You know those days when you just wake up grumpy? Or maybe you don’t wake up that way, but as soon as the day begins, everything goes wrong? I have one of these days at least once a week, and resetting the morning after it starts in a funk is NOT easy.
It often comes back to outlook: How do we view the world after life doesn’t go as planned? I tend to get caught up in a pity party, but I know that’s not God’s intentions for me. God promises us abundant life (John 10:10) and is present with us in every trouble—even the small ones. I take Him at His Word that a negative outlook is not His will!
So how do you improve your outlook on a day that’s gone awry? Here are 10 practical, simple things you can do, in no particular order.
- Go outside. Rain, snow or shine, go out for five minutes. Walk around the block. Cancel plans and go for a hike. Being outside will make a HUGE difference in your mood.
- Call or meet a friend. I hate phone calls—and maybe you do, too—but it’s important that you actually TALK to someone, voice-to-voice or face-to-face. Human interaction is one of the best ways to boost your mood and shift your outlook.
- Put away your phone for two hours. I attempt to do this every morning. I charge my phone in another room and just go about my day without it. It’s so refreshing! Getting away from social media in particular is key.
- Take a shower. If you’ve already taken a shower, ignore this, but I find that doing second-day hair on a bad day puts me in an even worse mood. So wash your hair, put on makeup and start over.
- Work out. Exercise has been scientifically proven to boost endorphins and give your body a flood of positive emotions. It might not feel great when you’re starting, or even in the middle, but you’ll be so glad you did it after the fact!
- Get into the Word. This is my first stop when I’m having a hard day. I play the Bible on audio, then sit down and read the passage through, taking notes. I pick one verse and focus on it as I go about my chores and tasks.
- Meditate on a verse. Following up on the previous point, meditate on a verse all day. Choose something simple and write it on your hand or on a card and prop it wherever you can see. Say it out loud. Pray it out loud. Think about what it tells you about God and about yourself.
- Cut back on the coffee. Crazy, I know! But did you know coffee has been linked to increased anxiety? When we overdo caffeine, we are prone to greater levels of anxiety, disproportionate to what’s actually happening in our lives. Cut back on the coffee and go with water instead.
- Read for 10 minutes. Pick a favorite book and set a timer for 10 minutes. You will finally get to read like you’ve been wanting to, and you’ll have a short respite from your daily tasks.
- Pour your heart out to the Lord. This is so important. When you’re having a hard day or struggling with a negative outlook, pouring your heart out to the Lord might not be your first stop. But it should be. God wants to hear what is on your heart. He wants to hear from YOU what your burdens are—even if He already knows. That’s how kind He is! So start and end with Him. Everything else I’ve listed can help, but He is the ultimate solution.
Always remember: This is the day the Lord has made. You can rejoice!