I poured myself a glass of wine, grabbed a good book and snuggled up the sofa. I was celebrating the end to a great day. Although it shouldn’t have been a great day.
On paper, it had been pretty stressful. Back to back meetings, crazy deadlines, curveballs from all angles, and stresses at home like a sick small person and a leaky washing machine. But instead of letting the day beat me and ruin my weekend, I decided to turn things around.
How did I do this? By taking control of my mindset. By putting myself At Cause – in control of the situation. Not At Effect – I was not a victim of my day.
Here’s how I did it, AKA my top three tips to help you not only survive a stressful day, but to turn it around so it wasn’t so bad after all.
This is a moment in time
Realise that everything is temporary. In the midst of the stress, know you will get through it. Know that this will pass. In your mind, transport yourself to the end of the day when you’re sitting relaxing, and all of this is done. Visualise how you will feel, and how proud you’ll be that you got through the day.
To really make these positive emotions tangible, write them down. Mine were:
I am relaxed, just about to finish my book
I am cooking a lovely dinner
I am really proud of all the things I’ve achieved today.
It’s not you, it’s them
If you’ve had a really difficult day that’s affected you emotionally, my guess is that the most upsetting part centred around something someone said or did. This can be really difficult, and hard to not take personally.
But it’s not about you, or aimed at you – I can guarantee you that.
So what was it about then?
We unconsciously project how we feel onto others, and see our emotions externally. So whatever that person did was a projection of what they have going on internally, although they may not even realise this was happening. For example if they snapped at you, they were probably projecting their own stress levels. If they were hyper critical of you, that’s a projection of how hard they are on themselves. If they dropped the ball on a project, chances are they have other stresses behind the scenes you’re unaware of, they haven’t let you down on purpose. Negativity received from other people is not about you, it’s about them. So you can remove the emotion as it’s not personal.
Realise you have achieved things, even the little things you don’t think are wins actually are!
To add to your list from earlier, now write these achievements down. Little and large! And I mean everything. Did you manage to work from home and still unload the dishwasher? Write that down. Did you have a horrible meeting? Guess what – you survived it. Write that down. Did you do a bit of online shopping on your lunch break to cheer yourself up? Great, you’ve upped your serotonin levels, so write that down too. Be proud of everything your day has thrown at you and every bit of energy you’ve thrown at it.
Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of the day with a positive mindset, you’ve reframed your experiences and like me, you’re now happy and relaxed. So as I finish my book (and my wine), I’m ready to kick butt tomorrow because I can do anything. And so can you!