Wake up (and get moving).
That’s it. W3
We’ve all had a day that seemed to go on forever, bad news replaced by worse news, replaced by the realization that you have absolutely no wine or chocolate in the house, and all you want to do is go to bed. At 10 a.m.
When my mood begins to churn and darken like a roiling storm cloud, I try to stop and pay attention for a sec because I know that is the ONLY way I’m going to get through it. When, I don’t catch it, when I don’t notice that all the stresses of the day are getting to me, I tend to behave badly.
I blame others, become critical, impatient, restless, unfocused and spinning in the same spot without ever addressing the emotions or the things that triggered them.
This just keeps me stuck. Which keeps me grouchy. And THAT is exhausting and not at all awesome.
So, here’s what I do to avoid a Bad Day Blowout
The W3 Way Through a Bad Day
I WALLOW. I am SO not about suppressing ANYTHING. Notice that you are feeling blue. Or that you have your feelings hurt or that you are afraid. Feel it. Don’t DO anything, just notice what it feels like and wallow for a bit. I usually give myself about 10 minutes to wallow. For super duper big, I-may-need-therapy-for-this problem, I give it a bit more time if I need it. But usually, after indulging in my bad mood, I just end up bored. That’s how I know it’s time to move on to WHIMPERING.
While wallowing is usually silent, whimpering is an outward expression. Woe is me. I can’t believe he did that. I hate rain. I wish I had a sub sandwich. I NEED a sub. Can’t believe this is happening to me. Don’t I deserve a break?
At this point, I often take my complaint public. I’ll text a friend or somebody who JUST GETS IT. I will NEVER call my husband. He is way to polite and practical and ALWAYS says something like “I’m sorry that must have been hard for you.”
My girlfriends on the other hand, they are ready to blame the weather on my behalf, send turd-shaped emojis to anyone I ask, AND tell me how much smarter I am than anyone or anything. Then, when I can bear it, they tell me the truth.
In this way, whimpering to right person is validating AND affirming and it’s a perfect lead into the next step which is to WAKE UP.
Time to get real and take a look at what is really going on. This is when I realize, that perhaps, the ENTIRE WORLD is NOT out to get me AND my car didn’t break down JUST to get back at me for leaving a year’s supply of gum wrappers on the floor.
Here it is time to WAKE UP and acknowledge that sometimes crap just happens, and people do stupid things, and can I please just let it go because being tight and upset is just so, ugh, stifling and boring and I have better things to do.
This W3 approach can take as long as you want. I’m good to go in about 10 minutes. But it always come down the same way: Notice and feel the emotion, declare it — hey if this comes out in complaint who am I to stop you — then shift perspective and acknowledge what happened and move on.
For me, it’s better than staying stuck in a loop of endless irritation.