How to Bounce Back When Everything's Going Wrong in Your Day
Don’t you just have those days where everything just goes completely wrong? It’s like you’re going in one direction, and without warning, the universe decides to go the other way. Computers crash, headlights go out, unexpected bills show up in the mail. Well, you get the general idea—nothing seems to go right!
Unfortunately, today was one of those days. As we speak, I’m writing this on a notepad with a pen, instead of my usual routine of pounding away at the keyboard. Sadly, my computer was the victim of a nasty little virus. In my usual “I have absolutely no damn idea what I am doing” style, I attempted to save its life. I jabbed here, poked buttons there, and attempted to read directions that might as well have been written in a foreign language. It seemed like the more that I tried to fix it, the worst it got. I finally had to call it… Time of death, 4:05 PM.
It seems like in these moments when I’m chugging along just fine and suddenly the world comes crashing down on my head, I really only have two choices— I can sit down and feel sorry for myself, or I can put on my big-girl panties and find a way to overcome the obstacle; hence the pen and paper. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty spoiled. I just like when things go my way without a hitch, and when they don’t go well I can turn into a little… (I am sure that you can rhyme). So sue me if I like the softer and easier road—who doesn’t?
When the poop hits the fan, I always remind myself that what I do impacts my children. While I might feel like throwing myself down on the floor and having a huge temper tantrum, cursing the universe for picking on me, I have to restrain myself. The untimely death of my computer was a perfect opportunity to show my daughters that when life hands you lemons, you can either turn it into a sweet life-lesson, or just choose to be a sour puss. Today was my opportunity to make lemonade, and that is exactly what I did (with a little vodka of course).
Getting Through One of Those Days
Let’s face it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative and end up becoming imbued in it. And that temptation became much harder to conquer as the day wears on. So how can you refuse to become a victim of circumstance? And more importantly, how do you deal with difficult situations in front of your kids?
- Take a break. I like to repeat the mantra, “I can’t change circumstances, only my thoughts.” Removing yourself from the situation and taking time to regroup and refocus will give you the distance you need to get a fresh perspective. It also ensures that you don't misdirect your anger and annoyance to your children who likely can already sense your stress.
- Laugh it off. Try to find the humor in the situation (it's hard, I know). But if you go through all the day's events with your sitcom writer's hat on, you might be able to get those laughs going. And if that doesn't work, sit down to an actual sitcom and change your mood.
- Release your negative energy. Get moving or get creative. Go for a full-bodied run and get your heart racing. Drop what you're doing and paint wildly. Turn up the music and dance until your muscles ache. Releasing your pent up frustration in physical or creative ways will help break the cycle of negativity.
- Go for guaranteed positivity. We all have our go-to fell-good treats. Go on...you had a rough day, pamper yourself. Soak in the tub, feed your sweet-tooth, read a favorite book... Just switch to an activity that guarantees good vibes.
- Resist the urge to lash out. The kids are listening. Here's your chance to show them what you're made of. Blaming the universe makes you look like a victim of circumstance. If you lose control, you'll be teaching them to do the same when facing their own challenges.
- Look for the lesson. Replay the day's events in your mind. What could you learn from them? How can you avoid some of the same issues in the future?
- Rewrite the story. Sit down with a pen and paper but write down only the good things that happened today... No matter how small. When you've finished jotting down everything, reread your list and gain a new perspective.
- Refocus on the bigger picture. Sure, some things may not have gone according to plan today, but you can find plenty of things to be grateful for in your life as a whole. Shift your perspective and remind yourself how well things are going despite the little hiccups.
When you take the steps to productively deal with those 'everything went wrong' days, you role model resiliency and emotional strength to your little ones. You show them how to overcome obstacles rather than merely reacting to them or letting them get the best of you. When we stop thinking like victims, we're able not only to find solutions but also to find the silver lining in every event.
Life’s little annoyances happen without warning, and usually at the most inconvenient of times. The important thing to remember is that while we can’t control what will hit the fan, we can control how we react to it... and it's always better with a glass of lemonade.
Tell us about the last completely horrible, down-on-your-luck day that you had, and how you coped!
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