Yesterday was just one of those days. I woke up in a bad mood. I didn’t feel pretty. I tried to buy a new couch and no one could help me move it. I felt lonely. Even if someone could have helped me, The couch would not fit up the stairs, or through the door. I had to leave the brand new couch waiting outside, and the sprinklers came on. I was a moody “bleeped”-out word I should not write online or say in front of children to my fiance. I was struggling with some financial stuff that day. Feeling totally incompetent. Just one of Those All too Stressful, No-Good, Terrible, Awful Days. And instead of sinking into a sad bath of “Poor me” with buckets of ice cream and writing hate mail to the world and making it worse, I took a breath and decided to write. I am challenging myself to try to do one of these encouraging feel better ideas the next time I’m in a terrible mood. I came up with the following happy therapeutic list:
• Get Support from friends and Family- remembering that you are not alone can help increase your feelings of power. When we feel embarrassed about how we feel or what happened, we tend to not want to let people in, but try not to isolate yourself. Be with people who know your strengths and positive qualities.
• Talk about it/ Express your feelings – You can choose how much or how little to share as well as when, where, and with whom to share the details, but please try and talk to someone: a therapist, friend, family member, or even a stranger who feels safe.
• Do something active- your body can soak in all of that stress, anger, and anxiety and manifest itself in mysterious ways: headaches, insomnia, muscle aches, panic attacks, or gastrointestinal issues. But playing sports, doing yoga, running, cycling, swimming, dancing, or even walking can help alleviate those nasty physical symptoms that creep up from stress.
• KNOW THAT WHAT YOU ARE FEELING IS OKAY. After trauma or something bad happening there are some normal reactions that people have or grief stages that we may go through. Denial, anger, sadness, shock, feeling numb, forgetfulness, blaming others, self blame, difficulty trusting others, or bargaining. It’s okay. Really. Whatever you may be feeling. You won’t be stuck there forever. Just…
• Keep moving, keep doing something, keep hope- Don’t give up. It’s easy to just not want to get up in the morning when we feel awful. But take a small step. Call one person. Text one friend. Walk for 10 minutes.
• Use your 5 senses to Reduce Stress- View something beautiful like a sunset, a painting, or the stars in the sky. Listen to some good music or an audio book. Smell beautiful flowers in a garden or bake/taste something that smells delicious. Get a massage or do something tactile with your hands like art, sewing, or build something. You’ll often forget about the bad when your senses are taking in so much good.
• Release some of the anger and hurt in a healthy way- Write a letter to the person with whom you feel hurt, angry, guilty, or sad. Then it can be up to you whether or not you actually deliver the letter- if you do, try to also be kind and the best version of yourself. Draw a picture. Speak to an empty chair as if it’s the person you need to address.
• Remind yourself of the good qualities about you: you are strong, fun, kind, sensitive, playful, powerful, resilient, and taking control. Remind yourself of a time when you felt this way, and then make those traits present ones by saying them out loud about yourself (ie I am strong. I am playful. I am taking control. I am kind). This may feel really silly, but here’s an example of why it can be powerful. Just try and not smile.
I know it was a bad day. I’m sorry. However, I challenge you to make choices so that it can get better. Then, there’s always tomorrow!