|Bad-day fix #1: Go outside|
Ever needed a bad-day fix? Kind of like a bad hair day fix, except you can’t just put your day in a messy bun and call it good. Bad day problems go deeper than hair problems. Call it waking up on the wrong side of the bed, or whatever. Sometimes you wish you could just start over. But you can’t get in bed and do it all over again. Somehow, you just have to fix it.
Today I’m in a funk. It’s not a terrible day and nothing bad has happened. It’s just one of those days, you know? I didn’t get enough sleep last night, the living room rug has crackers in it and there’s a bunch of stuff in the kitchen I don’t know what to do with. I’m doing my best to embrace these mundane, sacred things, but today I just feel blah.
Time for a bad-day fix!
What’s a bad-day fix, you wonder? It’s a list of things I like to tackle, one at a time, until I feel better. Sometimes when I’m in a negative mood I just want to slump around and eat cookies. But this is the opposite of helpful! Instead, I’ve found the best way to transform my mood (and therefore my day) is to tackle a combination of the following:
- Go outside. A little bit of wind and sun goes a long way. Get the kids outside and kick the ball around. Create a “race track” and time the kids as they run. Be the enthusiastic commentator (“And here he comes around the corner! Folks I’ve never seen anything like it! Look at his speed!”). This makes the kids feel fantastic and it’ll put a smile on your face, too.
- Clean something. Sometimes my at-home funks are the result of a messy living space. It’s worse when I just don’t know where to start. Since the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, pick just one area to clean and start there. Is the kitchen bugging you? Disinfect the sink. Are there crumpled clothes on the living room chair? Turn on a show or some music and fold them. Is the computer desk driving you crazy? Just tackle one pile and file it/toss it/shred it/read it. It only takes a few minutes to make a big difference.
- Get your heart rate up. Can’t get outside to exercise because the kids are napping? Get on the treadmill for 15 minutes, do jumping jacks and squats in the living room, or just turn the music up as loud as you can and dance around like a crazy woman. Like you did in college. (Word from the wise: close the blinds first if you don’t want your neighbors to see you.)
- Quiet your soul. Maybe you just need to get on your knees for a few minutes. Breathe in, breathe out. Let your thoughts slow down and breathe prayers of thanksgiving. Thank you for life, for the chance to breathe and see and love for one more day. Thank you for my children; for this mess because it means this is life. Thank you for the day, sunny, rainy, warm or cold; wind and sun on my face. Thank you for grace and the chance to start all over tomorrow. Thank you that I am loved by so many.
- Finish a project. Sometimes I’m grumpy just because there are a slew of unfinished projects on my plate. It feels wonderful to complete something, so pick one thing off of that plate and finish it. Choose the easiest and get it done quickly for that rush of exhilaration.
- Drink a glass of water; eat something nutritious. Sometimes when I’m out of sorts and short tempered with the children I realize, oops!, I didn’t eat any protein this morning. I don’t know why this effects me so much, but it does. So go into the kitchen, rehydrate, and give your body what it needs. Don’t just eat a bunch of chocolate (though one piece might actually help!), but choose that apple for a boost of energy or a scoop of peanut butter for staying power.