Check out this helpful guest article by Madison Sonnier from my blog archives. Her tips on how to handle tough days (we all have ’em!) might be just what you need to turn your day around.
Have you ever had a totally awesome day followed by a totally crappy one? This happens to me all the time. One Friday night, I went to bed with a giant smile on my face, loving life and feeling completely present and grateful. On Saturday night, I sat pouting on the floor of the shower long after my shower had ended, writing “I hate my life” with my finger on the condensation of the shower wall.
Bad days are obviously inevitable, but when we compare them to our good days, they tend to feel even worse. For an explosively emotional person like me, suffering through the long hours of a bad day feels like trying to escape a house of mirrors, never quite finding an exit and getting frustrated with the seemingly never-ending obstacles. I guess I should add that I haven’t been inside a house of mirrors since going into one and smacking face first into a mirror, giving myself a bloody nose.
When I’m having a bad day, all I can think about is how much I want it to get better – how much I want to find a way out. When I complain and stress over wanting to feel better, I usually tend to feel even worse. It’s like a snowball effect.
So how do we push through all of the yucky feelings associated with a bad day? How can we make ourselves feel just a little bit better when all we want to do is sit in a corner pouting like a two-year old?
I’ve recently discovered some techniques that work pretty well for me.
- Sit with yourself. Make a conscious effort to stop ranting and stomping around long enough to just sit still and let yourself breathe for a moment. Find a quiet space or go to one of your favorite rooms and just sit with your feelings. It may be uncomfortable and you may be fuming, but once you sit by yourself for a few moments and regain your composure, you’ll notice yourself starting to relax.
- Address your feelings and the source of them. Get clear about how you feel and why you feel that way. If you can do something about a problem you’re having, give yourself time to calm down and then figure out how to fix it. If you can’t fix it, accept what is and just let it be.
- Write a venting letter and then respond to it. I know it sounds weird, but it is extremely therapeutic. Write out a note saying whatever is on your mind. Read back over what you wrote and pretend that you are reading a letter from a close friend. Then respond to it the way you would respond to that friend. Hopefully, this exercise will help you find some clarity and bring you to a calmer, more rational mindset.