You know the ones.
When the old critical voices are milling about drinking martinis in your head. You try to send them all away with your favorite powerful affirmation, but only a few of them even look up – and one of them turns away and snickers.
So, what do you do when no matter what you do, you’re just icky?
Very few success-gurus or business coaches talk about the bad day. Rarer still is any discussion on the process of following your dreams or building a business and the persistence it takes to break through old patterns.
Sometimes it helps to hear someone be honest about this stuff. Not so that you can indulge in self-pity about how hard you have it. But so that when the bad day strikes, you have some leverage and you KNOW WHAT TO DO! (Or not to do!)
So, how do you get through a bad day?
Here’s a few things that help me. Let them help you too…
WHAT TO REMIND YOURSELF:
1 – The icky voices do not tell the truth.
They’re just your old voices coming up to feed. Do not feed them. This is what makes them stay.
2 – This is not who you are.
The voices like to tell you that this messed up person is who you really are and that the rest of the world doesn’t have these same flaws.
This is just a temporary set back. That’s all.
3 – Lattes don’t take the voices away. It just makes them go faster.
Bad Days are not a call to rush out to Starbucks, hoping that if you move faster, it will all go away. If there’s any action that needs to be taken now, it’s probably a nap.
4 – You can put off your productivity until tomorrow.
Consciously choosing to be unproductive is much more effective than spending the day wondering why you can’t get anything done. It really is okay to put down your goals and to-dos for one day. You can return to them tomorrow. Today, make it your goal to consciously do nothing.
5 – Everything seems worse when you’re tired or hungry.
If you are tired or hungry, that could be the primary cause of feeling bad. Eat something yummy. Take a nap. Go somewhere and sit quietly.
WHAT TO DO:
1 – Stop feeling bad about feeling bad.
If it helps, make today a container. Know that you’re allowed to have this stuff and that nothing horrid is going to happen with this one day of getting thrown off.
2 – Make no decisions.
The late Richard Carlson, author and psychologist, gave this great advice: “Never make decisions when you’re in a low mood.” That’s because low moods are a natural occurrence and that any low-mood decisions are typically not healthy. Put off all decisions when you’re having a bad day.
3 – Don’t read fashion magazines. Or the news.
4 – Take a 20 minute walk.
Bring a gentle affirmation along with you. On days like this you don’t want to say, “I am master of the universe!!!” On days like this you want to say, “I am loved. I am precious.”
5 – Don’t try to FIX yourself today.
No need to rush to the Self-Help section at Borders. Maybe there are steps you can take toward being healthier in the big picture. But today, let yourself stop.
6 – Lower your standards.
If you eat a good healthy meal, be proud. If you do a little yoga, give yourself a high five. Tomorrow you can have your old high standards back and be productive and evolved and all that. Not today.
7 – Say NO to anything if it’s motivated by the word “should.”
This is a good rule to follow on good days too!
8 – Ask yourself what you feel like doing.
Sometimes the answer to this can be surprising. Maybe you’ll want to begin a fiction audiobook and clean your closet! Maybe you’ll just want a nap. Don’t judge your response. Just do it. You might be surprised at how this one little bit of permission changes your state instantly!
9 – Don’t do anything destructive.
Don’t overdose on sugar or indulge in alcohol. Don’t call anyone who drains you. It will not help.
WHAT TO BE:
Be very, very kind to yourself.
WHAT TO KNOW:
That the victory is not about not having bad days anymore. The victory is that you can get back up after having one.
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