How to Outshine a Gloomy Day
I've had my fair share of bad days. Shoot, I've had bad weeks and even months! What I've learned in my "old age" is that there are definitely a few things you can do to turn your otherwise bad day into a great day.
1. Wear yellow. My number one hack to finding the light in a dark day is to literally be the light. I have about 10 yellow dresses in my closet. Not only is it "my color" but I simply cannot be in a funk when I'm wearing yellow! I once went a full week in the color just to help me power through!
2. Dance it out. I'm a big fan of what I call "clock radio dance parties." I have an awesome clock radio next to my bed that has perfect tuning for some reason. On those days that I just don't feel like dealing with the day ahead, I crank up the volume on whatever station the radio is tuned to and dance for about 3 minutes. It always makes me feel better.
3. Engage in some positive self-talk. How do you do that? Think staring in your bathroom mirror and repeating, "you are a tiger, you are a tiger, you are a tiger." It may sound ridiculous, but it's often the negative thoughts in our heads that are worse than whatever it is we are actually facing in the first place. If you turn off the negative talk and engage in some positive self-talk, it will go a long way. So be the tiger, damnnit!
4. Go outside. It's easy to keep the blinds closed when you just want to wallow in self-pity. Take the extra step and change your scenery. No need to go far, just far enough to know you've moved forward.
5. Make a gratitude list. I started this practice during a particularly dark time in my life. Each night - which was the toughest time of my day - instead of dwelling on the bad parts of my day, I wrote down the things in the day I was grateful for. Sometimes the things I'm grateful for are complex: "I'm grateful that I didn't lose my mind today" or "I'm grateful for that enlightening conversation I had today with an old friend." But sometimes those things are more basic: "I'm grateful for that great glass of wine" or "I really like these pajamas." And that's perfectly OK. Forget being elaborate with your descriptions or identifying something with an overwhelming meaning. It's more important that you can actually identify something to be grateful for.
6. Take a personal day. When all else fails, sometimes you just need a break. We live in a society that encourages white-knuckling it through difficult times. But sometimes you just need to press pause. Sure, sleeping all day won't make whatever issue you're dealing with go away, but getting some rest will allow you to recharge and reevaluate. There is nothing like rest to help you gain clarity!
How do you handle bad days? I'd love to know! Sound off in the comment section below.
Feature Photo: Niki Benjamin