bad day signage

You forgot to set your alarm, you wake up late scrambling to get the kids out of bed and ready for school, you manage to fix breakfast, make lunches, and chug a quick cup of coffee only to spill it on your brand new shirt. Now you have to change your clothes and get to work in time for an important meeting that requires more preparation that you were actually able to do. You pull out of the driveway, get all the way down the street and realize you’ve forgotten your phone on the kitchen counter. For a split second, you contemplate whether or not you really need it, realizing that there is absolutely no way you can survive the day without it, so you turn around while mumbling to yourself that if this morning is any indication, it’s going to be a really crappy day. You’ve got your phone and can still make it on time if you hurry. You drive onto the street and there are brake lights as far as the eye can see. Great, now what?

You turn on the radio to listen to the traffic report but get interrupted by a phone call from the school. (Insert emergency here).

You then try desperately to relax so you can think about the meeting. You finally get to the office and are told the meeting has been rescheduled.

I recently had a morning like this (I’m guessing you have too). When you’re at the end of your rope and everything that can go wrong has, how do you begin to turn things around?

Here are 7 tips to get you started:

  1. Call someone who will make you laugh. I called my hubby Jay. No matter what is going on, he makes me laugh and helps me to find a bright side I never in a million years would have found. If he’s not around, I call a friend, unload for a bit and then ask them to make me laugh.
  1. Go to a quiet place. I went into a quiet room (ok, it was a bathroom stall) and took deep breaths. In retrospect, that’s wasn’t the best place to take deep breaths. But it was a great place to get a few minutes alone to collect my thoughts.
  1. Talk to yourself. I had been listening to myself all morning. Griping, complaining and feeling like a victim. If someone else had been talking to me like that, I certainly wouldn’t want to be anywhere near them. I told myself that this was a blip. This was temporary and things would turn around.
  1. Take a walk and breathe. I took a walk around the building and focused on my breathing. I took deep breaths, counting to 3 as I inhaled, counting to 3 and held it, and counted to 3 while exhaling. I did this for about 4 minutes, the time it took me to walk around the building.
  1. Look for humor. I looked for humor wherever I could find it. A billboard for butt paste (diaper cream) made me giggle. It really did say “Butt Paste”.
  1. Smile…even if you don’t feel like it. I made up my mind that regardless of what happened for the rest of the day, I was going to find ways to smile (and I did).
  1. Be grateful. I thought of all of the things I have to be grateful for, including the fact that I knew this morning was crappy because I’ve had so many good mornings.

Let’s face it, we all have mornings, days or even months like this (trust me, I know), but when we do, it’s easy to start looking for all of the cruddy things, and when we look for them, we find them in spades.

On the good days, practice gratitude. Be patient with others who might be having the kind of day we all dread. Most of all, give yourself permission to be human. We’re all in this together and no one has it all figured out.

Look for good things (and take time to appreciate them when you find them), take a few deep breaths (not in the bathroom) and find humor in the little things. Your day will turn around, and you can be glad you took the time to hit the re-set button.

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