I’m having a “good” day today.

What, exactly, does that mean?

  • I feel rested and relaxed
  • I feel safe and secure
  • I feel “on top of things”

I had a relatively “bad” day yesterday.

  • I felt pressured and disorganized
  • I felt insecure
  • I felt nervous

The back story: Yesterday, I was scheduled to give one of my twice-monthly workshops.  I love doing them, but they also make me nervous (I’m less nervous every time, but, still…). So this made for an undercurrent of bad mood.

Then, we’ve been having amazingly bad winter weather here, right in the middle of final exams week. School keeps getting canceled and, as a tutor, my schedule gets thrown up in the air every other day. It’s really stressful.

The ice storm yesterday also threw into doubt whether or not to hold my workshop. Was it worth it? Would anyone show up? I was tempted to cancel (it would have been a great excuse which would have allowed me to escape my stage fright)…but I didn’t, because…

I realized that this was a great opportunity! I could hold my workshop, and it would be good practice for me…and if no one showed up, I’d be able to blame it on the weather (instead of worrying that “maybe people aren’t interested in hearing me”).

In fact I had a surprisingly nice turn-out, intrepid souls who braved the awful weather to hear me talk about the effects of stress on relationships.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be a victim to my emotions. If I’m having a “bad” day, I can probably find some ways to help myself.

  • I can give myself some quiet think-time, to try and identify where the bad feelings are coming from
  • I can ask for support (ex: in my personal relationships, I’m learning to reach out when I’m feeling confused, hurt, in need of reassurance, etc. I don’t struggle silently with those feelings anymore)
  • I can look for ways to make lemonade with my difficult feelings (I turned the bad weather into a good reason to hold my workshop)
  • I keep in mind the advice from DBT: If you are having a powerful, negative feeling, do the opposite. This is very hard to do, but it really works!

I’m also learning to write the good feelings down. I tend to write when I feel bad, which is so helpful for processing. But, it’s equally important to write down and reflect on the good days, for a balanced perspective.

On my next bad day I’ll be able to go back and read this!

(photo of my beloved picnic table; I’m enjoying looking at it and anticipating the summer days ahead!)