We all have those days when the first thing we feel when we open our eyes is the desire to close them again and hide under the covers. Sometimes it’s fatigue after a poor night’s sleep. Sometimes it’s generalized stress, and other times it’s because there are so many things to do over the next few hours that the day seems overwhelming. Whatever the reason, hiding won’t make anything better, so you need to know how to get yourself into a can-do frame of mind. These little tricks will help you get to grips with your problems and recover your belief in your ability to make it through – perhaps even finding things to enjoy along the way.
Hiding under the covers won’t make anything better, so you need to know how to get yourself into a can-do frame of mind.
Treat your senses
It’s easy to feel bad on a dull day when your mouth feels like glue, and all you can hear is neighbors shouting at each other through the wall. Life doesn’t have to be like that. Using a sun-effect lamp can brighten up mornings in the darker part of the year. Just having a glass of water beside your bed can provide a fair bit of instant relief, and if you need something more powerful, you might want to treat yourself to an alarm clock that wakes you up with a fresh cup of tea or coffee. A few drops of citrus oil in an oil burner can make the most boring of bedrooms smell enchanting and playing the right music can help you start the day in a much better mood.
Break down the tasks ahead
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re thinking about the things you need to get done all at once. Breaking them down into more manageable units makes them much easier to contend with. Before you even get out of bed, you can have a plan in place that will help you get through the day stage by stage. That can help you to work out ways of doing things more efficiently or ways in which you can get other people to help. Try to prioritize tasks according to what has to be done, what it would simply be useful to do, and what you’d like to do but could manage without doing.
Set achievable goals
When even getting up and getting breakfast feels hard, it’s time to rethink the goals you’re setting for yourself. On days like that, you shouldn’t expect to do everything that you can do on a normal day. Give yourself some credit for getting through the basics and try to set out two to five tasks that you can realistically achieve when in this condition. If you find that you pick up during the day and can do more, that’s great, but your goals should enable you to feel good about yourself even if they’re modest by your usual standards.
Be kind to yourself
When feeling stressed and listless, many people’s first instinct is to try and bully themselves into action. Doing so is rarely helpful, and when it becomes a habit, it can start to do psychological damage, actually making you less capable rather than more. If you’ve found yourself struggling frequently, it might be time to think about getting online therapy for anxiety or taking some time off to give yourself space to recoup your energy. Whatever you choose, try to extend the same sympathy to yourself that you would to other people, and give yourself time to relax.
Find things to look forward to
It’s easier to face the tough parts of the day ahead if you know that you’ve got things to look forward to. It might be as simple as lunching in your favorite bistro or reading some more of a really good book when you get home, spending some time with a friend, or fussing over a pet. You can also find little things that make you feel better during the day, such as wearing a favorite piece of clothing or styling your hair in a new way. When you feel good about yourself and your life in general, difficult things just won’t get to you in the same way.
On tough days you may just want to drag yourself out of bed, get dressed and go, but taking time for a morning shower, even if you don’t strictly need it, can make you feel much more alert and alive. The same goes for a spot of morning exercise and a healthy breakfast. Taking care of yourself from the very outset will help you approach your day, knowing that you deserve to be happy, and ready to make sure that you can be.
How do you prepare yourself to face a challenging day?
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