February 22, 2010

Thirteen tips for dealing with a really lousy day..

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:11 pm by g3space

We all have really lousy days from time to time. A bad work or school
evaluation, a potential crush who turns out not to be interested, a
fight with your  sweet heart, a worrisome call from a friend…lousy
days take many forms.

Here are some tips for getting through it:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as
“treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then
feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences
just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself
thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice
cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? It might make you feel worse.

2. Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this
really works. A friend going through a horrible period told me that
she was practically addicted to doing good deeds; that was the only
thing that made her feel better. However, don’t put too much pressure
on yourself now. Don’t start planning an elaborate surprise party;
email/text some personal how-much- you-mean-to-me messages to your loved ones.

3. Distract yourself.. Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break. It might even be a good idea to have an emergency stash ready by the TV, for bad times.

4. Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a
messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded countertops. The sense of
tangible progress, control, and orderliness will lighten your mood.
This always works for me – and fortunately, my family is messy enough
that I always have plenty of therapeutic clutter at hand.

5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished.
Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or
played with your kids, or walk with your best friend for a while, or read a magazine.

6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – but be careful of
exercise that allows you to ruminate. For example, if I go for a treadmill exercisewhen I’m upset about something, I often end up feeling worse, because it provides me with uninterrupted time in which to dwell
obsessively on my troubles.so I prefer a light-walk on a medium-crowded street

7. Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to
retreat into isolation. Studies show, though, that contact with other
people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people
you’re close to.

8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning.
Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation
puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra
sleep will do you good.

9. Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser
at work, send out a blast invitation to engage with college friends. If you
think members of the PTA are mad at you, don’t miss the instrumental class where everyone knows and likes you.

10. Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a
year?” I recently came across a note I’d written to myself years ago,
that said “EXAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I dimly remember the panic I felt about
dealing with exam that year; but it’s all lost and forgotten now.

11. Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I
find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get
immense relief.

12. Use the emergency mood tool-kit. For an emergency happiness
intervention, try these tips for getting a boost in the next HOUR.

13. Be grateful. Remind yourself that a LOUSY day isn’t a CATASTROPHIC day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum.

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