We’ve all had bad days, tough days, blue days, dark days, fall-on-your-face days; days that find you in an emotional funk.
Lately, I’ve been fighting battles left and right. Some days are so blue and it seems like the sun will never rise. Here’s what I do in those moments:
1. Play upbeat or uplifting music
This depends on what songs lift your mood! Lauren Daigle’s You Say and Terrian’s In the Arms are my current go-to’s. The lyrics speak to my heart and help me see that I am not alone and that God’s got me. Some other songs I listen to include Le’Andria Johnson’s Better Days, Deliver Me and All in His Plan.
Depending on what has me down in the dumps, I might opt for Meghan Trainor’s Better When I’m Dancing and I’m a lady. Basically, play music that lifts you up rather than puts you down. There are some songs that depress me to the point of tears so I avoid them like the plague. They had their moment to shine during my breakups and I prefer to preserve them in that time capsule.
Think uplifting, not depressing!
2. Consciously focus on the good
Force your mind to focus on the good and mention that instead of the bad!
Truth be told, I have found that the mind flows so easily to the negative once I allow it free rein. On a particularly bad day, focusing on the good (no matter how insignificant it seems) always helps redirect the flow of my thoughts. Sunshine instead of rain, a full stomach, the clothes you’re wearing, the job you have, the friends you have, name it!
Be very deliberate about allowing the good to wash away the bad. When this battle is won in your mind, it does not take long for it to manifest in your physical life. Do whatever it takes! Write them down, say them out loud or post them on your socials; get the good into the universe and watch it flow back into your life.
3. Take a nice long shower
It always leaves me feeling renewed and refreshed. Since I am in a tropical country, the weather will determine the temperature of water I choose to use. A dash of bath salts and shower gel add fragrance and a feeling of self-love so I never leave them out of my therapeutic showers.
Essential oils such as lavender and rose oil are well known for relieving anxiety and stress. Consider adding a few drops in your bath water and taking a nice long soak. If bathtubs are not your cup of tea, let the spray of the shower wash away your worries until you can’t stand the water anymore.
This is most important for me! In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy. Ask Him to let you experience it! His magnanimity is boundless. Contrary to popular belief, He is not some eye in the sky ready to hurl lightning bolts at those who do wrong. He is a loving and compassionate father who desires that you live your best life. Yes, that includes your happiness!
Ask without doubting and enjoy the feeling of God’s peace washing over your battered soul. Ideally, this should be the first option but like most people, I wait until my back is against the wall to pray. As much as possible, pray then try out the other stuff.
5. Stay away from the self-harming coping habits
This one is a doozy. It’s like breaking an addiction and won’t be as easy as ABC but you’ll feel so great after so do it! Stress eating is my poison; good ole junk food. While I know that binge eating junk food will leave me full of regrets, I still find myself reaching for the 8th pizza slice.
Whether your coping habit is drinking, smoking, doing drugs, cutting or whatever else that harms you, choose not to do it. Wrestle with your will until you win. This short circuits the vicious cycle of regret and addiction that keep you down and out. I know it is difficult because I have been there with addiction. But I am also certain that it is not impossible because I got out and fully forgave myself.
The bottom line is that you ought to create more edifying coping habits like taking a walk (not into a bar), art, writing, yoga or meditation.
6. Get moving!
Take a walk. Walk away from your desk. Say hi to a person. Don’t stay where you were knocked down. Change your environment and allow your mind to heal (especially for deep emotional hurt). This may be part of developing new coping habits.
Do not allow to be idle and thus have the negative thoughts creep into your mind through every nook and cranny. Keep productively busy away from the source of your pain and hurt.
7. Be patient with yourself
Sometimes your frustration might stem from being impatient with yourself. Allow yourself the time to go through whatever process you find yourself in. Learning a new skill may seem daunting and hopeless in the beginning stages. Frustration creeps up on you and can be worn down by patient persistence.
There is no shortcut for the process so buckle in and enjoy the ride. Instead of focusing on how long it is taking, focus on the nuances of little victories every day.
8. Talk to someone about it
A problem shared is a problem halved.
I cannot count the number of times I have found that I had made a mountain out of a molehill after talking to somebody about a problem that threatened to consume me. Often times, we make a big deal out of something that can be so easily solved.
Share your woes with a trusted somebody and watch the lumbering giant shrink to a harmless figurine. Don’t make the mistake of trying to do life alone! If you are more introverted than the average human, consider writing your thoughts out on paper and revisiting them after a day’s rest. You may find that what you thought was a big deal is not such a big deal after all.
9. Adopt the Gratitude Attitude
Nothing chases the storm clouds of a bad mood away like the rays of gratitude. I have written about this before in previous posts. Count your blessings (out loud if you please)!
This helps you focus on the positives instead of the negatives and ultimately lift your mood and puts a spring in your step.
10. Be around your happy people
My boyfriend, family, roomie, and girlies are my happy people! I refuse to isolate myself from them when in a terrible unless they are or maybe the source of the mood.
It is virtually impossible for them to have all angered me at the same time so I just hang around a happy person and find myself smiling before long. Get some people like that in your life and do life with them. Hold hands and walk through life together, cresting one wave at a time.
Those are my ten tips. Please feel free to share yours in the comments below. Please like, subscribe and share.
Until next time,