This past Monday morning didn't get off to the most user friendly of starts for me I must admit. Dressing gown clad, eyes still half shut, brain not in gear, I wandered to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and a quick breakfast before cracking on with a busy day and early morning disaster struck!
I watched in horror as I unwittingly exploded an egg in the microwave (perhaps I shouldn't be poaching eggs in the microwave when half asleep, lesson one) jumped out of my skin and in my fright dislodged a shelf in the fridge full of glass jars that happily came tumbling to the floor with an almighty crash. Shocked I stood covered in red thai curry sauce not knowing whether to laugh or cry before hurriedly being called in to action before the pup hoovered up all of the broken glass in her attempt to help me manually clean up the spilt food. I did of course have time to take a couple of photos to send to my bewildered husband who thought we'd been broken into by a gang of racoons. Then with pup safely sectioned away I began the clean up and just knew it was going to be one of those days!
Of course I'm not talking a life changing, huge disaster here but I am talking the sort of thing you really don't need when you've got a lot to get on with. That moment when suddenly a small but incredibly irritating and unwelcome distraction strikes, throwing your already busy day into disrepute before it's even started.
We all know the feeling, we curse, cry, shout and laugh in hysteria in our already frazzled and fragile morning mood. This was time for me to put all of my ideas about patience, balance and mindfulness in to practice to pull myself back to a positive and productive day despite an extra hour that was to be wasted cleaning up my own annoying mess! So with memories of my personal Monday morning madness in mind here are some tips for pacing yourself and getting back on track when your own day (or week) gets off to a less than invigorating start.
MY 5 TURN THINGS AROUND TIPS
1. Wait: When something negative happens during the course of your day, resist the urge to react immediately out of frustration or anger by shouting, throwing things or doing anything in the spur of the moment that will ultimately only add to the negativity of the situation. Wait a moment - step away if you can and distract yourself briefly before coming back to face it.
2. Breathe: Bring yourself back into the moment and calm yourself down by really taking a second to breathe calmly. This will help you to collect yourself before taking any further action as well as bring your heart rate down. Stopping you from reacting physically in a way that might cause you unnecessary pain and added discomfort.
3. Laugh: 9 times out of 10 whatever has happened, no matter how frustrating, isn't really all that bad. Things can seem really bad if you're already feeling stressed but rarely is it something that really matters in the grand scheme of things, or something that ultimately can't be fixed. So laugh it off as best you can and move on with your day, put it behind you. Que sera!
4. Re-assess: I mentioned above that some things can seem a lot worse than they actually are if you're already really stressed. Could this be a potential issue in itself? Did this incident happen because you were rushing or panicking too much? If so are you taking on too much, are you overloaded? If this is the case then this is a matter that needs addressing within itself. Ultimately if you're finding yourself having lots of bad days and irritating mishaps then perhaps you need to make some more fundamental changes to your lifestyle and workload to keep yourself healthy, happy and safe.
5. Take a break: Go and make a cup of tea, put on your favourite song, take a little walk and get some fresh air. Any or all of the above, or whatever it is that brings you back to your happy place then do it! Don't be afraid to go off schedule for a moment, acknowledge that you need a bit of time to re-set and take a brief time out in which to do so. Okay so now the day might not go quite as planned or to the tight schedule that you set yourself, but these things happen. Let them happen, sort them out, take a moment to breathe and relax before getting back on track once you really feel ready and refocused.
What do you do when your day sets off on the wrong track leaving you feeling slightly frazzled? Do you have any other top tips to add that I've missed here? I'd love to hear your thoughts and here's to a more productive Monday morning for me next week - keep your fingers crossed!