A bad day. It happens to everyone. And not just on football Sundays when both the Patriots and the Saints lose to their respective nemeses. A few days ago I was starting to have a bad day, and somehow it turned into a better day. It made me think of things I can do to avoid bad days, or transform them when they start happening.
1. My mom always told me to wear a particularly pretty dress, and brighter red lipstick when I “wake up on the wrong side of the bed.” It works every time. Dress up, not down, when you are feeling grumpy.
2. It’s amazing what an extra hour of sleep can do. It gives me a different perspective. It unlocks my creativity. It enables me to solve problems more effectively. When I feel like crap, I give myself permission to sleep more.
3. There is nothing that cures work stress better than working. Even if it is the last thing I want to do, even if I want to do nothing, even if I am over it, just doing some work makes me feel better because at least I am being productive. If I am going to feel like crap, might as well be productive.
4. Related to point #3, sometimes I do the work thing I least want to do when I am feeling down. Again, if I am going to be feeling down anyway, I might as well do the thing that has been hanging over me for weeks – the thing on my to-do list I least want to do. At least then it’s done. No matter how I feel.
5. Enjoy the small things. Even when everything sucks, there is usually beauty in the mundane, in the everyday. The clouds. The tree outside my window. The orchid on my desk. Stop and smell the roses. It helps to put things in perspective.
6. Close a deal. Nothing gives me a better high than a new client, than a new deal. As a few of the Sharks say, “revenue cures all ills.” That includes a bad mood.
7. Avoid email. The emails I wish I had never sent usually happen when I am in a bad mood or upset or annoyed. I try to remind myself to pick up the phone if I receive a frustrating email while in a bad mood. There is something to be said for using a phone as a phone…
8. Perform a random act of kindness. Do something for someone else. Again, my mother always told me that doing something nice for someone is actually doing something nice for yourself. Even more important than how it makes the other person feel is how it will make you feel. Just like red lipstick, this works every time.
9. Think of one thing you are grateful for. Many of my BFFs have started gratitude journals, and now I know why. Nothing like reminding myself of all of the amazing people and things in my life to make me forget about all the things I might think are wrong.
10. Remember that bad days last just as long as good days, and not one second longer.
And finally, I remind myself of yet another thing my mother said. “Choose to be happy,” she recommends; “it is in your power to decide how you feel.” She must be on to something since Tony Robbins agrees: “How you feel is not the result of what is happening in your life – it is your interpretation of what is happening.”