What about the bad days?

Lately, it feels like I  have had my fair share (if there is such a thing) of crummy days and uncomfortable hours. I am sitting here at the end of one such day; my morning was ruined by a shame spiral before 8:30.

The rest of my day was spent battling the collateral damage: anxiety, exhaustion, hunger-anger-brain-dead (because when I’m crying I don’t think about eating so then I’m hungry at the store and would someone just TELL ME WHERE THEY KEEP THE STAPLES ?) I designed this project to be about re-education and day-to-day inspiration, and I–if I do say so myself–appreciate my optimism. But what about days that feel the opposite? What about UNinspiring days? It’d be really great if I could mosey around all rose-spectacled with magpie lists lighting my way, but that’s not my real life. Truly, I have more good days than bad, but I am not immune from the blues, the PMS, the DMV, the wrong side of the bed, the stubbed toes, the traffic in LA heat with a broken air-conditioner. It happens to everyone, trust me.

When I am in my most meditative mood, I consider that I am going through a transition during these difficult days, that the universe wants me to learn something, and what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger. But it takes a while to get there, and in the meantime everything hurts and motivational maxims make me throw up a little  in my mouth. Somewhere there is a comforting meme that will remind me that rejection is God’s projection. At some point I will realize that the reason I am facing disappointments is because I am putting myself out in the world and taking risks and it’s all a numbers game. If you can’t find the god’s protection meme, please forward me the letter to Walt Disney.

Until inspiration finds its way into my consciousness again, I find myself turning to pragmatic and tangible things for comfort. Now that I am at the far end of a Bad Day, I can say that the following things helped:

Food. This seems like a major duh, but I am pretty sure it took me 30 years to learn that I was hungry most of the time. Also, I am a big proponent of shame-free, judge-free eating. If McDonalds is the closest food and you love a McChicken sandwich because it tastes like the 4th grade, do it! If its a raw vegan kale seaweed smoothie that will lift your spirits, do it! I, as a proud Angeleno in 2014, prefer the gluten-free persuasion, but if pizza is the only thing between me and hysterics, give me a slice or 8. Another good idea: keeping snacks in your car or purse or messenger bag or pockets. (I am really bad at remembering to do this, so don’t be like me in this regard.)


Water. I have been trying to increase my H2O intake like a maniac lately; I definitely notice a difference in my mood in general when I’m properly hydrated. Also, the act of drinking water forces you to take at least one big breath, which should stimulate your Vagus Nerve which is going to slow your heart rate a bit and calm you down.*) Also, if you’re crying, you should drink water because of all the tears.

hydrate or die

Do Stuff. In other words, distract yourself with things you like to do if you can, especially if they are the least bit physical. Today I replanted a succulent,even though it really was fine where it was before my early morning broken heart. I also spread some wild flower seeds on a bare patch of dirt behind our house,  I unloaded the dishwasher,  I finished our Lending Library #2 (!) and wired that puppy to our front railing. On work days, I’m grateful to have the office distraction, too. I spent last weekend at school, and while it was exhausting, it was nice to have my brain focused on something other than all my failings in life.

Where the Love is. It is really important to recognize the difference between feelings: nobody likes me, I am a terrible person, I’ll never amount to anything…and facts: I have friends and family that not only like me, they love me. If I were a terrible person, this wouldn’t be true. I already have amounted to something, and who’s keeping score, anyway? Sometimes I have to write these down in columns on paper and, often, I have to GO to where the love is to remind myself of the truths of my life. Turning away from negative people and things in my life was helpful, but it was turning towards the loving people and beautiful things that sealed the deal to my survival when I was really struggling a few years ago. It took 2 text-messages from friends today to get my head back on straight about where I really am in life, and they weren’t lovey-dovey texts, either. Asking for help is important here; if you need to hear from a friend, contact them first. Real friends don’t mind bad days.

by Shadowness2388


    …Even if I were perfect at these four ideas, it wouldn’t keep bad days from happening, and none of them are a quick-fix. If  broken hearts could be fixed with drinking water…well, advertising would be different. These are just things that get me through ONE DAY, but sometimes that’s what I need, to get to tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it. (yet.) I have lots of other ideas about how to cheer one’s self up, but it seems counterproductive to throw my late-night optimism down anyone’s throat (and I’m tired.); I would love to know what others find helpful in the moment, I’d rather have a discussion than keep hammering works for me.  find me on Facebook or

    Instagram to share. It seems like getting through the day is more important sometimes than finding the perfect book, you know? (And sometimes finding the perfect book is the solution, but not always!)



    (*I am not a scientist or a doctor or an expert on Polyvagal Theory, and explaining the science of this doesn’t seem fitting right now,  but I learned about drinking water to calm myself, and others, down during especially dramatic moments in high school. Ask Bailey if you don’t believe me.)


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