Friends, have you ever had a day where you woke up and it felt like Eeyore was your spirit animal?
Been there. Done that. In fact, I’ve been there a handful of times the past two months. Our two little boys, my hubby, and I passed cold after cold to each other, and then I topped it all off with my first (and hopefully last) bout of mastitis. It was six long weeks of being out of our regular routine, and it threw me for a loop.
Our normal routine during the week is my morning ritual, breakfast with the boys, going to the gym (where I have a much needed hour to sweat, work through whatever is occupying my mind-space, and not be actively parenting because I love my kids…but #toddlersaretough), lunch, naptime, afternoon outing (errands or something fun!), picking up my hubby from work, and then our dinner and bedtime routines for the boys. We’re in bed not too long after that most nights.
However, between the colds, baby brother getting his first tooth, RSV, and all the aforementioned illnesses, we were completely out of schedule and basically quarantined to the house so we could get better and not spread anything to our friends. And that’s when I realized, my morning ritual and making time every day to sweat is what keeps me sane. It helps me show up as my best self for myself and also for my family. And without it, I was feeling pretty down.
Now friends, there is absolutely a difference between feeling down for a few days and being depressed. I experienced depression during my first pregnancy, and now being on the other side of it I can more easily ascertain the difference between the two for myself. If you’re feeling depressed, please seek the support of a professional. There’s no shame ever in needing help. For the person who needs to hear this I’ll say it again. Ask for help. Do it now while you still feel motivated. Stop reading and schedule an appointment now. I care about you and your health. 3, 2, 1 – go schedule it.
So, what do you do when you’re just plain old having a bad day?
I knew this was a situational bummer for me, and that sometime soon our kids would start sleeping again (which means we’d start sleeping again), we’d get healthy, and our regular routines would be reinstated. But what about in the meantime? Well, friends, that’s where having a list of go-to activities, movies, music, books, whatever, that makes you feel joyful comes in handy!
For me, it looks like:
- Completing the day’s entry in my Start Today Journal, an absolute must!
- List everything you’re grateful for. Big or small. Nothing is off limits. Make the list as long as possible and then read it over and over and be reminded of all the bounty that’s in your life.
- Listening to 2010’s hip hop and singing along very loudly (and now the clean versions given there are little ears always listening!)
- Rap battling myself to the Hamilton soundtrack (Cabinet Battle #1, anybody?)
- Cooking from my favorite Cookie and Kate cookbook
- Cleaning, organizing, and purging what we no longer need (my neighbor joked when I loaded our car up with clothing the boys had outgrown that it’s still too early for spring cleaning, if he only knew!)
- Spending time caring for all the plants around our home, because nurturing something is good for the soul
- Watching Julie and Julia or The Count of Monti Cristo
- Snuggling my hubby
- Taking a bath
The majority of the time, one or more of these things will get me feeling better. It puts me in a better place mentally and I feel optimistic about the rest of the day. They serve as a reboot and I can move forward from there.
But what if you give your tried and true feel-better things a go and you still feel crummy? I’m here to say, it’s okay to have a bad day. An off day. A day where you woke up on the wrong side of the bed and maybe it’s just going to feel like that today. Do not, hear me, do not guilt trip yourself for not being able to get out of this funk. It’s okay to feel a little off from time-to-time, but do not let that be an excuse to treat others unkindly. You might even want to warn your family that you’re just feeling meh and that the classic line of “it’s not you, it’s me,” is actually true today. Maybe today you lean into it and then set yourself up for success for the next day with a strong evening routine (take a shower, get to bed early, lay out your workout clothes for the next day, plan what you’ll do for your mourning ritual, you get it!) and just give yourself permission to feel bleh. Because tomorrow is a brand-new day, and it’s amazing what a little self-love, a good night’s sleep, and some coffee in the morning can do.
Header Image by Gabriele Diwald
Eeyore GIF by Giphy