Bad days happen, right? Examples of a bad day may include waking up in pain (hip pain and headaches tend to be my wake-up friends lately). Maybe a bad day is when your clumsy and nothing seems to go the way you want it to - you drop breakfast, bump into walls, and trip over the dog (yup, I've done all those things). Perhaps a bad day is just being short-tempered. Everything everyone says irritates you. (Been there, too.)
It's not easy to find our way out of the bad day blues. I like to grab a coffee, pray a lot, and nearly hold my breath until it's over. That usually works okay until everyone is home at the end of the day.
For some reason, when I'm finally with the people who love me the most, I turn into an ugly monster. I'm yelling at everyone, still tripping over the dog, and generally an ogre. Maybe you can relate!
Here's what I've found. This response gets us nowhere. Even if our family started the day irritating us (as can happen), it's not productive to keep being upset in the evening.
I'm pretty sure just about everyone has stress in their lives. That means that everyone in the family is stressed and would probably like to blow up.
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So what do we do? We know it's nearly impossible to just "get over it" when we've had a bad day. Here are some tried and true tips:
Take it to the prayer chair (or whatever quiet place you have to pray). I literally have a rocking chair in the sitting room of my bedroom. While this is not where I do my morning quiet time, it's my "too stressed out to be with people prayer chair." I have a special encouraging Bible that I keep at a little table just for those moments. I turn to an encouraging Scripture and get calmed down. I pray, I read. I sit quietly. I sometimes cry. What I DON'T do is stress more about what I should be doing instead - prodding kids to do homework, making dinner, or taking out the dogs. When the bad day has gone on too long, a "Mommy time out" works wonders.
Take a walk. This one is another version of the "Mommy time out." I generally pray on my walk. Or cry. Whatever works. Sometimes I yell at God (seems wrong? Check out David in the Pslams). A walk releases endorphins and the sunshine can naturally lift our mood while we soak up some vitamin D. Literally cast your cares upon the Lord during this time.
Find something funny. I admit, this is a tough one for me as I'm just a more serious type person. I am hard to please with funny shows or comedy acts. But this can totally work! We have a tv in our living room and it connects to our open-plan kitchen. I can turn on a funny show and laugh away the stress! Don't believe me? Give it a try! Caution: if the kids are home, be sure the funny show is child-appropriate. If it isn't, you're just setting yourself up for more stress later.
If all else fails, order pizza and go to bed. Seriously. I've done this. Sometimes sleep helps. We give our family a break from the ogre, but we're still taking care of them.
What do you do after a bad day? How do you keep the ogre from attacking your family at night?
Peace & Blessings,
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