Guest Blogger: Reynelda Jones, LCSW, CADS, CMHIMP
It is beneficial to start your day off in a positive way and just as important to end your day in a positive way as well. Each night, we go to sleep and wake up the next day to new opportunities and challenges. Yet, our interpretation of events (which is based on our own experiences, values and moods) can lead to us feeling as if our whole day was a waste.
Over the years, I have been told by multiple people, "Make it a habit to not go to bed mad." Although, I agree with this statement, it was never clearly explained how to achieve this. I've had many opportunities working with my clients, as well as myself, to process the filter that so many of us live by to find the "glass half full."
Throughout the day, often times our emotions get in the way of what is important and we ruminate on events and words that weren't meant to offend us, but somehow they did. Let's face it...even if the statements were meant to offend us, allowing those situations to "rent space" in our minds will definitely destroy our day.
So, what do do you?
Would you consider the day lost?
Should you just aim for a better day tomorrow?
Well, if the day isn’t over, I truly believe that you can make something good out of it. Let's look at 5 ways we can end our day on a positive note:
1. Say "yes" to yourself: Saying yes to yourself is difficult for many individuals because it feels selfish. Guess what?! It's OK to be selfish sometimes, when it is your mental and physical health on the line. When you say yes to yourself, you're saying the following:
- Yes, I had a difficult day today
- Yes, it has led me to stress and anxiety
- Yes, I have to care for me and my health is just as important as anyone else.
- Yes, self care starts right now...today...at this moment.
Remember when you say yes to others’ needs, you are saying no to yourself. Don't make ignoring your needs or feelings a habit. Your feelings are not important.
2. Review your day: This is the best time to get out a piece of paper and pencil to create a gratitude list. Initially it may be difficult to create a gratitude list because your mind may continue to try to focus on all the things that went wrong, but I can assure you doing this is helpful. Here are some steps that may be helpful:
- Replay your day from start to finish.
- As you go through your day, write out the positive things or the events that did happen today that you are grateful for. Some examples to help:
-Waking up today.
-Waking up and seeing the sun was out.
-Grateful you were able to speak to someone you cared about.
-Grateful you made it to and from work.
-Thankful you have a bed to sleep in.
Writing is not only therapeutic, but it provides you with physical evidence that may be needed to review in the future...you know, when that mood comes back again. Remember don't disqualify the positives. Focusing on the positives can change your mood. It can, in a sense, help you view your day differently.
3. Take Inventory of what's around you: Now that we've reviewed the past events of the day, it is time to move your focus to the present moment. The best thing about this technique is that this can be done anywhere, anytime. You are simply utilizing your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, feel and smell. Here’s some examples to get you started:
--> Look around your room.
--> Pay attention to what you see, what you hear, feel and smell.
--> Count the different colors in the room.
--> Count the amount of chairs.
--> If you are chewing gum, take a brief moment and pay attention to the taste.
--> Slowly breathe in and determine what you smell.
--> Pay attention to what parts of your feet is touching the floor or bed.
4. Ensure your environment is conducive to relaxation: Focus on these questions:
--> Is your room arranged in a way where relaxation is the ultimate goal?
--> Is the room clear of clutter or organized?
--> Are there any electronics on? If there are electronics on, how are they assisting with relaxation?
--> Are the shades lower to promote a calming ambiance?
If you need help with creating a calming space this may help you.
5. Tomorrow provides more opportunities: Lastly, simply remind yourself how you ended your day in a more positive way. When you arise tomorrow, you have evidence of your positive thoughts on the paper you wrote last night. You can start your day by reviewing it or return tomorrow and add more later. Recognize that tomorrow brings new opportunities and new challenges. Throughout your day practice using some of the coping skills mentioned above, which helped to create a more positive evening.
Reynelda Jones is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist and Certified Mental Health and Integrative Medicine Provider. She is the founder of A Solution B, LLC private therapy practice in Michigan.