- Mental Health
Small Rewards Can Help Get You Through a Tough Day
Having a bad day? Ever have one of those days that just makes you want to crawl back into bed. Or not get out of bed in the first place? Maybe it's a day that you dread going to work due to stressful meetings, or a project that's waiting for you that you are stressing about. We all have those days, and there's not a lot we can do about them, except make the best of it. There are many ways that you can help yourself deal with a day you are not so happy about. And they don't take a lot of work or money. Keep these ideas in mind next time you are struggling to get out of bed and face the upcoming day:
In the Morning
1) Flavored coffee
For coffee lovers, flavored coffee is a huge treat and a break from the hum drum of the every day "same ol same ol" coffee taste. If you are fortunate enough to have a Keurig Coffee Maker, buy yourself some flavored coffee and keep it on hand for a day that you need a pick me up. If you don't have a Keurig but a 10 cup coffee maker, ground flavored coffee will do just as well. If you don't have either, stop by your nearest Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks for a treat.
2) Listen to your favorite music CD
Music has the power to turn your psyche around and take you from the doldrums to a happy camper. Keep some of your favorite CDs in your car so that if you have a day at work, you are dreading, you can play that music in your car on the way to work, and cheer yourself up into a much happier mood by the time you arrive at the office. That may mean you keep a cd of happy Gospel music and sing along with it on the way to work. Or maybe singing along with some Broadway show tunes will do the trick? I am a bit embarrassed to say that lately, I have been playing a cd of Bobby Sherman bubble gum music in my car each morning. Humming along with these songs from my childhood gives me an instant pick up, and throughout the day I find myself humming them as well. It puts me in a better mood even later because I feel silly and carefree just thinking about those songs. If your workplace allows music to be played, play your favorite CDs or your favorite radio station all day long.
3) Wear your favorite clothes
Whether it be your favorite color or a new outfit, or an outfit that just makes you feel GOOD, put it on. On days I don't feel up to facing the world, I wear black because it makes me feel powerful. Or some days I pull out a favorite sweater or a blouse in my favorite color and wear that to work, and it lifts my spirits. I have a friend that loves to wear boots. They just give her a lift...physically as well as mentally. She notices a difference in the way she feels and carries herself on those days. Wear what you have that makes you feel better.
4) Pack a good lunch or decide to treat yourself to lunch
Nothing helps me get through a bad day like comfort food. Sometimes if I am dreading a bad meeting at work or a stressful situation, I pack my favorite foods,( which is usually something warm ) for lunch. It gives me something to look forward to all morning. And I feel better after eating it. Macaroni and cheese or home made soup usually do the trick.
In the Afternoon
1) Coffee (again)
Bring your favorite kind of coffee to work and save it for the afternoon. It will give you something to look forward to all morning and is a great pick me up. If you can leave the office at lunch time, go to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks then and pick up your favorite coffee drink to bring back to the office with you.
2) Take a long way home
Maybe you have had a good day at work but have a research paper due tomorrow and will be up till all hours finishing it, so are dreading returning home? Or maybe you have a houseful of noisy kids and errands to run with them once you get home? Take a long way home to recharge yourself before you get there. A nice ride down a country road may bring the peace and calm you need to get you through the rest of your day, or night. Now I am not suggesting that you go out of your way for an hour, but a mere extra 10 or 15 minutes of a detour for beautiful scenery that will recharge your batteries can go a long way.
3) Take a Nap
Promise yourself in the morning that as soon as you get home, you will reward yourself with a nap. Something about falling into a nice warm bed for 30 or 45 minutes after a hard day at work is great to look forward to. So before helping children with homework, or starting dinner, etc., if you can squeeze in a nap, it will help you get through the day easier and after the nap, help you get through the rest of your night!
1) Take a Bubble Bath
Plan to take a bubble bath all alone with some candles. Start thinking about it in the morning before work. Then think about it again when you are up to your ears in reports. Keep it in the back of your mind all day as your reward for making it through...and you know you will make it through.
2) Plan a Date Night With Your Spouse
Is there something you and your spouse really enjoy doing together that you can do on a weeknight? Maybe it's a romantic take out dinner that you'll eat by candlelight. Maybe take a bubble bath together??? Maybe you will go to bed early and "snuggle"? ( I'm pretty sure Hub Pages is rated PG so we will keep it at snuggling, but you can use your imagination!) Thinking about spending some special time with your spouse or significant other can help make the day go by quicker and put a charge in your step.
3) Take a Walk in Nature
Taking a walk in nature is a wonderful way to unwind and feel better. Whether it be at the beach in any season, or in the woods, there is something peaceful and soothing about nature that can wash our troubles away. If you have a dog that you can bring along for companionship, that's even better. They don't talk back or whine, or yell at you, so they are perfect walking and exploring companions. And they will be just as happy as you to be out in nature. Sometimes just seeing how happy my dog is when we take one of these walks is enough to lift my spirits. So, depending on the season, or where you live, plan to get back to nature after work and think about that as your day unfolds.
4) Have a Glass of Wine and Read a Good Book
If you are a reader, having a glass of wine while reading a good book, especially in front of a nice warm fire in the Winter is a sure way to reward yourself for a hard day. Think about it in the morning and picture yourself in your comfy chair or on your couch reading all day long. If you don't have a good book to read, stop by a store after work and pick up a copy of your favorite magazine. That works well too. Then pour yourself a glass of wine, get cozy and enjoy.
I'm sure all of you have your own personal rewards that help you get through a hard day. Please share in your comments below the tips that work best for you. And I hope that some of these tips will give you some new ideas.
What small rewards do you use most to get you through a tough day?
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