It's no fun having a bad day. You know the ones I'm talking about where your brain feels like mush, and you have a hard time getting even the smallest things done. Sometimes you can turn a bad day into a good one just by doing something nice for yourself. So, on this snowy April Friday, here are five things I can think of that just might turn the day around.
1. Be Creative!
Let your inner child out to play, and get creative. I'm very grateful to be able to work and home and create for a living. But sometimes even I need to play instead of writing the serious stuff. So I keep a coloring book or two and a box of markers handy for the times when I just want to let my mind wander. Alternative forms of creativity are a great way to get your mind off your bad day and make you smile.
2. Be an Optimist!
See your cup as half full. It's a brand new day, and there are possibilities for wonderful things to happen. When you consciously choose to be optimistic about life you let go of the anxiety and fear that bombards us on a daily basis. Thinking optimistically also helps to start your creative process, because when you see possibilities in front of you, you can't help but think of ways to make them a reality. Are you smiling yet?
And that brings me to my third way to feel happier when you're having a bad day...
3. Eat Chocolate!
I love chocolate at any time of the day or night. But when I'm feeling cranky, there's nothing quite like a nice piece of dark chocolate to stir those feelings of decadence and indulgence. Of course, all those health benefits don't hurt either. Unless you're allergic, of course, or if you really don't like the taste... I dare you to tell me you can eat chocolate and not smile. I'm smiling just thinking about it! :)
4. Do Something Nice For Someone Else
Just because you're having a bad day doesn't mean you can take it out on those around you. (Uh oh! I'm channeling my mother!) But it's true... you owe it yourself and those around you to be nice to them. If you're not you'll feel like crap when you realize what a grump you've been. So if you can do something little to put a smile on someone else's face you just might put one on your own grumpy face too.
It doesn't even have to be anything big. Here's an example...
I'm pretty tall. And I absolutely detest having to go to the grocery store. It can turn a great day into an awful one when I have to stop for food on the way home. Can you see where this is going?
It never fails, no matter how grumpy and scowling I am, stomping through the store to grab what I need that an elderly person will stop me and ask me to reach something on the top shelf for them. It also never fails that when I do (and just for the record, no matter how miserable I might be feeling at the moment, I would never dream of saying no), they are very grateful for the help, and I end up feeling a lot less grumpy.
And it works the other way too. There have been days when perfect strangers have done something simple and unexpected for me, that totally lifted my spirits. The one that springs to mind is one day when I was walking home feeling very depressed, head down almost in tears because we were broke and the cheque I was waiting for hadn't arrived, I passed a man going the other way.
"Smile gorgeous," he said, "It can't be that bad."
I looked up and gave a little half smile.
"C'mon you can do better than that," he coaxed.
So I laughed a little and couldn't help but smile.
"That's my girl, I knew you could do it! Have a nice day now," he said and continued on his way.
I have no idea who he was and I never saw him again. But all the rest of the way home I smiled thinking about that encounter. I still do!
5. Find Something To Be Grateful For
There is always something to be grateful for, even when you're having the worst day you could ever imagine. If you take a minute to stop and breathe, you're likely to find more than a few things in your life that you are grateful for. Even something as simple as a hot cup of coffee, or that your pen didn't run out of ink in the middle of writing an article, can make you realize that there are blessings all around us and being grateful for the ones in your life is a sure pick-me-up. And if you take time to write them down in a gratitude journal, you'll always have a list to cheer you up when you're having a bad day.
So... are you smiling yet?
Thanks for being here and brightening up my day!
What do you do to cheer yourself up on a bad day?