Days Like These: How to Bounce Back from Bad Days

Resiliency - Bounce Back from Set BacksIt was after I took a chunk out of our hardwood floors, the hallway wall and myself while trying to put together a heavy queen brass bed frame  that I began to wonder where the “do over” button was packed.

“I blew out my flip flop,
Stepped on a pop top,
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.”
– “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet

We’ve all had them. Bad days. Moments when we feel that perhaps this isn’t my day or year. But how do you turn the failing day around? How do you start fresh — when the whole day has turned against you? Do you just throw in the towel and cave into the impulse to watch Season 3 of “Love Boat” with a pan full of brownies?

“Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ‘ole’ life problems–and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful,” according to Resiliency.com.

Life is meant to have difficult, difficult lemony difficult moments. It’s part of what makes us unique, learn, grow and develop long past our school years. Resiliency is the power to bounce back from those moments, no matter their length or severity.

Resiliency is beyond seeing the silver lining. It lies in the ability to see the lesson to be learned, form an action plan and take steps toward a positive outcome. Much of the power comes from problem-solving skills, supportive networks and a positive self-concept.  It also helps to have the ability to manage negative self-talk or ruminating (the habit of rehashing negative events over and over). The struggle to bounce back and recover from setbacks (even if it is a battle with a queen bed frame) can lead to developing strengths and abilities beyond your current skill set.

“Well I woke up this morning stumbled out of my rack
I opened up the paper to the page in the back
It only took a minute for my finger to find
My daily dose of destiny, under my sign
My eyes just about popped out of my head
It said “the stars are stacked against you girl, get back in bed”

— Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Feel Lucky”

Resiliency is what keeps the goalie’s head in the game after a puck has slipped by him. It is what has the former CEO restructuring his resume after a restructuring at the company. It is what keeps us going after a personal failure, heartbreak or stubbed toe. It’s focusing on what you can do and not dwelling on what is out of your control or already scribed in the history books. You can rewrite your day . . . month . . . year.

So, what did I learn this morning?:

1) “A little help from my friends” (Beatles)
When I saw the somewhat simple chore steamrolling beyond my grasp, I should have pulled the emergency brakes and waited until I could recruit some help from my loving other half. Or until I was at least in a better place mentally.

2) “Time is on My Side, Yes It Is” (covered by Rolling Stones)
Slow down. Take a moment to regroup. While I am eager to get through our home improvement projects, it doesn’t have to all happen right now or today. I can take my time.

3)  “Who Are You?”  (The Who)
Yeah, I was frustrated. But I know that I can bounce back. I’m more resilient than I think. The “Love Boat” marathon is put on hold . . . for now.  But I will bake those brownies. I know they will turn out awesome. My day is changing.

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