If you're a live human with a pulse, that means there are bound to be some days (ok, maybe a lot of days) when you look in the mirror, or look at your life, or your job, or whatever, and just feel “blah”. You start feeling emotional, insecurity takes hold, and you’d rather just not leave the house.
I first want you to know that’s normal, and it’s totally ok. You don’t have to feel bad because you feel bad. “Blah” happens and it’s part of being human. The good news is, once you recognize and admit you feel crummy, you have a couple of options. Deciding to do one of two things could help you get past the blah, the funk, the bad mood, and the crummy kind of days.
Option 1 - do something about it.
I know that sounds obvious, but I find that most people know they can or should do something about it, however a lot of times they don’t actually do anything.
We get hung up on this one because we start thinking about it. We recognize, “I don’t like this, I want to get out of this, I know this sucks”. Thinking takes a lot of brain power, and so does wanting. That makes us feel like we are doing something about it, when in reality, nothing is changing.
So when I say do something about it, I mean take action. Literally do something about it. No thinking. No wanting. Doing.
So what do you do? Here’s the cool part – do anything. Go for a walk, reach out to a friend, play with the dog, clean the kitchen, write in your journal. Just make it a conscious choice. “I don’t want to dwell on this, so I’m going to go do something else.”
You’re not trying to make the feeling go away, you’re just deciding not to dwell on it. Doing this frequently will remind you that you have far more control in your life than you think.
(Bonus tip: If you want to super charge the benefits of taking action, go do something for somebody else. That’s the easiest and most effective way to get you out of your own head and out of that “blah” moment. Genuinely providing value for someone else is like disinfectant to crummy thoughts and feelings. You feel good because you’ve made them feel good, and the world benefits from double goodness!)
Option 2 – Wallow
Yep, that’s right. You can totally wallow – guilt free. You have absolute permission to have a bad day. You can have a pity party and feel all kinds of sorry for yourself. There is only one catch – you have to make it a conscious choice. That means telling yourself, “I’m having a bad day and you know what, that’s ok. I don’t feel like going out. I don’t feel like fixing it. I just want to sit here and have a bad day.”
Awareness of the bad mood is key. Once you recognize, "this is where I am, and that’s ok", you can totally own it. You don’t have to try to make yourself feel better, or look for the bright side, or think positive.
In fact, in my opinion, there is a downside to the whole “think positive” movement. It leads us into thinking we should feel good all the time, and that there is something wrong with us if we don’t.
Absolutely a positive attitude can go along way. It can create physical healing in the body that we’re just beginning to understand. Yes, you want to take action to move past bad moments if you can, but guess what? Feeling bad is not a crime. Feeling bad is a part of the human experience and process. It’s actually healthy to feel like shit sometimes. It’s normal to be in a bad mood or to not like something about yourself sometimes.
Just own it. Sit in it. Don’t try to push it away. That usually makes it worse. By telling yourself it’s ok to feel this way you neutralize the crumminess a little. When you remind yourself it’s normal and that it’s not bad, you give those feelings a chance to just run their course.
What I find helps the most is to put a time limit on the pity party. Tell yourself, “today I’m going to sit in this and let myself feel like crap. But tomorrow, I’m going to go with option number one. I’m going to take action to move myself past this. Tomorrow I’ll make a plan. Tomorrow I’ll fix things. But right now, screw it, this sucks.”
If tomorrow comes, and you still feel like wallowing, that’s ok. Just remember to make it a conscious choice. By making it a choice, you’ll notice, “I said I was going to take action today, and I said that yesterday, and the day before. It’s probably time to actually do something now.”
If you say it day after day after day and can’t seem to find a way to take action, then it’s time to admit this may be a bit bigger than you and ask for outside help. There is nothing wrong with that either.
So to sum up, be consciously aware of these emotions and the choices you make about them. When you do, you will move with them, instead of feeling like you’re fighting them, or like they are running you over. You won’t be beating yourself up in addition to having a bad day.
If you found that helpful, let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee / freedigitalphotos.net