No matter how hard you try to make them otherwise, some days are just awful. They start off bad, they never get any better, and they end on a low and sometimes even gloomier note. These days befuddle your mind, waste your finite resources and throw your calendar off. Some people call the state of mind accompanying this day 'depression' or are content to simply think of it as 'having a bad day'. Sometimes there are logical explanations ? mostly, though, these days seem to strike at will and we don't understand how or why they have entered our lives.
What do you do at these times? How do you handle the 'bad' days? What are good strategies to make these days go away or, at the very least, lessen the pain, confusion or drama associated with them?
It's Only Temporary!
The key to dealing with this kind of day (or week or month) is to remember that it is only temporary. No matter how bad it is, it will eventually be over. Even if you are dealing with an ongoing problem, remember, at some point it has to end! It may not seem like it, you may not be able to see any light at the end of any tunnel, you may feel like your life is one big mess, and that this problem will never go away, but none of these things is true. This problem, too, at some point or another, will pass.
We all know the prescription for a healthy life ? pray, eat healthy foods, exercise, maintain a good weight, etc., etc. And those things are great, in their proper context. Right now, however, you need something that will get you through right now. Today. With the hope that tomorrow will be better.
What To Do
Your hormones are raging, your mood is in the toilet and there is no relief in sight. What should you do?
Have that pint of ice cream you are so desperately craving. Why? The body is seeking a chemical remedy to counteract its feeling 'down'. Your body knows, and you instinctively know, that that ice cream cone, cookie, brownie or bag of potato chips will cause a sugar rush which will help you temporarily feel 'up.' For that moment, at least, you will feel better and that may be all you need to get through that hour or that moment when things look so bad.
Watch a sad, old tear-jerker of a movie and cry, cry, cry. You probably have been bottling up your emotions anyway. You'll feel much better after crying over Lana Turner's remorse over not acknowledging her mother in 'Imitation of Life' or Michelle Pfieffer's loss of Robert Redford in 'Up Close and Personal.' Release is a wonderful thing and your body will appreciate its opportunity to vent some repressed emotion.
Go ahead and lie in bed all day. You were probably tired anyway and too busy 'multi-tasking' to notice. Your body is a finely tuned instrument and it needs fine care and attention. How have you been treating your body lately?
Make A Change!
Go ahead and dwell on all the things that are going wrong in your life. Yes, normally, it's not good to think too long or too hard about these things, but sometimes bad things have to be faced. Perhaps you've been avoiding dealing with certain issues, which is why they've come back to haunt you now. Maybe you're lousy with money or have financially bitten off more than you can chew. Review your finances. Find out why your lights are always in danger of being cut off or your mortgage payment has been 30 days late for the last year. No, it's not easy to face it, but you'll feel much better when it's all said and done. Hunker down and come up with a budget to pay off your bills. Realize when you just need to say no. As in no to shopping sprees. And no to a new car. Maybe even no to your current job. Recognize where you are and what you can do to get out of that financial hole or that no-hope job.
Go ahead and think long and hard all those people who have mistreated you. Perhaps it takes just such a rotten, miserable day to realize the people you thought were your friends are not. Remember all the things you did for them and the few or paltry things they did for you in return. Remember all the negative, ugly nasty things that person said about you (behind your back no less!). And then recognize your need for distance from that person. Realize they have been poisoning your life. And let them go.
Think long and hard about all the bad things that have brought you to this day. Who did what, what you did wrong, what you didn't want to or have refused to confront, etc., etc. Cry if you need to. Get mad if you need to. And then make efforts to change those things that you can. Accept the things that you cannot. And live with all the rest.
The reason it's okay to be temporarily 'down' is that it helps to remind you of a simple truth - most bad days are the result of bad months, bad years, bad choices and bad situations. And being 'down' is a good time to acknowledge that truth. Sometimes you see more clearly in the midst of pain than at any other time. Most 'bad' days are not the result of any great mystery - there is usually a sound and concrete reason why this day is the day to end all bad days. Something, somewhere in your life has gone out of whack and you need to fix it. Ignore these signals your body and mind are sending to you on these days and miss out on some important clues about your life. Your body and your mind are trying to tell you something. Are you listening?
Sonya C. Triggs is the Founder of Urban Christianz Ministries, which can be found at http://www.urbanchristianz.com. Visit her website to find more articles and advice about relationships, spiritual matters and contemporary issues or subscribe to her newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org.