You know how you feel when you stub your toe? That's pretty much how I felt all day last Tuesday. I can laugh about it now, because the rest of the week went much better. Still, when you're feeling frustrated, stuck, edgy, or overwhelmed, you need relief and you need it fast. In that spirit, I offer the following list.
15 Quick Cures to Help You Snap Out of It
- Take two deep breaths. Repeat throughout the day.
- Clean your glasses. Most of us don't do this often enough. Likewise for cleaning the screens on our smartphones.
- Have a glass of water. Being dehydrated can seriously mess with your mood and ability to cope.
- Own it. If you're not in a great place, just say so, with as much laughter and acceptance as possible—and grace. Pretending to be better than you are only makes life harder. Incidentally, grace is the only thing on this list that matters ultimately.
- Put your phone on 'Do Not Disturb' and turn up the music. After the stressful day last week, I put together a playlist for just such an emergency. Here it is: Songs When You Just Need to Smooth Out. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
- Find a friend to help you see the humor. What you need is not someone who will counsel or coddle or probe into your psyche, but someone who will just roll with it and laugh along with you. If you can laugh, there's hope.
- Use your newfound energy to brighten someone else's day. A smile, a hug if that's appropriate, a good-natured laugh, that's usually all it takes.
- Put on your most comfortable tennis shoes. Who cares if they clash with what you're wearing? When your feet feel better, you feel better.
- Clear your mind with a brisk walk. Swing your arms back and forth wildly until it becomes funny. It also helps to vent till it becomes funny.
- Land one plane at a time. When everything's piling up, from emails in your inbox to dishes in your sink, just tackle one area. One clean room or one thing crossed off your list can brighten your whole outlook.
- Take a picture. When you do get one room cleaned, take a picture to remind yourself what clean looks like and how good it feels.
- Grab some comfort food. A friend of mine who's a mom likes to reach into the freezer for one of her "emergency" meals, something that takes only a few minutes to prepare. "Serve with frozen peas and angel hair pasta (4 minutes to boil)," she says. "Eat dinner five minutes later, the world is a better place." What's your go-to comfort food?
- Give yourself a little tough-love. This same friend says when she doesn't feel like going to the gym, she reminds herself, "Snap out of it, they have smoothies there."
- Make a healthy, satisfying shake at home. Food really does help us get back on track. A few years ago, I came up with a protein shake that really hits the spot, especially in the morning with a hot cup of coffee.
- Turn conventional wisdom on its ear. For example, instead of going to bed early, you might find it more stress-relieving now and then to stay up past your bedtime to finish that unpleasant chore: laundry, for example, or dishes. Something that doesn't take a lot of brainpower.
Finally, find ways to delegate. Not everything that has to be done has to be done by you. Great things happen when we systematically take work off our own plates. But that's another Pep Talk for another day. Enjoy your week!
If you can laugh, there's hope.
— Gina DeLapa