Banish "The Baddies"
Ever have a day that just keeps stacking up with all the "wrong things?"
The kinds of things that make a person moody, like a conga line of snotty emails, a bad review of your work, a stressful day, an unexpected vet bill, or a dropped open bag of rice that spreads like broken glass all over the floor. Yep, I'll be stepping on those for the next month! We all have these days where one "baddie" leads to another. I thought I'd share something I do to turn my mood around when I'm having a particularly challenging day. Here's hoping it'll turn your day around when you need it.
First, when I feel the bad mood rising during the day, I put down my work and pick up the leash to take Baxter (the dog, my dog) outside. We go for a walk around the block and I try to clear my head of all the frustration that's taking up space inside me. I need that space for positive creative thinking - we all do, right?! If the walk doesn't work, I play the 'GET TO GAME.'
PLAY THE 'GET TO GAME'
This is how it works: Start by listing a negative thing that puts you in a bad mood (in your head, out loud, or on paper). Then, think of why this happened or what is causing it to happen. With the why in mind, come up with a reason why this is positive instead of negative. The only rule is to start a positive sentence with "I GET TO." You are not a victim. Things happen to you but you can choose how you feel about these things. Take back control over the day by attracting positivity with positivity. Feel free to play along in the comments below or save it for when you need it.
EXAMPLE OF ONE OF MY GAMES
These were five things I listed out in my head earlier this week. The exercise is for you, so there's nothing too big or small to add to the list. Add what makes you feel better.
Negative: I worked 14 hours today, I can't take one more thing on my schedule. Ah! (Another job request pops up in my email).
Why: I am busy because I like the people I work with, and they like my work.
Positive: I GET TO work with great clients and peers. They like my work! I GET TO move some things around and "schedule" a lunch in with Mom to take a break and destress.
Negative: I'm lonely in my office. I need a laugh and no one's here but me.
Why: I freelance. So, I work from home or a coffee shop. It's a singular endeavor.
Positive: I GET TO work from home and make my own schedule. I GET TO have a phone that I can call, or text anyone I want at any time. I GET TO take walks with my dog in the middle of the day when I need/want to break up the day. I GET TO follow my passion.
Negative: The client didn't like my first round of concepts.
Why: They didn't understand the concept. I misunderstood them, or they changed their minds.
Positive: I GET TO make art. I GET TO make art for a living, and whatever I create the second time will probably be even better than what I thought of the first time (even though the first round was good too - wink).
Negative: An unnecessary snotty email comes across my desk from someone.
Why: They probably had a bunch of negative things happen to them this morning too.
Positive: I GET TO seize an opportunity to improve someone's day instead of making it worse. They are likely having a rough day too but I don't have to let them pass their "baddies" on to me. I GET TO choose to be kind which will make me feel better, and it may also make them feel better.
Negative: The open rice bag fell on the floor and now the grains are EVERYWHERE!
Why: I am rushing around trying to get through lunch and back to my workday.
Positive: I GET TO take a break. If I can't hold onto a bag of rice without spilling it – I need to slow down. I GET TO enjoy lunch. I GET TO put on music and sing into a broom while cleaning up. I GET TO go back to work refreshed and ready to "not drop the bag."
Little annoying things can feel like big bummers when they start piling up, but most of the time these things are better served as a spotlight rather than a blackout. The key is to look for that big beautiful bright spot. Try to see things from a lighter more positive perspective.
You're a boss! Here's hoping it helps.
Get Creative. Be Kind. Seek Adventure.
JOIN BAXTER'S PACK to receive a monthly e-newsletter with a short story by me. It also includes book news and a link to the latest blog from Make It Pretty.
Photo Credit: Tim Rudloff @timrudloff (IG)