As much as we can be on the right track for a day, sometimes everything goes well until it doesn’t. You may have gotten in a great meditation session AND a killer workout before 9am (damn, girl), but then a text unsettles you, a meeting doesn’t go as planned, a negative comment begins to play on loop in your head. Even though you recognize you’re upset, when you still have a to-do list to tackle and hours before your work day is over, it’s easy to feel that there’s nothing you can do but keep chugging along.
Not only is it not fun- it’s not healthy.
Next time you’re in need of a reset, try the following steps to reset your day in the parameters of your nine-to-five.
First: Take a NON DIGITAL break.
How many times have you reached for your phone for comfort, but lost track of time and ended up in a wormhole 15 minutes later, unaware of how you got to Jada Pinkett Smith’s manicurist’s feed? The result? You’re still in a funk, only having numbed yourself temporarily, and you’ve lost time getting nowhere.
Trust me. Walk away from your laptop, and leave your phone with it.
Before you make excuses about not having time, hear this- when you say you don’t have time for yourself (and when you actually believe it), it’s a blazing red flag of when you need a break most. Just exercising control over our bodies and lives can go a long way in making us feel better. Everyone has responsibilities to meet, but *you* are in charge of you, not your calendar.
Then: Identify what’s bothering you and what you need.
Identify what’s causing your slump, and articulate it. It can be as simple as “I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I am just NOT in the mood.”
Whether you need a boost of energy, motivation, or just some empathy to make it through the rest of your day, it’s key to recognize what’s going on. If not, you won’t know what you need and how to move forward.
Once you know how you’re feeling, try one or two of these exercises to help you work through to the other side.
Write something down. Writing something down can help you climb back in the driver’s seat of your mood because it starts momentum towards something good. If you are anxious, worried, or nervous, write down steps you can take about what’s bothering you. It will help you feel like you started action, and the physical proof of your plan is often comforting enough to move on with your day, knowing you’ll come back to the issue when you can.
Connect with someone: Sometimes all it takes is being seen by someone else to make a bad mood dissipate or help a heavy load feel lighter. You may want to talk about what’s bothering you, or simply ask someone how their day is going. Connection with others has a way of pulling us out of our swirls and setting us back on track even when we think it won’t.
Complain. You read that right. It’s ok to be cranky that you missed your alarm and your workout that morning. It is not ok to be mean to yourself about it, or to take it out on other people. So let it out and vent to someone you trust (or to a piece of paper, if nothing else). Then, once it’s all out, acknowledge three things you’re grateful for and move forward with good vibes.
There may be days that you don’t really know what’s weighing on you. On those days, be gentle with yourself and know it’s completely normal. Beating yourself up for how you feel won’t do anyone- and certainly not you- any good. Simply acknowledge that you’re not feeling like yourself, and be kind to yourself while you ride it out.
Lastly: After taking a beat, fake it till you make it.
We’ve all heard that smiling makes you happy. Why? Because behavior changes attitude- not the other way around. When all else fails, act like the version of yourself you want to be. Walk into that meeting like you’re not shaken up by the argument with your best friend that morning. Meet your client for lunch like you’re in a custom-made suit and not the blouse you spilled coffee on. Take it one step at a time, and more often than not, your actions will guide your thoughts to a more positive place.
The next time you’re in need of a fresh start, feel confident that you can turn your day around- no matter what time it is. Break, reset, and roll, girl.