Everyone has those days. The alarm doesn't go off, you're unexpectedly out of coffee filters, there's no hot water, and when you finally get out the door, there's a heinous traffic jam you're fairly certain was put there just to test your nearly depleted patience. Or you wake up thinking, Today I will be productive! only to get sidetracked by your email, which leaves you less time to prepare for your meeting with your mortgage broker, so you skip your lunchtime let-me-get-some-exercise walk to do more research and eat mac and cheese in frustration.
Even if you've somehow lost control of your day, that doesn't mean you can't reboot and recover. "Nothing is ever as bad as it first appears," says Karen Salmonsohn, self-help author of How to Change Your Entire Life By Doing Absolutely Nothing. "During a bad day, your lens of the world gets muddied and you can't see solutions as clearly. Walking away from the stress immediately improves your vision." Even the smallest action can change your perspective and turn your day around. Here's how REDBOOK readers and experts hit the refresh button.
- "I like to blast Meat Loaf's song 'Life Is a Lemon (and I Want My Money Back)' when I'm having a horrid day. After I sing that at the top of my lungs, I'm totally ready to face my challenges head-on!"
-Monica Dobbs, 29, Glens Falls, NY
- "Simple: I take a few minutes and remember that it can always be worse. Then I hug my kids and count my blessings."
-Marsha Thomas, 36, Cave City, KY
- "Sometimes I go to bed playing out the next day in my head, but it just never turns out the way I imagined it. On those kinds of days, I tell myself, 'I'm human. Beating myself up about whatever happened won't make the situation any better.' If I accidentally ate a doughnut instead of my planned oatmeal for breakfast, I try to at least remember the fact that I enjoyed the indulgence, and maybe I even needed it to get off to a good start for that particular day."
-Jessica Young, 25, Warren, PA
- "What I do is check my calendar daily and make certain that I always have something to look forward to, either in that week or even a few months. Whether it's pedicures with my sister, massages with my mom, ladies' night at a local restaurant, or a vacation with my husband, those things remind me not to sweat the small stuff and help me refocus."
-Andrea Nemeth, 38, Caldwell, NJ
- "I usually start by writing down eight things I'm grateful for. Whenever things get tense, I remember my list or make a new one. It really helps put things into perspective."
-Jaime Mason, 30, Lorain, OH
- "When I'm having a really bad day and we've all had quite a few! I just take a five-minute break and do a little deep breathing and imagine I'm at the beach. I think of the ocean and the sun and imagine that the tide is carrying my troubles away."
-Laura DuBard-Wren, 53, Lithia Springs, GA