9 Tips For Resetting Your Day If You Get Off On The Wrong Foot
Try these tips next time you're having a bad day.
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Some mornings go exactly as planned: Everyone gets up in time, the kids make it to school and you arrive at work unscathed. But more commonly, mornings are filled with things like spilt orange juice, fighting siblings and late meetings. On these days, it’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated, and it’s hard to shake off the mood.
But just because things didn’t go exactly as planned doesn’t mean you have to feel crabby for the rest of the day. It might take a little bit of effort, but there are some ways you can turn your mood around. Here are nine tips to help you reset your day if you happen to start it off on the wrong foot, whether you’ve got a stain that won’t budge or you’re feeling stressed out from all the driving you have to do around town.
1. Take A Quick Break
“I can’t tell busy moms this enough,” says psychotherapist Maureen Werrbach, LCPC. Even if you only have five minutes, find some way to do something for yourself. “Have your kids with you? Turn the tv on for the kiddos and read a chapter of your book,” she says. “Call a friend. Take a bath. Did you know kids need a break too? Give them that break to be alone and read or color.”
2. Try To Look At The Positives
It’s easy to default to negative thinking when you’re upset, but it can help to take a moment to focus on the positive. Focus on what went right instead of wrong. Maybe your kids woke up late and didn’t have time to eat all of their breakfast, but at least you packed them a lunch full of healthy snacks. Many studies have found that expressing gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences and better deal with adversity.
3. Go For A Walk
Whether it’s with alone or with the kids, take a quick walk to help the mind reprocess information and recalibrate itself. “A quick 5–10 minute walk is excellent to get circulation going and help you get a little space and fresh air to clear your mind and reboot,” says psychotherapist Kristina Orlova, LMFT. “This is something that can be done with kids and helps them learn tools that they can use anytime.”
4. Be Silly
Humor is a great way to bring up the mood—for both yourself and your kids. “If it was a terrible start to the day, and you are with your kids, do something silly like make everyone sing their sentences instead of speaking them,” says Orlova. “This is a very fast way to have everyone laugh and relax.”
5. Keep A Notebook With You
When you just can’t seem to snap out of it, consider writing down how you feel. “The act of writing down your thoughts is therapeutic in and of itself,” says Werrbach. “Sometimes it’s all you need to let go and move on, and putting it on paper puts to words what you feel and gives your thoughts and feeling the attention it needs.”
6. Carry A Tide To-Go Pen
Spills and stains are going to happen more than you would like, whether it’s on your kids or on you, but instead of letting a little mess become a day-ruiner, stay prepared with a Tide-To-Go pen. Keep one in your purse or in the dashboard of your car and you won’t have to stress about a little chocolate milk on your dress.
7. Do Something Nice For Someone
Doing something nice for someone can not only help turn around someone else’s day, but it can also help improve yours. Research shows that doing meaningful things for others can make you happier. “Doing good and helping others brings out the positive in you, and makes you feel good,” says Werrbach. “Help a coworker who’s struggling. Volunteer at your kid’s school. Send a nice letter to someone who’s having a hard time. What’s great about this is that your child can do this too.”
“Take a deep breath, and re-prioritize what needs to happened next,” says Orlova. This might mean taking the time to reschedule your day or drafting up a new to-do list. “If you role model this for your children, you will be teaching them how to self-regulate with you,” says Orlova.
9. Stash A Mini First Aid Kit In Your Car Or Purse
In case a mishap ends up worse than a spill, you don’t want to panic. Keep a mini first aid kit in your car, or some band aids on your person. That way, you won’t have to freak out if someone gets a cut—which, let’s face it, is bound to happen.
No day can ever be perfect, but with the right mindset and a few tools, you can get back up on your feet before you know it.