I have been having a pretty good day today. It’s been very low key and low pressure. Not long after I got my little guy in bed for his nap, I went to check the mail and found a bill from a doctor’s visit that should have been covered. I had already talked to the insurance company about this, but another letter from the insurance company said that they had tried to contact me about the issue, but had missed me.
“Ok,” I thought, “I need to call the insurance company again, because this HAS to be covered. We can’t afford this.”
As my blood pressure rose, my eyes fell on another letter, just a change of address letter from a company I used to work for, but it reminded me that they hadn’t contacted me back about another very urgent (and expensive) issue. I stacked the letters up and headed upstairs to grab my insurance card, fear and anger building the entire way.
I made the phone calls, the issue with the bill turned out to just be a delay in the process, but I was still upset about the company I used to work for. I sent a scathing email, which may not have been the best thing I could do, but I still felt pretty justified. (Scathing by my terms is really not that bad…)
There, phone calls made, email sent… it took about 10 minutes to do it all, but I still sat at my desk, unhappy and unwilling to take on the next project. So, I decided to try to find ways to not let this one instance ruin my whole day (or outlook). It’s something that I know I have trouble with; fretting over some small thing I didn’t like. My husband has called me out on it, so it’s something I’m glad I’m learning to overcome. (This is actually how many arguments have started in our home, because I couldn’t let go of something. I’m not proud of it, just looking to change it.)
Here are some of my tips to overcoming something small so you can have a good day in spite of a bad moment:
1. “Count your many blessings” (just listening to this song makes me feel better)
Right after I starting trying to think of how I could be happy again, I remembered that my husband will be coming home from a business trip tonight! Yay! I’ve missed him. I also remembered the happy smile on my son’s face most of today. I have a lot to be thankful for with this little family of mine.
So count your blessings, whether they be string cheese, a car that runs, air conditioning in this summer heat, great friends, or something fun you’re looking forward to doing later.
2. Read about something interesting—but something funny or positive
This is usually my first line of defense, but use it sparingly, it can rob you of time to get more valuable things done. I try to avoid using too much social media, because, even though it can be distracting, there are a lot of negative things mixed in there and I usually come out of it feeling like I just wasted my time. So, as an alternative, I will often find something on Audible.com to listen to and learn or laugh while I clean or cook or craft. Just remember to keep it positive! (I’ll write a post on Audible sometime soon)
3. Find something to work on
I’ve heard before that work is our salvation, and I totally agree. I know that it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it, but you will feel so much better once you’ve accomplished something in your day. I’m so grateful for work! For anyone who has ever been out of a job or had a super boring job that didn’t require much work, I’m sure you know the itching feeling you get when you feel like days have gone by and you’ve done nothing worth talking about. I HATE that feeling. As a stay at home mom, it’s super easy to get that feeling too, so I have to push past the “I don’t want to’s” and just do something. Pretty soon, I’m more alert, I have more energy, and I feel great about myself and my day.
4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
This can be an eye opener. If I put myself in the shoes of the woman that I sent the email to, I feel a bit embarrassed. What if she’s been on vacation? She comes back to work to find that email from me? Oops. I did used to work for the company, and I remember how crazy and unorganized everyone was. Chances are that my issue is not on the top of her list of to-do’s.
I know it’s a short list, but these are the big ones that I know help me. The main thing that helps me is to realize that I’m focusing too much on a small problem; it helps me to stop the process. Do you have anything that you do to keep from spiraling into a bad day after something goes wrong?