There are hundreds of articles on how to change a bad day into a good one. But they’re typically ideas that I never have time (nor the desire) to implement. For example, write a list of 10 things that make you happy. (I’ve barely got time to breathe, let alone find a piece of paper and a pen!). Or, take 15 quiet minutes to yourself. (Hello people! The lack of time is part of the problem). Another one is – take a shower. Really? A shower? I don’t think my colleagues, my family or my friends want me excusing myself for a shower!
Today, a friend told me about a bad day she had last week and as she was talking I thought about the things I do to “turn it around” when I have a particularly sh***y day (“I know you know what I’m talking about, Willis”).
Here are my 5 down and dirty:
- Focus on what you’re grateful for. Could be your job, kids, the ability to breathe – you know, anything. I’ll often do this when I’m frustrated in traffic or in a long line. Neuroimaging studies show that it’s almost impossible to be in a depressed state and grateful at the same time. Gratitude is a powerful antidote to a bad day. Ask yourself at that moment: What’s one great thing in my life?
- Rewrite the narrative. When I have unrealistic expectations of all I want to get done in a day, I set myself up for failure. When I feel myself moving too fast and not focused, I look at what’s on the plate and pull something off. Yes, I let something go for that day. I may have to apologize to someone but if they love me, they’ll understand.
- Give someone a hug or a smile. Sometimes a hug can help turn a bad day into something better. Even sending a heart in a text to someone I love can make me feel better (especially when it comes back!). Smile at a stranger or complement someone. It’ll totally turn it around!
- Listen to a favorite song and sing (dance) along. Studies show that listening to music can alter your mood and even alleviate depression. I play one of the songs below to lift my spirits (I usually dance in the kitchen too. Sadly, my kids have put “it” on snapchat.)
- Take a 5 minute walk. Sometimes I’ll walk out of my office and into the elevator for a quick jaunt in the skyway or even outside. At home, I’ll get the mail or walk around the block. Move in any way you can. It’s amazing!
I hope you don’t have one bad day or even a bad moment this week. But if you do, try being grateful, smile at someone or just dance to one song (close your office door if you do!).
(If you watch the second video through I promise you’ll have a big smile on your face!)
Have an amazing week!