No matter who you are, we all have days when we struggle to roll out of bed or we just can’t seem to get started on the right foot. Leaning into the frustration that comes with this and taking action to treat yourself can turn a bad day into just a bad moment.
Free your schedule (and your mind) with some proven ways to dip into the self-care that you so rightfully deserve.
1. Accept It
Validate yourself: you’re right where you need to be in feeling what your body is bringing to your attention. Don’t try to ignore or deny it. Focus on making a space for yourself, whether that is a physical location or in the company of a good friend or just in your mind, and tune inward.
You’re not your thoughts. You’re stronger than you think. Allow yourself to process and feel it out. Take comfort in knowing you will get through this moment – you’ve made it through all the bad ones before, after all – and that the next one can only get better.
2. Write It Out
Lighten the load from your shoulders (that’s where your stress sits) by writing down your thoughts, feelings, and to-do’s. For extra therapeutic relief, write out everything you’re anxious about that’s beyond your control and then rip it up. It no longer serves you.
3. Breathe It In
If you can go for a quick stroll, enjoy the fresh air. Alternatively, take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth by inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath there for another 4, exhaling for 4, and holding again for another 4.
4. Get Moving
Try some gentle stretches or an online yoga session. There are plenty of free ones out there (I recommend Yoga with Adriene’s YouTube channel).
Motivation comes from action; by doing something, you’re more likely to get the ball rolling and do even more things, further fueling future motivation. If you’re finding it hard to start, because you don’t want to risk doing anything that’s less than perfect, then do it poorly. Inaction is worse than mediocrity. With practice and patience, you’ll notice the incentive to try better next time, because you know you have it in you to do so.
5. Engage Your Senses
If you need an energy boost, try a cold shower. If you need to slow-down, try a bubble bath. You can also stimulate your senses without getting your hair wet by smelling a sweet candle, sipping a soothing beverage, or listening to a song that suits your mood.
If the day still sucks, you’re not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. You can choose to reset and start anew at 4pm. You can also allow yourself to make the day as restful and unproductive as humanely possible. There’s no shame in taking breaks 🙂
What’s one kind thing that you do for yourself on slow or unproductive days?