How to Salvage a Bad Morning
by Jo Macdonald
The sun is pouring in through your huge windows, the birds are chirruping a beautiful morning tune, you leap out of bed full of energy and raring to go, your children greet you smiling and already dressed and ready for a day at school, oh Snow White eat your heart out, happiness is in full bloom...
I don't know about you but this scenario is rarer than my children putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Whilst my morning mood has improved hugely as I've aged, the same can't be said for my children. Hell hath no fury like a teenager woken up at 7 am. Most days involve a slightly manic routine of persuading children to get up and go to school, feeding the dog and guinea pigs, getting myself organised for work and generally being at the mercy of the moods of one of the other 4 people in the house - finding everyone has woken up in a bright and shiny mood is about as likely as Hugh Jackman dropping by for coffee.
So, when you wake up and feel a bit 'off', or someone else has taken your good mood and smashed it to pieces with their grumpy start to the day, what do you do? Other than leaving everyone to fend for themselves while you hide under your duvet (with or without Hugh Jackman)?
Here are a few things that work for me, until Hugh arrives of course:
Eat & Drink - Sometimes we feel out of sorts because our tanks are empty and we need to refuel. Read this post for 5 great breakfast ideas, including one with chocolate.
Turn on the Tunes - this is an absolute winner. Happy tunes = happy me, so I rarely start my day without music on. Songs that evoke good memories or just make me want to dance and sing along are always going to improve my mood 100% and they usually cheer up everyone else in the house too.
Take a Shower - I'm a total shower girl. If I'm stressed, tired, or looking for a creative boost, I take a shower. Standing under nice hot water genuinely makes me feel better every time. My head clears & if I combine it with number 2 (who doesn't like a bit of singing in the shower) I feel even more ready to go in the morning.
Write it Out - 10 minutes with my journal scribbling down how I'm feeling is another thing that really helps me reset my mood. Try starting with 'I feel off today because....' or 'I am feeling...' or even 'I want to feel...'. No judgments, just let the words flow and see what comes up, you might be surprised.
Check your Cycle - no not your bike, your menstrual cycle. If I feel really out of sorts it is usually related to where I am in my menstrual cycle. Once I know which day I'm on it all starts to make sense and I usually don't feel quite so bad anymore. There are lots of great apps to pop on your phone so you can track where you are during the month and get to know your own high and low energy days. And, if you have daughters, track their cycle too, it can really help you understand their moods better (well, some of the time anyway!).
Go for a Walk - or at the very least stand in your garden for a bit. Extra points if you are barefoot. Nature + fresh air + movement = a killer combination for ditching the blues and getting back on track. Want to ramp it up a notch? Try walking by water - the beach, a lake, even a stream will do. For some reason the addition of water has a very calming and positive effect on most people.
Exercise - whatever your preferred exercise is - running, yoga, hula-hooping - a few minutes can kick-start those endorphins and leave you feeling happy and smiley by the end...and probably sweaty, so go do number 3 afterwards!
Have Sex - loosely linked to the suggestion above (hey exercise is exercise!). Good sex boosts your happy hormones and can reset a bad day instantly.
Be Kind to Yourself - Don't give yourself a hard time. We all have days where we feel off or are more affected by the moods of others. No-one can be happy all the time and sometimes a down day is just a reminder to take it easy, so take a good look at your to-do list and see what can wait. Fit in a nap, a chat with a girlfriend, an episode of your favourite TV show and remember life is as much about BEING as it is about DOING.
What are your favourite things to do to salvage a bad morning? Share below in the comments.