What Not To Do When You're Having A Really Bad Day
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
What's covered: How to stop stressing & struggling when you're having a crappy, low-energy day; PLUS 3 questions to turn a "bad day" around fast
I woke up today, looked at my to-do list and went, "Blah!"
Has this ever happened to you? You go to bed thinking to yourself... Yep, tomorrow I'll do this, I'll get that done, I'll ring up about that, and I'll speak to so-and-so about that... You can imagine all the glorious ticks and crossing offs on your to-do list, and you get a bit giddy.
You might even have a joyful pre-celebratory moment of anticipatory elation, as you pat yourself on the back for being so organized, so thorough and so good at this life stuff. And then the next morning you wake-up.
Your eyes have barely opened, and you just know in your body and bones that it's going to be like pushing sh*t up hill today: you slept a little "funny" (our quirky human way of trying to work out how we went to bed completely fine, yet woke up like we've been in a wrestling match with a concrete doona); your hair looks like the backside of a poodle; you want to snap rather than talk; you burn your toast; you can't get your cup of tea right, even though it's a fool-proof teabag; and you just want to go back to bed and hit the "Try Life Again" button. It's at this moment we have a choice: We can blindly continue and soldier through the day, treating our to-do list like something that needs to be conquered no matter what. OR... We stop. We accept. We re-adjust. We do what feels right for today, in this moment. We let go of that dogged part of ourselves that's locked onto what today needs to look and feel like, and we remember that wiser part of ourselves that simply shrugs and accepts. I don't know about you, but I'm choosing the latter option: I'm going to surrender. I've chosen the struggle-and-stress option enough times in the past to know the truth of what I'm about to say to you: If you go into battle with the day, you and your body will end up on the losing side. It's like putting up your hand and saying, "Yes, please!" to tight shoulders and a throbbing head.
That's Why I'm Asking Myself 3 x RADICAL Day-Changing Questions:
What really needs to be done today?
What can wait until another day?
What's one thing I can do that will make today a little easier on me and my body?
Quickie Recap For When You're Feeling Fatigued Or Having A Bad Day
"Help! I'm suffering from a bad case of to-do list tension!"
If you're feeling down, lethargic, tired, flat or low, train yourself to work with how you're feeling rather than resisting and fighting what is. Prioritize what you absolutely need to do today, consider what can wait until tomorrow and acknowledge how you can make today a little easier for your body. Even a five-minute tea break, stretch session or an outdoor breather with some conscious belly breathing can quickly turn your day and mood around.
Wisdom nugget: There's no such thing as a "bad day" - only our thoughts, judgments and reactions make it so.
Be the creator of your day.
Here's a pic from Australian illustrator Kate Knapp from her book It's not always black and white. It makes me smile and gently reminds me to head for the nearest tree.
Keep listening to your body and trusting your wise self,
P.S. What's the one thing you'll be doing today that was inspired by reading this article? Email email@example.com and let me know!
P.P.S. If you want some extra encouragement to take it easier on yourself, check out my blog post: Near enough is sometimes good enough, & here's why...
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