We all have them. Days where you just want to nope, and nothing seems to go right. Some days are just plain rough. Maybe you didn’t get much sleep and feel grumpy from the get-go. And things only get worse from there. You spill your coffee, miss your bus or the traffic’s terrible. Your paint water spills on your project, your sewing machine jams, or you can’t get past your writer’s block. You forget to eat lunch, or you forgot to go grocery shopping and the fridge is empty. You read the comments on social media or looked at the awful news. You wish you’d just spent the day in bed.
If you’re having a terrible day (like I have many times), stop for a minute, take a deep breath and do something radical – take some time out to be kind to yourself. You can’t undo the bad things that have already happened, but you can turn around your bad day and do something so it can’t continue in the same negative way. Here are four simple things you can do to be kind to yourself and stop a rough day in its tracks.
1. Take some time out
When everything seems to be going wrong, you can stop the negative spiral by just taking a break. Get out of the office/studio if you can, go and take a short walk outside or in the park or even just look out of the window for a few minutes.
Take some deep breaths, and maybe have a mug of tea or a glass of water. Play with your pets. Anything that makes you feel calmer and more in control.
2. Plan a treat
If your day is going from bad to worse, make a plan to do something luxurious and relaxing later. A long bath with the good bath bomb, get takeout from your favorite place for dinner, or set up dinner with your partner or a friend.
Give yourself something to look forward to!
3. Reset your self-talk
Take a moment to look at how you’re talking to yourself. Are you beating yourself up? Do the words ‘you always’ or ‘you never’ crop up in your self-talk? Or maybe ‘you’re no good’, or ‘why can’t you’?
Reset your Inner Critic and turn that self-talk around. Would you talk to a friend like that? No way! So don’t talk to yourself that way either – be kind and forgiving to yourself. Everyone has bad days – you need nurturing, not beating up!
4. Celebrate the small wins
Sometimes it can feel like an achievement to get through the day at all, and that’s okay! If you’re having a bad day, write down all your wins, big OR small (tiny even!).
If you took the time to eat lunch, took out the trash, and walked the dog you are on a winning streak! Every little thing counts. Make it fun and pat yourself on the back for ANY and ALL of the checkmarks on your list.
Celebrate just getting through! That’s enough. And the good news? Every day is a brand new, reset from zero, and a chance to have a better experience. One of my favorite quotes from “Anne of Green Gables” (a personal favorite of mine when I was growing up) – “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it…”