phone a friend.
I have two friends who can cheer me up, no matter what happens. My house could literally be burning down around me and they would be able to make me laugh. My Dad has the same ability. Sometimes the phone conversation starts out in tears, but once you get passed your venting, they always seem to know what to say to make it a little bit better. I often call my Dad when I need a little pick me up. He usually asks me why I’m calling as he’s not much of a talker, but when I tell him I need some cheering up, he tells me random stories about the good old days, or something silly my Mom has decided to do. Whatever the reason, it always seems to work.
Find an activity.
Depending where you are, shifting the focus from your horrible day, to some kind of activity can definitely send you in a better direction. For example, if I am not working and nothing seems to be going right in my world, I wait until 11 am, and then I turn on The Price is Right. Why, you ask? There is no reason, it just cheers me up. There is something uplifting for me when a person can walk away with a “brand new car”, just by guessing its price. I have won many cars by playing from my couch over the years. I love the enthusiasm on the faces of the contestants when they bid correctly on the item listed. They jump up and down and chest bump random people that they don’t even know. I love the energy and the excitement and it always puts me in a fun and happy head space. But if The Price is Right isn’t your thing try turning on your favourite movie, baking your favourite cookie, or maybe even pull out a colour book, pencils and go to town.
Don’t be fooled. These are simply short term solutions to help get you through the day. If you’re finding that you’re waking up on the wrong side of the bed daily, you need to find out why. No amount of Pharrell is going to solve your problems, but it might give you the boost needed to keep you from having an epic meltdown. From time to time, your day will be so horrendous that none of these things will work. When that happens, simply turn around and go home. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just go home and pull the blankets up over your head. It will get better.