There are some days when nothing seems to be going your way, and the more you try to change it, the worse it becomes. Sometimes it’s a big upset, and the other times it’s just small things piling up. Such days can make you feel aggravated, sad, and downright defeated.
We have all been there! Haven’t we?
So a better question to ask is what can we do about it?
That’s why, I decided to share with you the exact steps I took to get out of the funk of one such day last month. My hope is that in your crazy times, some of these tips will help you to wake up to a brighter day.
Are you ready? Here are the 13 things that I did:
1. Change the scenery: Go outside for a little bit. Take a quick walk if you can. That day, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the walk since it was raining here. But just stepping out of the house for a few minutes helped me. There is something about being in the nature that can make you feel relieved or even emotional. I was overcome by my stress, and actually teared up a bit. But it cleared out some air by bringing my emotions up front. What a relief!
2. Find humor: Humor helps us look at the lighter side of the life. Even if you don’t laugh, a few chuckles will be enough to relieve your stress. Some of my friends had shared some funny videos to lighten up my day. I spent about 10 minutes watching those videos. It certainly helped even though at first I wasn’t in the mood for humor.
3. Tidy up your surroundings: This tip can come as a surprise. But let me tell you even just 10 minutes spent on tidying up the space around you is enough to relax you. It’s very hard to let go of the tension when you see clutter around you. I realized that the space around me was more cluttered than usual that day. I hadn’t made my bed since the morning, and there were a bunch of papers on the coffee table. I took literally 5 minutes to fix it. Change of the scene right in the house. 🙂
I swear, I could actually “smell” the air freshener better after this.
4. Light up the candles: If you love fragrances like I do, you know how good they make you feel. Don’t save them for the guests, light them up! Incense sticks, aromatic oils can also have the same effect. The key here is generating a desirable environment around you so that in rubs off on you. 😉 I love candles because I also like a flame. I feel it just purifies the space.
5. Play with your children or pets: No matter, how lousy my day is I can never keep thinking about it when I play with our dog, Argo. Every time I play with him, he keeps me on my toes. What a way to be present in the moment! Their innocence is contagious, and brings an instant shift in the energy.
6. Eat nourishing food, and without any distractions: We have heard about stress eating and comfort food, but let me tell you, on a day like this it’s much better to choose healthy over that. You may have no energy to cook so something quick but healthy will do the trick of filling you up without any more regrets. Try a quick green smoothie, or lentils and rice, or a simple tomato soup. Here’s the board that I have created on Pinterest to save yummy, healthy, and easy recipes. Maybe you will find some that you like. That day, my husband made delicious chicken curry and rice
That day, my husband made delicious chicken curry and rice to uplift my mood. I ate it with him, without any distractions. Not much chatting either. Made me instantly realize how grateful I am to just be able to have that nourishing meal.
7. Get out of here! Literally. Plan an upcoming vacation or a weekend gateway. Nothing like actually plugging you out of your routine to make you forget about it.
OK. I understand that this one isn’t always possible. But this certainly will take your mind off the drudgery of the routine. That day, I remembered that I had a pending reservation at a resort nearby that I could go to. I emailed the resort that night to see if they have any vacancy in the next couple of days. Just reaching out to them on a whim was so unpredictable that I felt great!
8. Tech detox: Other than those couple of funny videos, I decided I wasn’t going to watch TV, check email or social media, or answer the phone. I wanted to quiet my mind. The constant access to the outside world doesn’t help the cause. It worked.
9. Gratitude: Every night before going to bed, I list 3 things that happened that day for which I am grateful. On a day like this, it becomes more important than ever to be aware of your blessings. That day, I did not stop at 3. I listed as many of them as I could. I came up with 11. What a difference it made! I was actually content with what I have, and felt that everything will be OK. It’s all in the perspective, and this list put it all in the perspective.
10. Shake it up: Changing a habitual pattern stretches your brain. It also helps you get out of the rut. It doesn’t have to be anything big. What I did was instead of just thinking about my gratitude, I went old school, and wrote my gratitude list on a paper. I hadn’t picked up a pen and wrote that much in a LONG time. I think, that tricked my brain into thinking that today is not a usual day. Period. As if it shifted the focus of my day from being bad to being different.
Coincidently, our neighbor asked me to help her the next morning with some work for 2 hours. I immediately said yes. Another good break from my routine, and a rewarding feeling of helping others.
11. Do what feeds your soul: For me, it was reading, listening to music, and watching one or two TED type of videos. I was really craving for some new ideas that I can ponder upon rather than thinking about my day. Inspirational blogs, videos, or a book can do that for you. Since I had committed to the tech detox, I set a limit of 2 videos or 20 minutes max of the watching time. I stopped watching after that but continued thinking about the ideas mentioned in my mind.
See what activities feed your soul. For you, taking a warm shower or a long bath can do the trick. If you are artistic, painting or drawing or playing your favorite instrument can help. The point is to do something that feels good.
12. Meditate or sit in silence: Stop the chatter outside and within. The tech detox, and the gratitude list had already started pulling me inward. Silence just deepened that effect. On the days like this, you may find it difficult to concentrate in a meditation. Don’t worry about it. Just sit (or lie down) in the silence. Don’t talk to anybody. If cutting out all the noise is not possible, put on some relaxing music. The sounds in nature, classical music are proven to help us focus but not distract. Silence is golden. Ancient sages in India used silence as a regular tool on their path to enlightenment. They sure had stumbled upon something there. 😉
13. Sleep: I went to bed earlier than usual, and slept like a baby. I picked up a book but the reading was a distraction to get to sleep without rehashing the day in my mind. A good night’s sleep is underrated! It’s the best reset system we have. Make use of it. Sleep until you feel totally rejuvenated. Allow your body and mind to recover from all the stress of the day. This is true for any day, but necessary after a bad day.
These are the 13 things I did over the span of a couple of hours to recover from a bad day I had last month. It sure helped me reset. By the time, I went to bed, I had a new hope for the new day.
And when I woke up the next morning, I was welcomed by a bright, sunny, and warm day.
The resort had confirmed my reservation via the email. I canceled the couple of meetings I had, packed my bag, and was on my way to experience a gateway that was not filled with any agenda what so ever. Simply a day of relaxation, tech detox, and as much silence as possible. 🙂
The next time you are faced with the two options – 1. either to go to bed with the feeling of defeat or 2. push a reset button, choose the latter.
Having a bad day is normal but rehashing how bad it was is not healthy. Putting a bad day behind you is the best you can do to get the fresh start you so need.
What do you think?
Which of the above tips have you used before? What else do you do that helps you reset after a lousy day? Thanks for sharing in the comments.