How To Rebound After a Shitty Day

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Weave back to sanity.

Woman adjusting hat at sunset

Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Tess Robinson of Smack Bang Designs.

Shitty days bite you in the butt when you least expect it. You know those days? The ones where you somehow manage to sprinkle salt on your cereal, you can’t find that pesky right sock, you spill your coffee all over your phone and you arrive at work only to realise it’s Saturday?

Last Thursday was a bitch. And I totally lost it.

It wasn’t quite as bad as accidentally sending a heated iMessage to the wrong person rather than your intended friend, but it was right on-par with jumping in the shower with your socks still on, treading barefooted in dog poo, or returning to a parking ticket flapping about on your windshield. I exploded like Mt Vesuvius.

If I could delete one 24-hour period in my life thus far, it would be last Thursday. But it got me thinking: does a shitty day really have to destroy your groove? How does one take it in their stride, dog poo and all, and rebound better than ever?

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During a shitty day, I often fall into the trap of thinking that it’s more complicated than it needs to be. “If a rooster laid an egg on top of a roof, would it fall to the right or the left?” The answer is so simple it’s difficult to see. Roosters don’t lay eggs.

Likewise, many of us fail to ask the simple and obvious question, “What can I do to turn my day around?” We’re stuck in shitty-day-land and can’t see two steps ahead. Yet the answer could be uncomplicated, straightforward and easily overlooked.

Us entrepreneurial A-type personalities tend to beat ourselves up over one single off day, as though it’s going to herald some business apocalypse in one fell swoop. All that greatness achieved so far suddenly evaporates into the furnace of despair and now comes the overwhelming sensation that your one shitty day has crumbled your life’s work in front of you. Of course, in the beauty of retrospect, we understand that it was just one bad day and it’s just a blimp on the radar, but in the shitty moment, you feel as though it’s all fallen apart.

So how do we flip our feelings on their head, hose off the doggy-doo and step forward into greatness again? Here are four ridiculously simple ways to rebound after a shitty day.

Ask yourself: what is no longer serving you?

If your wardrobe were more organised, would you be able to better locate your socks and shoes? Sometimes taking stock of how you’re living your every day can greatly enhance the way you live your life. Take note of the things, processes, people and projects that are no longer serving you and do a life audit to rid yourself of anything stitching you up.

Connect back to what you want in life

It’s a simple activity. Ask yourself what is it in this great life of yours that you actually want? Work at the life you want to live every day. Keep your eye on the prize. Eye. On. The. Prize. Write it down and remind yourself that you are, in fact, on track to the goal.

Read something that inspires you

When you’ve got the head-full-of-cotton feeling, it’s always good to find some inspiration to fill you up again. It’s time to get re-inspired. Get off social media and into something worthwhile. Find a podcast that makes you laugh, pick up an old faithful book that you know does the trick, head to your local newsagent to score a good mag, or wander through the streets to soak up the creative energy floating about.

Clear your headspace and give yourself time

Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn on shitty days, you do have headspace between those ears. I know many of us would feel more effective and accomplished grooming a wild lion than investing time into relaxing, but in my experience over the last few years of running my own business, there are few things I find more essential than just sitting and being. If you’re in the middle of a shitty day, find a quiet spot and just sit. Be with those yucky feelings and observe them. Remember, this too shall pass.

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