Bad days happen

Another re-post from my blog….

Bad days happen.  Things go wrong.  Kids don’t act right.  Drivers don’t drive like they’ve actually taken driver’s ed.  Your child gets univited or kicked out.  Things go wrong at work.  You realize at the checkout that you don’t have the money.  The vehicle begins to make more odd noises.  Bills keep growing.  Standard of living keeps rising, but your paycheck can’t keep up.

Life throws unexpected curves all the time.  Sometimes you can control them.  Sometimes you can’t.  They say that’s it’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters.

I think the hardest thing is when life keeps throwing punches over and over, day after day.  You get weary and worn from it all.  You wonder when things are going to improve.  You wonder if you can hold up long enough.

I’m going through one of those times right now.  It never seems to end.  It seems like everyday something new crops up, or something that’s already happening gets worse.  Ugh.

I’m trying to stay positive.  I’m trying to stay motivated.  But I’m trying not to be fake about it all.

I’ve never been that person who puts on that smile and grins like a fool when my world is crumbling.  I’ve never been the girl to throw on the makeup and put on some heels to make myself feel better.  Well, sometimes.  I’ve been the type to wear my heart on my sleeve. I’ve been the type to shut down when things get rough.  I’ve been the type who soldiers on in public, but cries alone at night.

Somehow I’ve always made it through.  I have several things that I do.

1.)  Remember that things always change.  Everyone knows the old adage “everything changes, nothing stays the same”.  It’s the truth.  Even the good things change.  Like a sound wave, life has its ups and downs.  You have mountains and valleys.  The thing to remember is between the peak and the depths, there’s all that middle ground.  Honestly, most of life happens there.

2.)  Remember positive thoughts.  For those who are religious, the Bible has plenty of encouraging words.  The book of Psalms is mostly written by King David.  This was a guy who had some self-made crises of his own.  He went through some “stuff”.  Sometimes you have to repeat a positive phrase over and over to yourself.  If it’s a mindset that has us down, having some positive thoughts, reading uplifting prose or poetry, or listening to a comedy sketch can break down that icy wall that we find ourselves behind.  Then again, sometimes having a good cry helps, too.

3.)  Self-care.

Eat right.  I’m not suggesting a binge of any sort, but eating nutritious and providing yourself with plenty of necessary vitamins and minerals can boost your mood.

Hydrate.  Drinking plenty of water can keep your muscles functioning properly.  I know that I get so tired and cranky when I get dehydrated.

Sleep.  Rest.  Being tired and not getting the appropriate amount of sleep can keep you from thinking clearly or feeling motivated to get up and do something fun.

Exercise.  This is not my favorite.  I am not good at making a gym membership worth the cost.  In fact, yoga is pretty much my go-to exercise.  But sometimes, the stillness and concentration that goes along with it seems to quell the anxious thoughts.

The human body does require certain things to keep going at optimal levels and making sure your are getting the necessary food, water, exercise, and rest will be a great platform to getting back on your feet.

4.)  Creativity.  I like painting.  I’ve said it before.  I’m not good at it, but I sure do enjoy it.  There’s something about being creative that gets a different part of the brain clicking.  It helps me get out of my funk.  Not always.  Some days my art is pretty awful and I feel like I have absolutely zero talent.  But most days, I feel like it improves my mood.  Abstract views of beautiful scenes – the beach, palm trees, mountains, sunsets, autumn leaves – give me happy thoughts.  But any type of creativity will boost a mood.  Pottery, photography, welding, sewing, gardening.  Take your pick.

5.)  Volunteering.  I don’t always have an outlet for this, but doing things for other people without expecting anything in return can create feelings of satisfaction that you just don’t get in other activities.  There are plenty of long-term and short-term activities with organizations all across your community.  Donating to the homeless, working in a soup kitchen, reading to children, letting an approved pet visit a hospital or nursing home, and veteran’s organizations are all worthy and worthwhile causes.

6.)  Stray from the pattern.  Go somewhere new.  Sometimes a change of scenery is enough to break you out of your rut.  If you can even take a day trip and visit a museum you’ve never been to, a trail you’ve never hiked, a coffee shop or deli you’ve never noshed at before, or going somewhere on a simple drive along a scenic route can give you a new perspective.  When we think our world revolves around our problem, travel can be a good way to break ourselves out of our dark mood and open our eyes to new experiences and places.

7.)  Look for the little things.  All around us every day are simple things that should catch our attention, but don’t.  Sometimes when we are staring at the mountain looming in front of us, we miss the details and beauty of the blades of grass or pebbles at our feet.  We miss the grasshoppers, butterflies, and flowers around us.  We don’t see the the clouds as they roll by.  We don’t see the sea of humanity and appreciate the similarities and differences that bind us all together.

So, when things look bleak and seemingly unending, break out of your shell, go for a drive and try to find something new in the day that speaks to you and lifts your soul.  It may be hard at first, but after a while, you’ll begin to see the positive things.  And maybe you’ll even find some solutions to your difficulties.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll make new friends or find a new hobby!  You never know what’s around the corner!

Peace and love, my friends.


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