Who doesn’t have those bad days every now and then? (If your answer to this is ME!, then I salute you, continue with your good work and tell me your secrets!)
Sometimes, bad days are bad for reasons beyond our control. However, they can be made better, even if we can’t solve the big problems straight away. Here are a few ways to do just that:
1. Go on a super top secret mission.
This is one of my favourite grounding practices (yes, this totally counts as a practice). Turn something small that you need to do into a mission, and devote your attention to it. It might be making coffee or going to buy something from the shop, dancing for 10 minutes in your underwear as if your life depended on it, or cutting your toenails.
Notice all of the details in every action you take in completing whatever your mission might be, notice your breath, devote yourself to it for the time that it takes to accomplish it.
Really really loud or really really quietly. Tunefully or terribly, in private or in public, a happy song or a sad song or an angry song or a made up senseless song or an absent minded hum. Which reminds me, humming meditation is also awesome – cover your ears, cover your eyes, and hum.
3. All those things that we already know and have read a thousand times, but convince ourselves are not worth doing when we’re having a bad day.
By this I mean – smile, go outside, talk to a friend, clean the house, eat nourishing food, move your body, meditate, etc. As much as they may be “boring old news,” we all know they do actually work -- so do them.
4. Write a story.
By hand, with a pen and some paper, just a really teeny tiny short story (half a page, or less, no pressure) about a person you walked past, a bird that fell out of a tree, an almond that wanted to be a pistachio – whatever you want. Spend a few minutes involving yourself in the most bizarre corners of your imagination to give yourself a break.
5. Look up and look down.
Look up at the things you’d miss if you didn’t look up – maybe a dusty cracked ceiling that must have seen so many bad days before this one, and is still there, dusty and cracked, getting on with being a ceiling; or maybe a beautiful giant sky full of flying things and sunshine.
And look down at the things you’d miss if you didn’t look down. A carpet in need of cleaning (then maybe do that, pretty good mission), or someone else’s discarded shopping list in the street to remind you that despite your bad day, people still go shopping for bread and carrots.
And a sneaky number six…write your own list of things that you know can and do cheer you up, and do those things – because your five may well be different from mine. Go forth and keep going, one foot in front of the other.