How To Shift When You’re Feeling Down
One of those days
I was having one of those days … nothing was going the way I wanted it to go. Or the way I envisioned it. Or even remotely close.
My grandmother would have said ‘seems like you got up on the wrong foot today’. Yup … that about summed it up for me today.
I had overslept a bit because I went to bed late. All because I wanted to hang out with my teen, who’s turning into a night owl. She had been away for a week and I wanted to just hang out with her, so I stayed up late.
Now, I’m a little tired. “So what” I figured? An extra cup of coffee, or two, would work to clear out my cobwebs.
But it’s more than just being tired
Yet, I woke up more than just a little tired. I was a bit on the grumpy side, unclear about my goals for the day, and unfocused on my work tasks. Even though I had a list of work To Dos ready to go! The neighborhood dogs, and mine, echoing my grumpiness, seemed to be barking at every little thing. My dogs and cats were playing that ‘in & out & back in’ game … eerily similar to my unfocused working momentum. Traffic seemed louder and non-stop through our normally quiet neighborhood.
Besides all the outside intrusions, nothing I was trying to do was working either. I couldn’t reach anyone that I was trying to call.
My computer was very slow to react, then rebooted in the middle of me trying to work.
The printer ran out of ink. I spilled my coffee. And it goes on …
We’ve all had those days
We have all had those kinds of days … nothing seems to go right. There is no flow. And if you’re honest, you’d like nothing better than to hide under a blanket and wait until the following morning to try your day again.
Sadly, with our busy schedules and commitments, that’s just not an option. So what do you do? Do you muddle through the day as best as you can? Or do you try and turn the day around?
Following are some ideas to try on those kinds of days
Take a break and breathe. The important part for this is to focus on your breath. Breathe in positive clean air and breathe out the stress. When you breathe in, imagine that breath washing all of your cells with clean sparkly white light. Imagine that same breath moving through your lungs and into all areas of your body. Imagine all the icky feelings leaving as you breathe out.
Take 5 minutes for yourself. On nice days, you could walk outside for 5 minutes, look at nature, watch & listen to the birds, and allow the sun and warmth to wash away the grumpies. On days when the weather is just as grumpy as you are, find a quiet room, an open office, or just a window tucked out of the way and imagine that the weather is washing or snowing the grumpiness away.
Meditation is another way to shift your day around. During your break, put some headphones on, download a meditation app and be whisked away for some peace and quiet. Often times, you come out of a meditation and have a different take on everything that seemed to be going wrong. It doesn’t seem as personal and can even be a bit funny. Or at least a bit easier to handle.
Shift your focus to easier tasks can be helpful. I always have piles of files that need to put back and papers that need to be filed. When I’m off balance, this is always a great time for that type of mundane work.
It’s also a good time to go through and purge old documents that are no longer needed. This type of purging can also offer you a different perspective. And show you just how far you’ve come and how much you have accomplished.
Text or call a friend. Sometimes, just reaching out to a dear friend to let them know you are down is just what’s needed. They respond with support and encouragement. Or maybe even letting you know they are experiencing the same things. You can both commiserate together. By the end, you could even be laughing as you compare your days.
Give in & show compassion for yourself is sometimes the best
The more I try to force myself to focus or get to projects done, the slower I go and the less I get done. And the little momentum I think I have slows down to a crawl. Even goes in reverse. Then I get frustrated with myself. Which just makes things worse.
When I give in to the fact that nothing is working in my favor, and that it’s just the energy of the day, I stop beating myself up. When that happens, I show myself compassion & kindness.
It’s the compassion that creates the needed space for me to breathe. And the space to shift my focus onto mundane tasks. And the understanding that even though I have deadlines, those can be adjusted.
That same compassion helps me re-prioritize and re-think ways of getting necessary tasks done that day. That same compassion also helps me realize that I am not the only one having a rough day.
Back to my day
One of my big deadlines was to get this blog written and submitted for review by the end of the day. And I was trying to find a topic that was upbeat and supportive and encouraging, which is our style.
The more I tried, the harder it got. I went outside and tended to my garden for a bit and focused on breathing. I tried to meditate. But I kept getting interrupted and I was becoming more frustrated. As I said before, I was easily distracted by the dogs, the traffic, you name it. I had lots of filing to do but couldn’t concentrate on that either. And my friends were tied up. The thing is, I had appointments that were going to keep me busy in the afternoon and I needed to get my stuff done. But I was tired, easily losing my focus, causing me to get even grumpier.
It was then that I realized I had my Consciously Awesome blog topic! We all have these days so let me talk about it, what worked to move me through it and what didn’t work. Even though I was still struggling at the time I started writing it, I started anyway.
My teen showed me the answer
It was my teen that showed me the answer: give in and be compassionate.
You see she was having the same kind of day I was. And I realized all she needed to do was to give in and show herself compassion and she would be fine. And that is exactly what I needed too for myself! As soon as I moved into a place of compassion for her, then for myself and stopped trying to force everything, my entire energy and day shifted. And so did hers.
The stress at being stopped at every turn turned into gratitude that those stops were in my best interest. The grumpiness lifted and potential replaced it. Once home again, the dogs quieted down, traffic dissipated, the neighborhood kids were elsewhere. My teen relaxed too.
And I really got into writing this blog. The words flew out of me as I wrote about my trying different ways to shift my mood. There are times that a simple meditation is just what I need. Other times, 5 min to reset myself is perfect. And sometimes, like earlier today, giving in and showing compassion for myself, and my teen, was the key to shifting my mood.
How about you?
What are some ways that you have tried to shift your mood? What has worked for you? Do you have a favorite meditation app that is your go to? Does talking or texting a friend help you? Or maybe posting on social media?
What if those grumpy days just keep coming one right after the other? Then it’s time for a more substantial reboot, like a vacation. Or a talk with someone who can teach you the tools to reboot yourself. Speaking of which, if you are ready to learn those tools for yourself, or just want to talk, then click here to reach out to the Consciously Awesome team for a free call. We are here for you … on bad days, off days, and on good days.
Shedding the shyness of my youth, I cheer exuberantly for my daughter, her teammates, and even the opposing Field Hockey team! Their pride & heart filled smiles beam in appreciation regardless of the final score.