How to turn a bad day around: 3 Steps to Making Today Count
Updated: Feb 29, 2020
Oh we're getting personal this week.
Because I want you to know that you're not alone, and that we all stumble around aimlessly at times. And that's ok.
If we're honest about our struggles, regardless of what is posted on social media or written in blog posts, we can help ourselves and those around us overcome them that much faster.
It's important for you to know that I struggle in much the same way as you do, and that despite my extensive training and (slight?) obsession with healthy foods and wellness I still have moments where the struggle is real. Literally.
I am writing this on a Monday morning after I woke up feeling extremely tired and out of it. I slept a total of 9 hours, which according to every sleep doctor on the planet would be considered plenty of rest, and good quality rest at that. However, it sure as hell doesn't feel that way.
I barely managed to go to the gym, but I did and am super proud of myself for going. Before I did though, I made sure to have an extensive conversation with myself about all the reasons why I shouldn't go: but what if I stay home and just read, that's productive!; there will be traffic on the way back, I just know it; I won't have time to do a full 45 minute workout, it's too late for that, so what's the point?... Oh my darling brain, how I wish you would sometimes have a warm glass of shut the hell up.
In the midst of this intense self-talk, when I had almost convinced myself that I'd be better off staying at home and reading, I remembered Tony Robbins and his simple advice: stop negotiating with yourself. So I did. And I got up and went to the gym.
Going to the gym felt good (and it obviously worked to get me out of lazy mode since I'm currently writing this) but then I found myself craving sweets and fatty foods. Top that with some persistent hiccups that were making me feel nauseous, and once more I found myself thinking that I want to curl up in bed and sleep the day away.
And now, for this week's moment of truth: the actual reason why I'm feeling this way (cue dramatic music)....
I had a lot of sugar yesterday.
I've always been pretty honest about my struggle with sugar, and to this day I find it very hard to say no to it. The only thing that helps me is to not have any in the house, but Sunday I went to Trader Joe's and simply could not help buying their pre-made eggnog (which is absolute heaven) and some icecream sandwiches. Whoever said to not go to the grocery store hungry knew what they were talking about! So yea, I had some eggnog and an icecream sandwich, all while laying in bed watching the Santa Claus. I was definitely feeling festive. Suffice it to say, all the holiday spirit is now GONE.
Now for the big question:
HOW DO I OVERCOME THE SLUMP?
Writing always helps me, no matter what I'm going through. There is just something about sitting down and putting my thoughts on paper that creates order out of chaos: whereas before I feel overwhelmed and unsure as to what to do, after I write I have a better understanding of what was causing the problem and what to do about it.
Try to see exactly what it is that you're feeling:
What isn't working for you at the moment?
Where are you feeling that feeling?
What do you want to do? What would future you be happy that you ended up doing? Do the answers to these two questions differ?
Here's what I wrote today: "I'm feeling down and foggy, most likely because of all the sugar I had yesterday. No need to dwell on it, it happened, moving on. I feel out of it, as if I'm not totally here; thoughts feel fuzzy. I really don't want to do anything besides sit in bed and watch movies, but I'm probably going to give in to sugar cravings if I do this. For now I will continue to stay in my office and read."
Get in touch with your WHY
Your why is what keeps you going. As you're writing, it helps to remember the reason/reasons why you're doing all the productive things you have planned for your day. Do you have a goal in mind, something you dream about that makes you excited and giddy? A little tip that helps me is to connect my why to a feeling.
For example, if the reason why you're going to the gym is to feel more confident in your body, connect with that feeling: imagine yourself putting on that new pair of jeans, or that crop top, and going out. How does that feel for you? What do you think when you look in the mirror? Once you connect with that it'll probably feel easier to go to the gym and kick some ass.
Take it ONE STEP AT A TIME
Ok so you connected with your why and you feel the motivation slowly creeping up, but maybe there's still a feeling of overwhelm? This is where you simply decide on your next step, and not think about the ones coming after.
To keep with the gym example, the first step would be to put on your workout clothes; then you can move to the next step, like getting your gym bag ready. The idea here is not to think about ALL the things you need to do because that can cause action paralysis, and we reaaaally don't want to go there.
These 3 steps work wonders for me, but full disclosure, they didn't in the beginning. The first few times I tried this it didn't feel natural, I felt like I was just making things up to explain what I was feeling. But this was only because I wasn't used to getting in touch with myself on that level. I felt everything superficially, meaning I knew I was feeling down, or annoyed, or whatever other feeling I was experiencing, but didn't know how to dig deeper than that first layer.
So if you feel that way at first, don't be discouraged from trying again. Soon you'll be able to understand yourself better and to actually feel like you're getting somewhere, and not like you're just making things up. Truly getting to know yourself is a skill that requires practice, not something that magically happens just because, you know...you're YOU.
I hope this helps you, I really do, because I truly believe that shitty days suck (I know, I'm very eloquent, but it is what it is today). Whatever you do, don't be discouraged, and keep trying these 3 steps because one day they will work and trust me, there's nothing better than turning a bad day into a good one!
Sending love and good vibes,