Letting Your Lil Light Shine | day 2: turn a bad day around

This post was brainstormed and co-written with Michaela {Livin' Lightlyiheartedu} | Just for fun, direct comments/interjections from Michaela are in this girly color 
Nothing puts out our little lights quite like a bad day. Mishappenings mix with bad feelings to create a perfect storm of believing nothing is going right, and before you know it you're having a breakdown over unfolded laundry. (And I have two baskets right now!) Not our most shining moments. Bad days distract us from productivity, lower our self-esteem, and--worst of all--dim our lights for Christ, and sometimes even our view of Him.

It's hard to shine in our own little worlds when we're not in the mindset to do so.

Learning to beat this sort of bad day "funk" helps us shine even brighter--because when we are weak, He is strong, and bad days turned good send all of the glory to Him! Keep reading for ideas to turn a bad day around and beat the funk!

My sister-in-law, Michaela, and I call each other for frequent check-ins to share our struggles and encourage each other in our journeys as stay-at-home-moms. Often I’ll call her when Daniel is travelling, the kids are restless, and chores have piled up while I got distracted on the computer. I share the chaos going on around me then ask, How do I get out of this funk? She always has something simple and encouraging to say. Like telling me to think of something positive and stop everything to write it down. Such a simple suggestion, and it helps me every time!

michaela + family
>> I most often get stuck in a funk on days where I don’t have a plan. The days where I wake up and end up just “going with the flow” tend to be the days where I get overwhelmed by the laundry piles, unfinished dishes, work projects, and fun to-do’s with Paisley that I never did. Often when talking to Trina, she reminds me that I need to make a simple “to do” list, prioritize it, set a timer and get to it.  It’s amazing how others' areas of strength (Trina’s lists) can help us in our times of weakness (my "let’s just wing it" philosophy). <<

In the course of Michaela helping me, and me helping her, we've come up with a few simple things to do to beat daily funks and uncover the shine in your life...

Write down 3 things you're thankful for.
Thinking about things you're thankful for is good to do on a regular basis, but actually writing them down is just the effort needed to help these positive thoughts to drown out the negative. You can do this right in the middle of your funk.  Stop, drop everything (well, set down the baby) and write. Write them in a journal, list them in your planner or on a scrap piece of paper, jot them down on your marker board or type them in your computer. This is the antithesis of destructive self-wallowing.

Set the timer for 20 minutes (or 10 or 30), and get something done.
Often when we feel our worst, it's when time passes without feeling like anything is getting done. It's amazing what can be done in a 20-minute frenzy! Clean up the house or finish a nagging task. This is just the jump-start I need on a low and slow-moving day to feel productive and ready for wherever God leads.

>> Trina and I literally did this just the other day.  We both had appointments in about 30 minutes from our phone call to each other, and we had an almost “Amazing Race” style ready, set, go!  We both set our timers for 20 minutes, hung up the phone and got to cleaning, promising to call each other and check back in after the time was up.  Not only did this keep me accountable to someone else for what I accomplished, it also motivated me to “win”!  Ha.  I’m a wee bit competitive.  Luckily we were both winners and it ramped up the fun factor on an otherwise mundane task. <<

Do something for you.
This means different things for different people, and can mean different things for you depending on the day. It could be something you need to do and enjoy like yoga or zumba. It could be taking care of yourself by eating a good meal and drinking water. It could be taking some guilt-free time to journal or read or paint your nails. It could be calling a friend to chat (my personal favorite) or meeting someone for coffee. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by everything we give, and need permission to give to ourselves.

Simplify your "to do" list.
Sometimes we are simply overwhelmed with everything begging for our attention. Or maybe a large change in life has upset your daily routine. (Like selling your belongings and moving into a 29' Airstream trailer for a year?) When getting a grasp is difficult, we need to simply remember the basics--fresh air, water, time with God, time with family, etc. If you're feeling overwhelmed or are in a funk for more than a day, then try this new + improved "to do" list. Pat yourself on the back for accomplishing the necessities. It’s so important to celebrate those little victories. It's easier to adjust and welcome life changes (and shine through them!) once these essentials are a natural part of your routine.

We'd love to know...

>> How do you beat a funk?