First, lesson #31: do not schedule a pelvic exam for first thing on a Monday morning. It’s the surest way to get the week off to a rough start.
That was the dumb thing I did last week, and when yesterday morning rolled around, all I could think was, Why, Rachel, whyyyyyy? I mean, it’s not that that yearly exam is the worst thing in the world, but it’s not exactly fun. Plus I was going to a new doctor who saw her new patients on the other side of town. The exam itself was the fastest thing I’ve ever experienced — seriously, she got in and out faster than a JV football player losing his virginity — but I waited an hour for my appointment. An hour. That meant I missed the first two hours of my day at work when all was said and done. When I got there, I had so much to do, and even though I was planning to stay the extra two hours to make up for the morning, I still knew it was going to be tough to get everything done in that amount of time. And for some reason I was so tired, I felt like I was going to fall asleep standing up.
Quite often, starting the day with a stranger inside you can make for a very good day. But yesterday, I clearly had a bad day on my hands.
But…I’ve gotten pretty good at bad days! So now, I bring you today’s lesson: how to be good at bad days.
- Hide. Seriously, when you’re having a bad day, be alone as much as you possibly can. You have the right to have a bad day but you don’t have the right to be a way-too-stressed-out biatch to everyone around you. It’s not their fault or their problem that you’re having a bad day, so put yourself in solitary confinement as much as possible. Luckily, I could hide in the studio as much as possible yesterday and didn’t have to interact with people too much. Not only did this help me get my work done, but sometimes you just need to be alone. It’s OK to just shut your door.
- Say no to just one person. Bad days often come from feeling overwhelmed, so when you’re having one, say no to that person who asks you to do just one more little favor. Say it nicely, but say it firmly. Saying no will help you feel way more in control of your day, and the world isn’t going to end. Remember that some things just aren’t your problem. On days like that, remember that you have 99 problems but your coworker’s problem ain’t one.
- Reach out when you’re ready. Sometimes you need to be alone, but other times you need to call in your support system. Around 1:00 yesterday I e-mailed Eric a long string syllables because I couldn’t form actual words and confessed that all I wanted to do was get chewy oatmeal raisin cookies and eat them in bed until I fell asleep. I asked him if he wanted to come over for dinner. He sent me a really nice e-mail back that made me smile and said he’d come over for dinner. I’m pretty sure he only agreed so I wouldn’t go the cookie route, but I appreciated it nonetheless.
- Work it out. The last thing I wanted to do after all that was work out, but I also knew that if I didn’t, I’d probably feel even worse about my day. So I sucked it up and did Core Fusion Cardio and even though it’s so tough, it was what I needed to do. It gave me a temporary energy boost, and I don’t know…there’s something about doing hundreds of mountain climbers that just helps. It just feels good to move and be physical when you’re having a bad day.
- Talk — but not about your bad day. Right after my workout, I had a coaching session, and it was great! It felt good to talk to someone else about what was going on with them, not what was going on with me. I honestly forgot all about being tired and cranky.
- If all else fails, know that this video will not ever let you down.
Seriously, there were many days in college when Julia and I were sitting in our room bitching about life and I’d just put that song on and we’d bop around, instantly feeling better. It really helps. It helps even more if you play it via headphones while you walk to class. I mean, you feel a little crazy, but I’m telling you…it helps.
You know what else helps?
Cooking — but last night, that was a bit of a cluster because the cashier at Kroger didn’t give me one of my bags (“second time he’s done this today!” I was told when I called).
OK but you know what really helps?
When your boyfriend goes back to the grocery store for your green beans, onion, and garlic…and returns with cupcakes to cheer you up!
(Beer helps too. I definitely didn’t walk out of Kroger without that bag.)
The last thing that helps is keeping your eye on the prize: bed. You are probably having a bad day because you need sleep and anyway, why let a bad day go on any longer than it needs to? I was in bed last night at 10:15. This morning, I feel capable of interacting with other human beings again.
Here’s hoping Tuesday is better for all of us!