Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two Things You Can Do to Turn a Bad Day Around



I want to introduce the concept of a Reboot.  When my son was small, he used to throw these hellacious tantrums.  If I could catch him before things piled on too much, (you know before the feeling where everything is going wrong) we could usually avoid an epic meltdown (on both of our parts).  It would work like this. I would say, "Do you want a reboot?" He would nod his sad little head, and I would put him back in bed, pull up the covers, shut the blinds, turn out the light, say "I love you Bubba.  See you in the morning," and leave, shutting the door behind me.  Outside his room, I would silently count to 10, then cheerfully open the door and say, "Time to get up, my sweet boy. Time to start the day " Then we would go through our usual morning routine of hugs and tickles.  It would work almost every time.

It works for the following reasons:


1) He asks to start over.  How powerful is it when someone asks you for that.  "Can we start over?" Does anyone ever say no to that?  (If they do, then walk away from that person and don't come back, because they are a butthead).  When someone says, "yes" they are saying, "I am giving you a second chance."  People usually don't like to squander second chances.

2) It works because there is a space created where he can let go of the past, take a deep breath and reset.  You can't go from angry or frustrated to not in a nanosecond. Give yourself a minute or two to clear your head, and forgive yourself.  Irrelevant Side Note: I really want to add "Let It Go" here, but Frozen has ruined that phrase for me. Now that song is stuck in your head too.  You're welcome.

Sometimes grown-ups need a reboot too.  Not the crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head sort of do-over (although, sometimes yes, we do need that too.  However, if it's that bad, I recommend just staying in bed, and that is totally okay too.  I do this once or twice a year, and leave the hubs to deal with the kids once he is home.)

Often it isn't just one person causing us to have a shitty day, but a pile up of various grown-up stuff. However, if there is one person you have really been crappy with, ask to start over.  I have done this with my kids more times than I can count.  For example, when you are frustrated with something or someone else, and you're kid happens to ask you something while you are in the throes of that feeling, and you snap at them, then you really feel like poo, right?  Look them in the eye and say, 'I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have snapped at you.  Can we start over?"  Not only will you feel a whole lot better (and probably get a much needed hug out of it), but you will be teaching them they can screw up (and will), and they can take responsibility and apologize.  It's called modeling the behavior you want to see out of your children.  Asking for a Reboot and taking it is one way to correct a Bad Day.

Let's say there isn't a person you've taken your bad day out on, but things are just not good, and you have had enough.  Take a shower.  Yup, that's it.  That's my great advice.  Before you roll your eyes, let me explain.  There is something super therapeutic about the water washing all the yuck away. Most major religions use water in some way to "cleanse" the spirit.  I'm not terribly religious, but on this, I'm with them.  Stand in that hot water with your eyes closed, and let go of all of it.  Let it just roll off you.  In the space of that shower stall, let there be peace.  You still may have the same troubles, trials, and tribulations tomorrow, but for now allow yourself some peace and the opportunity to reboot, so that you have the strength to pick up the good fight later.

In my opinion a bath just doesn't work the same.  It's like sitting in your troubles.  I want that stuff away from me and down the drain.  Plus, it takes forever for that tub to fill up.  I need saving NOW! Save the tub for relaxing.

If after your shower, you are still feeling defeated, then this may be one of those times you just need to put on your comfy pants, and crawl into bed.  The kids will be fine eating a dinner of cereal or Cheeze-Its.  I promise it won't kill them.

If you are at work and need a mini reboot, go to the bathroom, splash some water on your face and think about the current frustration going down the drain.  If you wear makeup, take some time to clear your head while you re-apply.  I promise, you will feel like a new woman when you are done, and ready to go back out there and kick some butt.

I just want to add, that giving yourself a "Time-out" doesn't mean you are weak or being a cry baby. Stop thinking you "should" be able to handle this.  We all have bad days and we need to take care of ourselves before one bad day turns into more bad days than good days.  I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes as food for thought.


Courage doesn't always roar.  
Sometimes courage is the little voice 
at the end of the day that says, 
 I'll try again tomorrow
- Mary Anne Radmachen   



                
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