When the thought of “It’s turning out to be a bad day” pops into my head, I try to remind myself that there are no bad days. Every day has its challenges, its highlights and its downfalls, but if we have been blessed to have another 24 hours to live and to learn then, for this, we must be grateful and find the good within.
But it is not always to get past that “bad day” mindset, to do something to turn the day around, and to move on to make it a “good day.”
Here’s my top 10 list for turning the day around (to be used as a future reference by myself and by any other stay-at-home mom who wants to do the same):
1. BE THANKFUL
Think of five things you are grateful for. Then imagine you did not have those five things in your life. You will probably become even more grateful. Focus on what you dohave instead of what you do not. (If you need inspiration, go here.)
2. CENTER YOURSELF
Do some stretches and take some deep breaths. Repeat the phrase, “It will all pass” several times. Then look at your children, your home, and yourself with new, hopeful, and loving eyes. Give some hugs. Start again.
3. SET THE TIMER FOR 10 MINUTES
Is your house a mess? Have you had a shower? Do you need to put in the laundry, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash, and vacuum? Don’t get overwhelmed. Tell the kids you are going to set the timer for 10 minutes to get some work done (invite them to help if appropriate) and when the timer goes off, you are ready to play.
Do whatever you can in that time period, focusing only on doing the time-critical tasks that really *must be done.* You will be surprised how much you can do. Then stop the chores and concentrate on spending time with your kids. After two or three hours, set the timer again. After a few 10-minute sessions you will hopefully have most of those little jobs done. The rest can wait until tomorrow.
4. FIND JOY IN MUSIC
Find an old favorite upbeat CD you haven’t listened to for a while and turn it on. Sing and dance (and invite your kids to do the same). Let the music melt your bad mood away and remind you of all the joy in the world that there is to embrace, if we only remember to look for it.
5. RECOGNIZE YOUR FRUSTRATIONS AND LEAVE THEM BEHIND
Is there something in particular that is really frustrating you, or is it just the way you are dealing with the issues of the day? If it is something that truly needs to be dealt with, write it down on a piece of paper, tuck it away, and choose not to think about it until after the kids are in bed (if possible). Then read the piece of paper and map out a plan of what you need to do. You cannot always fix everything in any given moment, even if you want to. Give yourself a break so that you can address it later, when you have time and space to do so.