10 Ways to Improve a Shitty Day

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here. You wake up just like any other morning but by 8:30 am you have spilled the coffee, burnt the breakfast and next thing you know you are yelling at your pets and taking tequila shots. You begin the all too familiar mental spiral: “today is going to suck, I should just call in sick and go to bed, my kids are assholes, I’m a terrible mother/wife/employee, how am I going to make it through this day?” Buck up, bitch! You got this shit. Here’s how:

  1. Put on your sexy time undies: You know what I mean. The lace and satin fancy get up with the rhinestones that you bought for your significant other one Valentine’s Day and have worn exactly one time? Put that bad boy on your ass now. Grab the matching bra if it’s functional enough, but I’ll allow a pass on the grandma bra because the girls have to get through this shit with you. Moms, I don’t care if you’re in for a day of Paw Patrol and toilet scrubbing, put that shit on. You are a fucking lady and when you are in the depths of a rough adult moment I want you to think of your lady parts all decked out in fanciful splendor and just smile. Or you could just try to imagine the look my daughter gave me that time I was pleading with my children to stop beating each other with sticks in the front yard and shouted out, “DON’T MAKE ME PUT ON MY CROTCH-LESS PANTIES!”
  2. Touch somebody: A spouse, a lover, yourself, doesn’t matter. Doesn’t even have to be sexual. Can you grab a massage on your lunch break? Can you ask your toddler to brush your hair a hundred times like Marcia Brady? Passionate make-out session in the bathroom before work? Sometimes in the throes of life we forget that we are a species that thrives on human touch and when we don’t get enough we get irritable.
  3. Write a thank-you note: I’m not talking about the kind of thank you note that my mother forced me to send my grandparents. I mean a legit act of gratitude. You may have to dig deep here, and it might take a little while to find the right words. I suggest working out what you want to say on a computer and then hand writing the finished result in a card. Emails are better than nothing but the lasting effect of a hand-written note that somebody can hold in their hands and save forever is unbeatable. Who are you writing to? Anybody! Thank a dear friend for being such a formidable companion, thank your favorite teacher for the inspiration to go to art school, thank a coworker for help with a recent project, thank a parent or a child for helping you grow into a better person, thank a Congresswoman for her work on a recent bill that you supported, anything! It will make that person feel incredible to receive and you’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel in turn.
  4.  Go outside: Studies show that even fifteen minutes of fresh air and nature significantly reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. Sounded legit, didn’t it? I totally just made that up. But in my own personal experience, it’s often the tough days that I resist the outdoors the most. Usually it is a child that drags me off on some adventure in the end and you know what? I ALWAYS feel much better. If you don’t have a child in your life to force nature on you maybe you have a dog who would love a long walk, or a park nearby your office where you could eat your lunch on a bench. Best case scenario? Find a beach or the woods. Get sand and dirt in your toes. Imagine your lacy undies and your dirty feet and just smile.
  5. Give: There is no better way to feel fucking spectacular than to make somebody else feel fucking spectacular. It’s a fact, I’m almost certain. Doesn’t even matter who. Generosity is lovely in all of its many forms. Here are a few ideas if you are new to the concept of random giving:
    • Bake something and give it to a neighbor, friend, or office peeps
    • Buy lunch for a homeless person
    • Gather up some gently used blankets, a gift card to a pet store, some cans of cat or dog food and make a delivery to your local shelter
    • Think of a friend going through a tough time and bring or send her flowers and a heartfelt card
    • Leave a note under the pillow of a family member telling them all the reasons you love them
    • Go to the Facebook page, Yelp, or website of a favorite local restaurant or business and leave a glowing review or send an email detailing a recent positive experience
  6. Laugh: It is literally impossible to be grouchy while you are laughing. (Look how many facts I am making up in this post!) If you are off to work as this horrible morning is unfolding I suggest a funny podcast. If you are home with kids, may I suggest the new LEGO Batman movie? So good. Other ideas include calling or visiting your funniest friend, watching stand up comedy, dressing your dog in a costume, having a bad selfie contest with a friend via text, looking at memes online, or simply google funny cat videos at work while you pretend to work! One time I badly broke my toe. It hurt so bad and it doubled in size and turned purple. It was the saddest thing to look at and every time I saw it I would pout and whimper. So after a few days of that, I took a Sharpie and drew a smiley face on my toe. It made me laugh many times after that.
  7. Get creative: Few things give you a greater sense of satisfaction than creating something with your own two hands. My personal “making” skills happen to lie in the crafty world so when I’m down I immediately begin a new sewing project. If I am really down, I will choose something with a shorter turn around time like a small wood burning project, writing  a poem or short story, or even baking a fancy cake. The key is to do something you are competent in because a bad day is not usually the best time to take up something new and challenging. Drawing, painting, construction, cooking, website design, greeting card making? What is your thing? It might just set you free from your gloom.
  8. Exercise: I know, I’m a bitch for writing that. I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true! If you can manage to drag your ass to the gym/trail/tread mill/yoga mat/sex swing today is the day to do it. You will feel accomplished and your mood will be improved.
  9. Pump the jams: What kind of music make your smile from the inside? A favorite country tune? The music from a favorite musical? Shameless pop music from your high school years? Whatever it is, crank that shit up. Blast it in your car, in your ear buds at work, or on the stereo at home. Oddly enough, one of my favorite ways to improve a crap morning is to blast either Michael Jackson or Paul Simon stations on Pandora and clean. Something about dancing around with the mop, singing into the duster, inhaling the wood polish…
  10. Take a bath: A hot bath with candles, salts, and bubbles instantly lifts my anxiety every time. And what a simple thing to give to yourself. Not a bath person? Practice any kind of self care and you will feel the same results. Treat yourself to a pedicure, put on sweats and get lost in a book, (or Candy Crush) get dressed up and take yourself out to dinner, the ways to care for ourselves are endless. Many Moms would argue that they don’t have time but it is most essential for mothers to practice self-care. Not only because parenting is stressful and often thankless, but also because when our kids see us making time for ourselves they learn that self-care is a necessary part of leading an emotionally healthy life. And that’s a win win!

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