Monday, November 09, 2009

10 Ways to Make a Rough Day Better

1. Give up all the expectations, hopes, and dreams you had for that day. If you don't, you'll find yourself frustrated at every turn. You'll be grumpy, depressed and hard to live with. That will in turn make the people you life with grumpy, depressed and hard to live with!

2. Just do the next thing. I am not superwoman and neither are you. Something I heard awhile back has stuck with me, even if I don't always apply it to my life. "Do the next thing". (I've heard this attributed to Elisbeth Elliott). Many times I try to do 15 things and once and none of them get done. Make a list of things you do. Pick one and complete it. Then "do the next thing". You get the satisfaction of completing something on your list, the joy of crossing it off, and you don't have to wonder what to do next. You can also look back and see that you did indeed get something done today.

3. Remind yourself that this is temporary. Kids colds will not last forever, the laundry will eventually get caught up, kids will not be preschoolers forever, etc. Most of the elderly people I used to work with told me that this time of their life was the best. The time when your kids are young and at home. The elderly can really put life into perspective for you. If your kids aren't sick, take them to visit an elderly relative or to a nursing home. Watch the older person delight in your children and try to see them as the elderly do.

4. For one day (or two or three) give up your expectations of what you "should be eating" and "should feed your kids". No one will die if you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and potato chips. If you can afford it, order pizza or run through the drive through. If you can't, make mac and cheese or Ramen noodles. I have always thought there should be a cookbook called "What to fix when you really don't want to fix anything".

5. Along the same lines as #4, mix things up a bit. Have cookies for breakfast. Have scrambled eggs and toast for supper. Have a picnic on the living room floor. Cut your sandwiches into shapes with the cookie cutters (just don't waste the crusts, eat them too!).

6. Do something that makes you feel good. Spend a few extra minutes on facebook, eat some chocolate, or indulge in some other guilty pleasure.

7. Accept any and all help. This is not a sign of weakness. Let someone take the kids for a few hours. Let someone help you clean your house. Let someone pray for you.

8. Find something "fun" to do. Finger paint with chocolate pudding, try a new recipe, or go for a walk and crunch some leaves with your feet. Whatever you choose to do, try to live in the moment. Don't worry about what you "should" be doing. Use your senses. Smell the leaves, feel and taste the pudding. Hear your children's laughter. See all of the beautiful things around you that you are too busy to notice!

9. Have some uplifting reading material in the bathroom. When you have your 3 minutes (or 30 seconds) of "free time", read a story in Guideposts, a couple of pages in your current novel, or scan a catalog and have a mini shopping spree.

10. Pray. Pray for the people who are driving you nuts. Pray that the dog will stop chasing the cat. Pray for someone who is truly having a worse day than you are. Pray for patience, wisdom, and a sense of humor.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." NIV

( I was looking for a photo for this post and I didn't like any that I had. I decided to take a picture of Tyler since he's been sick and having "a rough day". I didn't say anything to him, just went to take the picture and he smiled. I'm sure there's a lesson for me there. Choosing to smile even in the midst of a rough day?!)


Cheryl said...

good advice!! I agree with it all. I have to do the do the next thing, just to organize my thoughts!!

Char said...

Thanks for the suggestions on how to make a rough day better! I like every one!

Katherine said...

I would have to add for myself, "Quit being a perfectionist!" That is the hardest thing in the world for me to do because the more perfect things are, the happier I am and I'm so afraid to let that stuff come crashing down - I think I'm just afraid of failure and depression.

To go along with number 2, I read somewhere recently that multi-taskers are actually less efficient than people who do one thing at a time.