Yesterday, I was sad. Blue, if you prefer. It was what I like to call, in my ever-so-sophisticated vernacular, a “poo day.” Because I felt like poo, and everything looked like poo, and the whole day was pretty much shot to poo as a result of it.
There was no reason why. I had a wonderful holiday. My office is gorgeously quietly this week with pretty much everyone gone on a mass vacation spree. Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day rocking out to my Florence + The Machine Pandora station while catching up on both my filing pile and my Twitter backlog (shhh, don’t tell!).
But poo days don’t have reasons for being. They just descend like a cartoon cloud and follow you around, shrouding you in your own personal rainstorm and making you feel drained and discouraged.
And even if you’re perfectly aware it’s just a stupid cartoon gloom and nothing is seriously wrong, that doesn’t make you feel any less crappy. It just makes you feel like a moron for not being able to shake it.
There were plenty of logical explanations for why I might have been feeling blah yesterday:
- I could have been going through a crazy dip. (It doesn’t happen often anymore, but it still can);
- I live in cold, gray, drizzly Buffalo;
- I’m SAD-prone and have been watching the sunlight disappear shortly after lunchtime for weeks now;
- I’m in what I call my “squiggly line week” (a.k.a. the week I mark on the calendar with a discrete squiggly line to let the husband know it’s “that time,” so watch out); and/or
- I’m a side hustler who’s temporarily all hustled out.
But I know how to deal with all of these things. I have one or more of them going on most of the time, and they rarely faze me. Or if they do, the funks they cause are prolonged and I can sense them coming before they hit. (I’m a maverick at reading my emotional swings, due to the craziness.)
No, the reason for yesterday’s cloud was something very mundane:
- I am human; and
- Poo days sometimes happen.
There doesn’t have to be a reason, and you don’t have to feel bad if you can’t shake yourself out of it. You just have to take care of yourself as best you can while you’re in it. Here’s how:
Coping With a Gray Day
As a recovering crazy, I have a special appreciation for the fact that we are not our moods. It took a long, hard time for me to realize and truly understand this, but now I’ve become adept at letting all sorts of moods and emotions pass through me without letting them define my day or myself.
Sometimes you’re just “off.” Some days are a wash. It’s o.k. The cloud will lift. Just focus on getting through the day.
I asked my lovely readers to tell me how they get through the blahs, and I got some great feedback:
I have recently taken to doing silly things that get me out of my funk… like skipping down the street or riding shopping carts in a parking lot. This is probably not appropriate for people who care what others think however. When all else fails, there’s always alcohol. – Sarah Goshman
Writing always helps me and of course belting out to pandora in my office [Cordelia note: a lady after my own heart!], sometime I get crazy stares since I am tone def but I don’t care! – Tracy Schwartz
I can’t really control what happens at work, but after I get out, it’s a quick workout, a cup of my tea and my computer (either reading or writing.) That’s basically what I do every day in the winter. In the summer, a nice long walk…then tea and my computer 😉 – Abby Has Issues
It’s okay to laugh when I tell you I wear sparkly things when I am having a blah day. I can’t be blah and sparkly! But that’s probably not the kind of thing you’re going for. – Chrysta Bairre [Chrysta, it so totally is. I love this idea!]
Go look in the mirror…smile (a real one) and truly tell yourself you love you! Makes me feel better, people forget how important it is to refuel your heart from you! ♥ – Sonya Contino
A walk and some fresh air does the trick most of the time. – @Lori_AnnKruse
Accept it. breathe. drink something warm. journal. paint. read in my favorite coffee shop. – @jdartagnanlove
Awesome advice, all! In addition, hare some of the ways I’ve learned to get through a poo day:
1. Look At It From the Outside
Seriously, picture the cartoon cloud. Remind yourself this is a temporary state you find yourself in — nothing is really wrong, nothing is wrong with you, certainly — it just is what it is.
It’s like having a cold or a headache — it sucks, and you’ll have to make some adjustments to accommodate it, but you’ll get over it.
2. Go Easy on Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up for not being on your game or try to force yourself to do things you’re not up to. Just shrug, keep moving and be patient with yourself.
3. Tackle the Little Things
Let the big life goals and major projects be for a day. Focus on folding the laundry or typing that report or taking the trash to the curb. Do what you can, and let yourself be o.k. with that.
4. Tackle Only What You Have To
When I’m in the midst of a funk, I tend to go into energy saver mode. I only do the things that are strictly necessary to get through the day, and I don’t push myself to do them with the usual flair and aplomb I normally invest.
Being forced to do this drives me crazy, because I’m all about living with awesomeness in every little detail, but some days, ya just can’t do it. Recognize that and let yourself let some things slide.
5. Pile on the Goodness
I fiercely combat poo days with everything I can think of that makes me happy: PJs, cuddles with puppies, fancy coffee drinks, naps when I can fit them in, guilty-pleasure reality shows.
Think of the things you’d do to cheer up a friend who was in a funk — or the things you wish your friends would do for you — then do them for yourself. Take good care of you.
6. Remind Yourself It’s a Mood, Not a Commentary on Your Life as a Whole
Yesterday, I didn’t feel like being cheery or ambitious or awesome. I really just wanted to crawl back into bed and stay there. But that didn’t mean I’d suddenly lost all ability to ever create anything again. It didn’t mean I’m secretly unhappy with my life or my goals are all wrong or I don’t have it in me to make them happen.
It just meant that, for that day, I was gloomy.
Resist the urge to place too much value on the poo days. They will pass. (Tweet, tweet!) Treat yourself kindly when you’re in them, and you’ll go back to feeling like yourself again in no time. I promise.
How do YOU handle poo days?