Three things to remember (when you’re having a sh*tty day)

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a bad day. Your alarm didn’t go off, the coffee pot’s “automatic” function wasn’t turned on, the elevator was broken, you left your umbrella on the bus, and it just started to rain. Even though you could easily bounce back from any one of those things, chances are your day is totally screwed.

From time to time, a perfect storm – like described above, or maybe worse – can ruin your day, making you feel lower than the rent on a burning building. So here are three things to remember (especially when you’re having a sh*tty day).

1. The little stuff doesn’t matter.

Sometimes a bunch of little screw-ups can feel like one giant screw-up. But if you can let go of a few of those smaller problems, you might be able to avoid having an all-around sh*tty day. And forgiving yourself – or asking for forgiveness from others – is key to letting go of those little things before they destroy your day.

So remember that the little stuff doesn’t matter.  Instead, focus on the bigger picture. You woke up today. You have a precious life. Don’t let stress, traffic, anxiety, or caffeine-withdrawal get you down. (Also, read Hebrews 12:1-2 or Quran 94:1-8)

2. The little stuff does matter.

Have you ever made eye contact with someone on the street and realized they were smiling at you? Or maybe you’ve seen someone give up their seat on the bus, so you (or someone else) could take it? I’m willing to bet you see something every day – even if you don’t notice it – that might make a world of difference when you’re having a sh*tty day.

So don’t totally ignore it, because sometimes the little stuff does matter. Keep a journal of the little things you do for yourself or others. When you’re feeling down, flip through a few of those memories. (Also, read 1 Corinthians 4:7-8 or Quran 14:5-8)

3. You’re never as alone as you feel.

Even when it seems like you’re drowning in lonliness, chances are someone in the world is thinking of you right now, sending you little rays of happy thoughtfulness – or are those thoughtful happiness bubbles? Either way. Maybe it’s a coworker, or your spouse, or a sibling. Maybe it’s a parent or a friend. It could even be the guy who picked up the umbrella you left on the bus. (Hey, just because you’re having a sh*tty day doesn’t mean his day has to be sh*tty too!)

The point is you’re never as alone as you feel. Text or call a friend. Use social media (responsibly). It could even be as simple as finding a picture of your cat on your phone. (Also, read Isaiah 43:1-2 or Quran 50:16)

One more thing to remember on a bad day…

Just because you’re having a sh*tty day doesn’t mean everyone around you is, too. Look to others to brighten your day, and look for opportunities to brighten someone else’s day. As I tweet often…

Smile at a stranger. It might be the only happiness they encounter today.

Image “Dark Sky” © 2015 by Susanne Nilsson and used under license CC BY-SA 2.0.

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