Today is a day that I am in dire need of all the bad day cures I can get my hands on. I’ve stubbed my toe for the third time on a door jam that came loose and I keep forgetting about. I’ve stepped on about 4 toy mines that take over the place with a furious speed that my clean up mojo just cannot compete with (you know what I am talking about if you have a toddler or two, bless your heart), I burned lunch, things keep slipping through my fingers and falling over and over again, all the world’s worst drivers seem to be gravitating towards me and only me, and since 5 this morning, my kid just will. not. shut. up!
You can safely say, I am not having the best of days. Is the feeling of mutuality bubbling up inside you as you read this? Don’t worry mama, we got this! Bad days will come, even to the happiest of people but there are ways to fight back. Bad day cures are so easy to apply that you will have no problem making them a part of your life, not just that one bad day.
#1 Bad Day Cures: Meditate
Meditating really helps me focus and center on my present moment. It releases tension and, most of the time it’s successful in making whatever was making me anxious seem like less of a threat. After even the shortest meditating session, and let’s face it, as a mom they are all short (just 3 minutes will do you wonders) I feel calm and more peaceful.
Don’t get me wrong, I really could stand much more practice in the mediation area, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I often turn to it when I feel frustration or anger spilling over beyond the ever desired cool, calm, and collected state fo being.
Chronic stress, and thus, your body’s, almost constant, exposure to cortisol can have lasting negative effects on the human body like heart disease and even premature death, states Harvard Health Publications via Harvard Medical School.1
There are 6 different approaches to meditation and they are easily adaptable.
- Concentration meditation
- Heart-centered meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Tai chi and qigong
- Transcendental meditation
- Walking meditation
Read more at Harvard Health Publications about What Meditation Can Do for Your Mind, Mood, and Health
And check out free guided meditation by UCLA Health to get started now.
#2 Bad Day Cures: Breathe
You might be thinking that meditation is breathing. And you would be right. But I think calming and deliberate breathing exercises deserve it’s own section since you can literally do it anywhere while doing anything. Though I guess one might argue that you would be meditating through whatever activity it is.
What I mean to say is you always strive to deep breathe through meditation but you don’t always meditate through deep breathing. So, if you don’t have the time to sit in a quiet room (or not such a quiet room – read How to Meditate with a Toddler) you can do these breathing exercises folding laundry, cooking dinner, pushing the swing at the playground, working on a blog post ( 😉 )you get the idea.
The Science Stuff
Science confirms that breathing can aid or damage our bodies and brains. Knowing and applying the right deep breathing techniques will positively affect your whole being by enhancing your immune system, respiratory system, circulatory system, nervous, digestive, lymphatic, muscular, and urinary systems, benefit your physical appearance as well as improving your mental, spiritual and emotional states. Not bad results for something you’re doing anyway. Might as well do it right, right?
Researchers have documented the benefits of a regular practice of simple, deep breathing, says Dr. Deepak Chopra. In the article Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama, he will show you 4 breathing techniques2 that you can start using every day to better your life.
Blah, blah, blah, sciency stuff is great and all but it’s even more exhilarating when I can remember to steady and control my breathing to brighten and lift my mood. It really feels like I’ve been given a new starting point in the day. All you need for this practice is right under your nose and it’s also free!
Wanna try it? Here’s a great video to sync your breath to (it’ll eventually become habit):
#3 Bad Day Cures: Writing for Emotion
Writing about your feelings can help the brain overcome emotional upsets and leave you feeling happier, psychologists have found. Keeping a diary of your negative and positive emotions and feelings will not only make you happier, says science, but will also boost your memory3.
I am still working on making this a daily habit as I am so eager to reap the benefits, but for some reason it’s been easier said than done so far. Still, I do feel clean after angrily scribbling out a few sentences to let’em all know what I think about’em. Even if they never do get to find out. But that’s another post.
Daily writing, or journaling as some refer to it, has been scientifically proven4 to:
Clarify feelings & thoughts
Getting to know yourself
Several studies have been conducted and all have found astounding effects of writing on the brain and how it makes it happy, helps you in your studies and work as well as cultivating lasting relationships suggests New York Times 5
#4 Bad Day Cures: Count Your Blessings
This is one of my favorite ways to diffuse a bad day or an intense moment. Put pen to paper and let it go with every little thing you can think of food, water, running water, ability to breathe, the freedom of body and mind, eyes, ears, ability to think, speak, act, move are just some of the immediate, and first, things I am usually thankful for.
Scientific studies have shown an incredible increase in happiness, provide greater fulfillment, strengthen relationships among many other positive benefits when folks took a few minutes a day to write down things they are thankful for. According to Harvard Medical Publications, the positive results were measured triple-fold when these writings were directed and delivered to someone who you haven’t properly thanked. 6
#5 Bad Day Cures: Do Some Yoga
If you’re not a master yogi, yoga might sound a bit intimidating. At least it was for me in the beginning. I wouldn’t call myself a master by any means but I do find that doing some yoga moves and stretches significantly boosts my mood.
The body and mind connection is really incredible and everyone should take note and do their best to work it into their day. Again, sometimes it’s easier said than done, especially if you are a mom (and if you’re here, there is a good chance of that) but don’t beat yourself up about it. Even if you fit it in only on those days you feel like you might blow up, excellent!
For those that practice yoga on a regular basis can significantly reduce fatigue, fear, and anger says Prevention.com7. Additionally, people who make yoga a habit have lower mental disturbance, hostility, and tension, according to BioPsychoSocial Medicine8.
#6 Bad Day Cures: Take a Walk
You don’t need to run to get a “runner’s high”9 as some people refer to it. The psychological feeling of euphoria, onset by the production of endorphins in the body, is known to be brought on by many exercises of the rhythmic variety. Walking certainly falls into the rhythmic exercise category.
Other benefits of Walking10:
- great for heart health
- helps you sleep better
- cuts your risk of cancer
- staves off Alzheimer’s
- protects your bones
- weight loss (who doesn’t love that?)
- bonus: your kid will love a nature walk and a tired kids is a good and happy kid!
#7 Bad Day Cures: Listen to Music
If you’re having a crappy day listening to upbeat music is something that is said to boost your mood, says University of Missouri. Though I am sure that I (or UM) isn’t telling you anything groundbreaking here. I’ll leave you with one tip, choose your music wisely. It’s such a powerful medium that you can fall into a sad and depressed state if you listen to music that evoke such feelings. Choose high-tempo and major key stimuli, advice the researchers at Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.11
#8 Bad day Cures: Eat Happy
This has got to be my favorite of the bad day cures. I case you missed all my photos of my food, my food prep, my desserts, my cravings, etc… you should know I am a total foodie and I am very okay with that.
So when a smart source tells me that I can eat myself to happy I am more than willing to put the theory to the test.
Food Components That Aid in Bad Day Cures
- Omega-3-fatty acids
- DHA, a long-chain omega-3-fatty acids
Researchers have found that even modest increases in fruit and vegetable intake improve rates of frequent mental distress (FMD) in adults. In one study, subjects who ate two to four daily servings of fruits and vegetables had a 41% lower incidence of FMD than those who ate one or no serving a day; getting more than five daily servings conferred even more benefits (a 52% lower rate of FMD) (Rohrer & Stroebel 2009). Interestingly, these results were independent of exercise.
Overall, the “traditional” diets that provide the most protective benefits for mood are based on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish.12
#9 Bad Day Cures: Aromatherapy
Whether inhaled or applied (massage) essential oils (major vehicle of aromatherapy) shows concrete and measurable science behind the effect of aromatherapy on mood, depression, and happiness. There is increasing scientific evidence that backs the claims that specific essential oil smells benefit those who experience chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, among other ailments.
Essential Oils for Bad Day Cures List 13
Chamomile-Roman (Chamomelium nobilis) — Relaxing sedative
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) — antidepressant; calming; relaxing; sedative
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) — antidepressant; mood uplifting
Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) — antidepressant; relaxing; stimulant
Juniper (Juniperus communis) — mentally clearing
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) — antidepressant; anticonvulsant; anxiolytic; calming; hypnotic; relaxing; sedative
Lemon (Citrus deliciosa) — sedative; mood uplifting
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) — anxiolytic; comforting
Melissa (Melissa officinalis) — anxiolytic; calming; hypnotic; sedative; stimulating; mood uplifting
Neroli (Neroli bigarade) — sedative; mood uplifting
Patchouli (Pogostemon cabin) — calming; sedative; mood uplifting
Well My Sweet, You’ve Made it to the End of Bad Day Cures
And my only thought right now is that I really hope that this information was useful to you and you are well on your way to a better day! It’s tough when you are pulled in a million directions, with a billion errands, and a trillion worries that make you want to crawl back in bed and have a do-over tomorrow.
But for us moms, that’s really not an option… ever. So, these are my go to bad day cures and I hope they will be a part of yours too.
Have you found a magical way to make your day better (drinking doesn’t count 😉 )? Please, share in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Together, they explore the topics of gentle parenting, healthy eating, grateful thinking, yoga bending, nifty hacking, green living, soul searching, and mindfulness practicing.
She has lived many lives. She has seen great beauty and utter darkness. It makes her whole. She is strong and with your presence, support, and love right here, right now ever stronger!!!
Read more about her by visiting the Meet the Bee page or email her right now!
We hope you enjoy the adventures of Chewy & Bossy!
- Harvard Health Publications
- Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama | Chopra.com
- Psychology Today – Writing Wrongs
- Health Benefits of Journaling – Psych Central
- Writing Your Way to Happiness – New York Times
- Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier | Harvard Medical Publications
- 10 Yoga Poses That Will Make You Happier Fast | Prevention.com
- BioPsychoSocial Medicine | Biomed Central
- Runner’s High: is it for real? | WebMD
- Walking A Little Can go a long Way | CNN
- Study of feelings and perceptions of happiness and sadness induced by music: Similarities, differences, and mixed emotions.
- Nutrition emerging research underscores the link between what you eat and how you feel | Idea Fit
- Aroma Therapy in Major Depressive Disorders: an assessment | World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Volume 6, Issue 3