So, you had a bad day. Or you are in the middle of having a bad day. Or you just woke up but you KNOW it is going to be a bad day. You aren’t sure why but you roll out of bed feeling mad at the world. Or sad for no reason. Or frustrated by everything and nothing.
But, the kids need breakfast and you have a big meeting at work so just pulling the covers over your head isn’t an option. How can you turn this day around? Try some of the following tips before you lash out at the nearest victim.
Don’t fight it. Trying to force a cheerful demeanor is going to make you feel much, much worse. Stuffing feelings only prolongs them, so if you’re angry, be angry. If you are sad, be sad. You still have to follow the rules of good behavior – no being rude to others! No beating yourself up either. Bad moods happen to everyone and you are no exception. Put away the perfectionist and let yourself feel normal human emotions.
Warn others. It is unlikely you will be able to fool anyone. Let them know you are not having a good day so that they don’t mistakenly assume that THEY are the problem. You don’t want to spread your bad mood, right?
Deal with yourself. It’s easy to assume that a bad mood is always caused by something or someone else – an unreasonably demanding boss, a cranky child, an irritatingly cheerful spouse. But, bad moods aren’t always related to external factors. Check your internal weather instead – how did you sleep? Are you getting sick? Are you mulling over a decision you don’t want to make? Are you just plain crabby? Don’t try to justify a bad mood but explore possible precursors to your mood. What would you have to let go of to move into a different mood? Anger? Anxiety? Your need to control every little area of life?
Give yourself some space. If everyone you see is causing your skin to prickle, find a way to be alone for a few minutes. Walk during your lunch break. Go somewhere quiet to work away from your desk. Take a long bathroom break with the door locked to get away from demanding kiddos.
Smell the flowers anyway. It is easy to view everything as bad. But flowers still bloom; the sun still shines and all the good stuff you enjoyed yesterday is still right there under your nose. Write down a couple of the things that are GOOD today. Then, spend a few minutes doing something you always enjoy – an extra long shower, your favorite (healthy) breakfast, that song that makes you dance in your seat. Your choice.
Sweat it out. Working up a good sweat can release “feel good” endorphins – instant mood lifters. Go for a run or jump on your bike or just dance around the living room for a while. Chances are that when you mop up the sweat, you’ll be doing it in a better mood.
Just breath. Bad moods come and bad moods go. It’s no big deal. Keep breathing and wait it out. In fact, spending a few minutes focusing on doing nothing more than breathing can sometimes be enough to speed it on its way.