We all have tough days. You know, the rainy day when you forget your umbrella and a car drives close to you as the pooled street water rushes onto your clothing and shoes.
Then the train breaks down, making you late for work and you can’t find your cell phone even though you know you put it into your pocket as you are waiting for a call from a woman who is interviewing you for that new job and you realize that you don’t have the number to call because all of the info is in your phone and then and then …
The day moves from one mishap to another. An array of small annoyances creates an internal havoc that won’t stop. Today seems like a day you are doomed to just have a bad day.
Laughter lurks in the background begging you to come out and play. Yet the last thing you want to embody is laughter. You are grouchy and angry and annoyed at the world.
People had better stay away.
It often seems impossible to escape the turmoil of a tough day.
But a tough day is different from tough times. It is easier to deal with a tough day than it is to deal with a series of days, months, or even years that culminate into tough times. The ability to conquer the unrelenting critical self-talk while the tough times take hold is certainly difficult to harness.
Here are five tips to help you make it through a tough day. The necessary question during the invasive aspects of the day is to ask how to find a place in you that is not only forgiving of the self, but is also able to access humor.
1. Get in touch with the survivor in you. Tough times help people toughen up.
2. The self in adversity is never met in the good times. Once met, adversity is not feared. Rather, it is seen as a challenge.
3. If you can’t change something, then change the way you think about it. Find something funny about the situation you are in. Even in the worst of times, humor can alleviate the surge of emotional pain and powerlessness.
4. Obstacles are the greatest teachers. Dance with them, don’t get overtaken by their resiliency. Assess, understand, change, and take charge. This is the flexible self.
5. Turn powerlessness into power. Imagine a positive outcome, share it with others, commit to it, and talk the power game.
Edy Nathan’s new book is called It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery Through Trauma and Loss.
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