We all have those days…..maybe you’re sick, maybe not enough sleep, maybe stress, maybe family issues….whatever it is there are days when you wake up and think, “Do I really have to do that today?”
Now, there are usually two options for this question. Either yes or no. Sometimes we really do need to say no. When we are sick to the point of being contagious, or stressed or low on sleep to the point of a volcanic eruption, that is the time to say no. There is no point in making other people miserable along with ourselves.
On the other hand, there are times when we are just a bit under the weather for one reason or another and we still need to face the music. We really can’t justify missing work, not caring for our children and/or not schooling them simply because we don’t really feel like it. Here are a few ways that help me push through those “I don’t wanna!” days.
On days that I’m not feeling at my optimum I try to up my intake of health related activities. I take an extra multivitamin, limit my sugar and refined carbs, up the veggies and fruits, pick my favorite workout and give it all I’ve got, and drink more water with a bit of lime to help flush out extra toxins. That way if I am fighting a bug I usually can side step it and if it’s just an emotional down day then I have all the physical help I need to fight that too. If you are having more than the occasional “down” day then it’s time to look at how you are taking care of yourself. Are you getting enough rest, are you hydrating, are you eating health-filled foods, are you exercising? If your body is not taken care of, it will simply not perform, it’s that simple.
If it’s not a physical issue that’s getting you down, maybe you need to clear your head. Maybe you just need an attitude adjustment and simple affirmation/gratitude exercise will do the trick. If you aren’t sure what’s bothering you give yourself some time to think, even better if you can couple it with mindless (meaning not needing to much concentration, like walking, biking, running) physical activity. That way even if you don’t figure it out you have those extra endorphins from your workout to help you feel a little better. If you’re still not sure what’s up or you need to talk it out find a trusted friend, pray or write in your journal. This will help you find the source and solution of the issue. Sometimes your mind just needs to relax too. Soothing music, maybe some stretching or dancing, and allowing yourself to just think pleasant, un-pressured thoughts can help your mind relax and regain balance.
The spirit is so interconnected with your body and mind that sometimes it’s almost impossible to separate it from them. If the above activities for your body and mind do not help eliminate the down feeling, try feeding your spirit. I usually feed my spirit first because I have found that it feeds my body and mind better than the other way around. If you are a religious person this can be done with worship activities, scripture reading, prayer and pondering. Even if you aren’t religious, allowing your spirit to find comfort in nature or art can help you cope with down days.
4. Have a Plan
I’ve found that if I know what I need to do in a day it helps me take away some of the worry, but also limits the room for procrastination. It especially helps when I have a plan written down (ENORMOUS help with homeschooling) because then I can prioritize and at least do the things that “have” to get done. The days when I’m not as organized can feel like downer days simply because I’m not putting first things first and not being efficient or effective.
5. Give yourself an Incentive
Go ahead. Bribe yourself. Sometimes you just have to get some things done and when you don’t have an excuse, other than you don’t want to, then give yourself another reason to DO IT. I do this a lot with little activities that I really don’t like, such as ironing, by saying the only way I will let myself watch a movie is if I do some ironing at the same time. On days that I really don’t want to do homeschool I say, “Ok, I will do homeschool until such and such an hour and then I will let myself have a nap.” This way not only do I avoid more bad feelings because of the guilt associated with not fulfilling my responsibilities but I also get something I like out of it.
6. Get some Help
Take turns with your spouse or a friend with jobs you really loathe or on days that you just aren’t feeling up to it. Of course scheduling may impede this at times but sometimes you can just call up a “lean on me” person and say, “Can you do this for me today?” Then make sure you have a way to pay them back later, like a special treat or being on call for them. If you are having many down days though it’s time to look to a professional and make sure there is not an underlying illness or psychological issue that needs to be treated.
The important thing is to remember that everybody has days that they just don’t feel like going and doing. Also, remember that these feelings are generally easily remedied and it won’t last forever, you just have to find a motivation for you to get up and going today. So, whether you need to get more rest, have a chat, or bribe yourself, find what works for you and get up and seize the day!