It happens to us all, you wake up feeling out of sorts, crabby or cloudy. You don’t know why, you just do. If someone asks what’s wrong you have no answer. If they ask you more than once you might bite their head off! You don’t want to feel this way but you can’t seem to shake it and it’s just not in you to fake a good mood. When those off days happen and you’re not your best self, there are ways to manage yourself so your mood doesn’t get out of hand and ruin your entire day.
1. Bite your tongue! Don’t say everything out loud that pops into your head. Activate your inner filter and block statements that could sound hurtful, out of line, or crass. This is no time for bloviating; say what needs to be said with the least amount of words and move on.
2. Do no harm. Lashing out at others physically or verbally, will make matters worse and could escalate into conflict you will regret later. In every situation there is a choice point; choose to deal with your mood in a positive non-confrontational way instead of blowing it out of proportion. I still struggle with this and beat myself over the head later when I realize how one comment or attitudinal gesture left undone could have saved the day.
3. Breathe. I’m not talking about the shallow, automatic, keep you alive breathing we take for granted. Sit back in your chair, close your eyes and breathe deeply, from your diaphragm, in through your nose and out through your mouth ten times. It sounds simple and you’ve heard me say it before but millions of people tap into this powerful practice that brings relaxation and clear thinking, and I believe you are worthy of it too. Just when you can’t stand ‘it’ one more minute, purposeful breathing can bring calm to your chaos which is why it is often a key component in anger management programs.
4. Don’t fight it. Your off feeling will not last forever and soon this bad day will be history. As my mother always said, “This too shall pass”, and while I hated hearing it I have to admit she was right. (But don’t tell her that, okay?) Accept your feelings as transient and get busy with life. When I have off days I draw a sad face or write the words, ‘bad day’ on my planning calendar; more often than not, a week later, I have no idea what that bad day was about!
5. Be antisocial. Really. If you are having one of those days it’s a good time to avoid the water cooler, put off lunch dates and isolate yourself. The time alone can be rejuvenating and keeps you from being aggravated by others. Retreat into your personal cave of choice and emerge tomorrow a better person.