Mental Health Monday

When Nothing Works Out

This will happen. If it hasn’t happened already, it will. There will be a day when BAM nothing you do works out. The coffee grinder doesn’t work, the coffee or tea spills, suddenly the clothes are all piled up, your creativity decides not to show up to work. You name it, it’ll feel like it won’t work out.

Last Friday that was me.

I woke up dead tired. I spilled my coffee. Then forgot about it and drank a sip of tepid coffee (blah). Coffee gave me jitters and I was still tired. Then I realized I forgot the laundry the night before so…folding, folding, folding. Then the yoga I was doing kept going wrong. Even the clothes suddenly didn’t fit right. I burned my food, stubbed my toe, and fought fatigue and depression all day long. My appetite vanished too. Even the day was dark and cloudy!

But I did manage to push through and have a very productive day.

I even learned something along the way.

The question here is: what do you do when everything goes wrong? Well, I think there are two things you can do. Each a perfectly fine response to the day. You can push through or you can stop and do nothing.

Let’s start with the first one.

1. Push Through

Personally, this one is much harder for me. When I’m having a disaster of a day the last thing on my mind is forcing myself through what I planned on doing without stalling. That last part is important. If you do pick this path, you have to be honest with it. Showing up to the party only to hide in a closet doesn’t count as going to a party. So saying you’ll push through and then not pushing through doesn’t count either.

Keep yourself to your plans. If you were going to run, run. If you had a wordcount or daily goal, hit it. If you have to go out, go out. If there were errands to run, go run those errands. You get the gist. If you planned on doing something, you need to follow through with it. Believe it or not, you’ll feel fantastic at the end of the day.

Most of my disaster days actually end up being my most productive days. I keep off the internet. I hide my phone somewhere. I put my head down and push through it. It’s amazing what single-minded determination can do for you. Especially on a bad day.

That being said, it isn’t easy. Not at all. The trick to it is letting everything go. A perfect thing to keep in mind all the time anyway, letting everything go (especially the bad stuff) makes pushing through doable. If you’re getting hung up on absolutely every mishap throughout the day, getting to bedtime will be a miserable experience. Besides that, it teaches the mind to dwell on what goes wrong instead of breathing and pushing through it.

So, if you’re going to push through resign yourself to it and don’t focus on the mishaps.

2. Do Nothing

Some days just call for this. If productivity is dwindling, your attitude is getting worse and worse, and you’re just meeting aggravation after aggravation it is okay to stop and do nothing. Plopping down in front of the TV for a while, taking a bath, reading a book, or whatever it is that creates a relaxing, calm, nothing kind of atmosphere is a perfectly acceptable thing.

Sometimes though, doing nothing creates a toxic mentality. To avoid this, break up what you’re doing. Instead of sitting in front of a TV all day or a laptop snacking on chips, take a bath. Read for a while. If the weather is nice, sit outside. Take a hot shower.

The list of small, relaxing things to keep you from falling into a funk is long. Ultimately, doing nothing is all about doing what keeps you calmest and happiest.

So what’s the bottom line?

There is no bottom line! Bad days are bound to happen. Sometimes we can be productive. Other times it’s just best to sit back and be calm.


7 thoughts on “When Nothing Works Out”

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