Bad Day Do-Over
Since these blog posts come from my own life experiences, I often try to learn something while in the middle of being ... well, less than Lemmony. I based this site on positivity and good vibes so on days where I'm grumbling about everything (yes, it happens), I try to step back and take inventory of where I am and what I could be doing better. Even when I don't want to.
Being in a bad mood tends to be addicting. The yelling and stomping around almost feels good. It's true! Tony Robbins might say it's because anger makes you feel in control and when there's little going on in your life that you can control, we resort to it as a last ditch effort to gain some.
So. The Bad Day.
What do you do?!
I call a mulligan. A do-ver. A restart! No one says a case of the "bad days" has to go on for the entire day. What is time but a mythical measurement anyway? If you want to start over here's a tip.
Just freaking start over.
Your day may have begun with you waking up with a sore neck from your old pillow, but it doesn't have to control every move you make for the rest of the day. And if we are talking "vibes" here, let's not forget that what you put out into the world comes back to you. Your neck crick turns into a grouchy email from your boss turns into traffic on the way home from work that turns into you burning your finger while cooking dinner.
Conversely why not stop in the middle of all that justifiable anger and do a few things to restart you? How? I'm so glad you asked.
Dealing with it now
For when you're in the middle of crisis mode...
Peppermint Oil. I recently ordered some essential oils and what a difference it's made in my day-to-day. A few drops on the palms of your hands and a deep inhale an invoke calm feelings instantly. Lavender works well for this, too. I also love, love, love to use essential oils in my diffuser. Right now I'm diffusing a mixture of peppermint and pine which is the perfect holiday scent. (I recommend this one. I have two!)
Get moving. The easiest way to get out of your head is to do something physical. If you can, hop out of your desk chair and jog up and down the stairs or take a walk to the copier or kitchen. Most importantly, breathe. When we're upset, often we take very shallow breaths. Breathing shallow harkens back to the caveman days when we were hiding from big, scary predators and trying to make ourselves as small and quiet as possible. Your boss may be a bear, and chances are she isn't planning on eating you, but your body doesn't know that. Remind yourself by tapping into your relaxation reflex like so:
- Breathe in for the count of 4.
- Hold for the count of 4.
- Breathe out for the count of 4.
- Repeat 3 times.
Do something else. As a work-from-home writer I have the luxury of stopping my current task and moving onto something else for a while if I find myself in a rut. My go-to tends to be cooking, since I can run into the kitchen and chop a few vegetables and make a soup in record time. (Thank you, Instant Pot!) If you don't work at home, employ your creativity. Can you take a break? A lunch break? A gym break? Get the heck away from whatever problem is currently tangling your brain in knots and when you get back do that breathing thing we talked about.
Preventing it next time
Sadly, there's no foolproof way to keep away stress. But you can see it coming, which means yep... you guessed it. An ounce of prevention...
Limit caffeine. Easing up on the java has made a world of difference for me, but the choice to ease off didn't come without a lot of moaning and complaints! Now that I'm down to 1-2 cups of half-caff a day I see the direct correlation between my anxiety issues and coffee.
There is a way to get through it gracefully without feeling like you're giving up your favorite thing ever.
- Drink Bulletproof Decaf Coffee. It's more costly than Starbucks decaf, but Bulletproof's decaf is healthier for you and it doesn't taste like turpentine..
- Don't drink coffee after noon. Going down to limited cups of coffee meant I could have them whenever I want, right?! SOMETIMES. Other times I'm twitchy until way past bedtime.
Know your triggers. Hormones? Your kids? Friday afternoon meetings? Anticipate whatever triggers your anxiety button and cut it off at the pass. I love this meditation album from Kris Carr to reset any feelings of ick. It's an instant do-over.
Take notes. If you don't know your triggers it might be a good time to employ a journal or Evernote to help you keep track of what the heck's going on. I've seen many bujo (bullet journal) pages for tracking mood, and there are lots of options for journals that help you track what you eat each day. You can also journal your feelings at night, either in "Dear Diary" form or via a gratitude journal. Erin Condren has an awesome gratitude journal I'm in love with. If you've never ordered from there but want to, sign up here and she'll send you a $10 off your first order.
I've worked hard for years to get my anxiety under control, but if I've learned only one thing it's that there's no way to fully insure it never happens again. There's only recognizing it, dealing with it, and being gentle with yourself when your attitude is less than stellar.
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