I have bad days. And I have really horrible days. I would really like all my days to be good days–but that’s not realistic. I’m going to have bad days. I’m going to have days when I wake up tired and cranky. I’m going to have days with bad news and things that go wrong.
So how do I learn how to do deal with the bad days so they don’t become downright awful days that I deeply regret?
Here are five ideas.
I can’t change the past. Or predict the future. And sometimes, I just have to accept what is right now. Even if it isn’t what I want. I can’t change certain things, and trying to change them by worrying about them over and over isn’t going to help me or anyone else. I have to accept things I don’t want to: I make mistakes. I get cranky. I have off days. But I can accept those things, because they happen. They are real. Accepting it makes it way easier to deal with.
I need to forgive others, I need people to forgive me, and I need to forgive myself. Forgiveness means I’m going to let go of anger and resentment and shame. I’m going to realize that mistakes are not definitive. And I’m going to keep trying to do the best I can.
3. Release Expectations.
Sometimes the reason I have a bad day is because I was very much expecting Plan A, and then I have to deal with Plan B (or C or Z) instead. When I hold on to Plan A, I am miserable. But Plan A only exists in my head. I can let go of it. I can get rid of the expectations I had for perfection and happiness and just exist with life as it is. I can embrace Plan B and accept things aren’t going according to plan. Because Plan B is the right plan: it’s the plan that actually exists.
4. Remember Priorities and People.
Sometimes I prioritize things that are not very important–like having a clean house or getting everything done on my list. I need to take a step back and realize my real priorities: family, becoming a better person, and serving others. People are more important than things. When everything goes wrong, there are still people who I love and who love me. They are more important than the things that went wrong.
5. Let the bad moment stay inside that moment.
Sometimes I have a bad day because I had a singular bad moment and I spent the rest of the day worrying about it. Sometimes I have a bad week because I had one bad day. I’ve been learning to isolate those bad moments and not let them ruin my whole life. I made a mistake–it happens. I don’t need to drown myself in guilt and then punish myself over and over by making more wrong choices. I can forgive other people for their mistakes. I can choose to move forward and upward.
And if someone around me is having a bad day–I can apply those same things. I can accept that they are struggling, forgive them, release the expectations I had for them, love them, and then hope for a bright future. I’ve had bad days where I’ve sat on the computer dealing with problems in a sour mood–and my husband starts to make dinner, reassures me that I’m fine and it’s okay, and loves me instead of criticizing the fact that I have gotten way off track. I am so grateful for that. I try to give him the space and love he needs when he has a bad day too.
Bad days don’t last. Because usually, life is pretty awesome if we care to remember how many good days we actually have.