If a day goes south there's a way to salvage it and finish with your dignity intact. Click To Tweet Sometimes, no matter what we do to prepare ourselves for a busy workday, events manage to take us by surprise, leaving us scrambling to navigate a chaotic situation. Your reaction hits. Your emotions are roiling. You feel totally unnerved. Your heart feels like it’s beating right out of your chest. Sound familiar? When our day goes south, is there a way to salvage the rest of the day so we can finish with our dignity intact? Well, the good news is that the answer is YES. Here are four simple ways to make it all happen—even on the worst of days.
- Write it all down: If you notice that your days often seem to get upended, consider keeping a daily log of your events. Take note of what you ate, how you slept, and what the emotional weather patterns seem to be. Summarize any conversations that stick out as possible triggers to emotional reactions. Over time, you’ll be able to see how patterns begin to emerge, allowing you to better identify when you need to give yourself time to pause so you don’t get stuck in the vicious cycle of reactivity.
- Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is not easy, but when we learn to say “no,” you are actually establishing healthy limits to the amount of stress-inducers you allow into your life. Maybe your boundaries need to begin with how and when you check texts and emails, or maybe it’s more complicated, and you need to establish boundaries with coworkers and bosses. Need help getting started? Here’s a great primer from Psychology Today.
- Take care of yourself: It doesn’t take much research to discover that Americans are terrible at taking time off from work. In fact, more than half of Americans don’t even bother using their vacation time, and 25 percent of Americans don’t even GET vacation time. Regardless of where you fall in this spectrum, you can recharge by choosing to completely disconnect—even if for just a few moments. Research proves that taking small breaks throughout the day actually improves your productivity—so go ahead and give yourself a little break.