It’s never too late to redirect yourself in a positive direction.
We all know the feeling—when every traffic light seems to be red, every coffee shop’s line long, every conversation confusing, every task taking just a little bit longer than we expected. In other words, the feeling of an “off” day.
The danger of an off day is that it can leave you feeling helpless to turn it around, as if your goal should just be to make it to bedtime so you can start fresh tomorrow. And sometimes, let’s be honest, your head hitting the pillow turns out to be the best part of your day.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t easy, achievable ways to switch your day to “on.” Try these the next time you hit rough waters and see if they don’t smooth out your sailing a bit.
1) Make Your To-Do List Flexible
You can make your way through an off day far more peacefully if you’re flexible about what you’re hoping to accomplish. If you’re running behind schedule, today might not be the day to pick out a birthday gift for a party this weekend. If work meetings are draining your energy, reschedule one and shift your focus to clearing some emails off your desktop. When you recognize that your day isn’t going your way, giving yourself permission to shift your priorities can feel freeing and uplifting.
2) Move Your Body
The “stuck” feeling of an off day can shift when you get your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and generally wake up your body through some kind of movement. Psychologists say exercise—even mild exercise like a brisk walk—starts to have mood-enhancing benefits after just five minutes. Not only does your body feel refreshed and energized after some movement, your mind can feel clear enough to see a path out of that “off” feeling and back into a positive day.
3) Take a Gratitude Break
Just because things aren’t going your way doesn’t mean your whole life is “off.” You may know this intellectually, but as a tough day unfolds, it can be tempting to overreach your feelings beyond the here and now. Taking a few minutes to list three to five things that are positive about your life can turn around that negative thinking—and even reorient you for a better rest of your day. Saying the things you’re grateful for out loud or writing them down gives this practice even more of an impact because it makes your positivity concrete and tangible.
How do you turn around an “off” day?