Today's post is inspired by an "off day" I had last week. Quick backstory: My grandma was one of the greatest sources of unconditional love in my life, and she passed away last year. Although I've done a lot of processing since that time, I still experience waves of sadness, and I found myself overcome with all kinds of emotion last week on her birthday.
It started the second I woke up, when I reached over to turn my phone alarm off, and the first thing I saw was my digital calendar reminder that it was her birthday. My first thought was that I'd forgotten to send a card, and that at the very least I needed to call her! And then my heart sank as I remembered she's no longer with us.
Throughout the morning I experienced a mix of missing her and loving her, sadness and gratitude, and I fluctuated between the two. I consciously sent her soul, wherever it is at this time, as much light and love as possible. But, as you can probably sense, I just felt particularly fragile that day.
It also happened to be the very same day where I'd be meeting 20 new friends at a networking event. We were kicking off the San Diego chapter of a special group I'd applied for called Happsters Squad that's all about bringing positive, like-minded women together to support and uplift one another. I'd signed up for at least a year with this new group of women, and I was so excited to meet all of them. I know how powerful community is and seeing the same people each month provides such a cool container for relationships to develop.
I wanted to make a solid first impression, but the day of the event I just felt...off. While I'm all about being authentic and vulnerable, I also didn't want to unload on or completely break down in front of this new set of people. I wanted to show up as my best self, and channel at least some of my usual, positive energy.
In order to do that, I knew I needed to shift my energy ahead of time. So I utilized the best tools I've got, and I did it! I turned things around by the time the event started that evening.
When I sat down to write today's post, I was reflecting on my experience last week and thought, "I can't be the only one who's ever had an off day and wanted to shift their energy! I'm sure other people experience this too. So why not help them?"
So here we are! I put this list together to help you if/when you ever find yourself feeling funky/emotional before a date, important interview, birthday party, group outing, or just a night in. Because even if other people aren't involved, you don't have to sit in the stickiness if you don't want to.
Ready to feel better? Here are some ways you can get started:
1) Let your emotion up and out. Suppressing it will only make it go away temporarily, and if you truly want to feel lighter, the best way to do so is to actually release the emotion. Find a private space where you can process, and invite whatever feeling is there to come forward. A great way to do so is to play music that makes you emotional anyways (that will always be "Hallelujah" for me...ever since that devastating O.C. episode where a main character was killed off. Those who watched the show -- you know which scene I'm talking about!). Anyways, I can barely handle that song even when I'm feeling great. So when I'm already feeling raw, it makes me tear up almost instantly.
2) Write your feelings out on paper. "Freeform writing" is one of my favorite tools for processing. All you need is a pen, paper, preferably a candle, and a space to process uninterrupted for at least 20 minutes. The process itself involves writing in a stream-of-consciousness manner where you don't filter/edit/even read as you go but rather let it flow on paper. It doesn't even need to be legible, because you're not going to reread it (in fact, I suggest not re-reading it). This is a true emotional purge, and once you're done, you definitely want to discard your paper and get it out of the house. Envision all of your negative feelings leaving with that piece of paper.
3) Share with someone you trust. Sometimes you feel like processing solo, but somethings you need a hug and heartfelt face-to-face support with a loved one. If you feel open to sharing, I suggest doing so with someone who you know can hold space for you and listen without judgment. Feel free to clarify the type of support you're seeking, too. For instance, you might tell a friend that you really just need to express yourself and feel heard vs. receive advice or solutions.
4) Play music that makes you happy. Clearly, I love music! It speaks to me on an emotional level, and if it does for you too, then I highly suggest this step. I personally have (and consistency add to) a "feel good" playlist that's filled with songs that I can't help but enjoy. Pick songs that, even amidst the most stubborn of moments, make you feel even a little better.
5) Take a warm bath/shower and imagine it all rinsing away. I especially love this after doing some emotional processing. Sometimes I'll even suggest it to clients after a particularly deep session together where we've cleared and lifted so much material. Picture any residue of emotions that are no longer serving you in this moment swirling down the drain. Bonus points if you indulge yourself with a bubble bath, oils, or bath product that feels luxurious. Which brings me to my next point...
6) Treat yourself to an easy ritual or pampering experience. For example, I have a face oil that I keep in the shower, and when I'm feeling like I could use a 'lil extra R&R I'll take a few minutes to massage it into my skin, focusing on releasing tension in my temples or jaw. Then, I'll take a warm wash cloth and place it on my face as I imagine the oil sinking in and hydrating my skin before gently exfoliating and rinsing my face off. It's a quick, simple way to make myself feel cared for and treated.
7) Step outside. Spend a few minutes in the sun, breathing in fresh air and coming into the present moment. Try and notice the little details and signs of life all around you -- simple things about your environment that force you into the here and now. It's hard to be so in your head/trapped in your own inner experience when you stop to notice the clouds, the way the light is hitting the trees, the scent in the air, the temperature, a plane up above, a gecko scurrying into a bush, or how the flowers next door are coming into bloom. You get the idea :)
8) Watch a funny YouTube video/movie clip. This can work wonders! Look up whatever kind of content makes you laugh. I personally love random quirky characters on informercials. A few of my personal faves are this camera informercial mixup, this extremely enthusiastic rainbow sponge salesperson, and this cat massage expert.
9) Ask for (and receive) help. Maybe you have a friend who possesses a magical ability to make you laugh, and you know that even a quick phone call with them would brighten your day. Or perhaps you need some time to yourself this afternoon, and it would mean the world to you if your husband would take the kids to the park. Whatever comes to mind, go ahead and make a genuine request without attachment to the outcome. This is just about making your needs known, and seeing if the other person is available. They may or may not be, but if they are, be sure to graciously receive their support. Let it sink in and take full advantage of it. Last week, my fiancé drove me to and from the networking event I mentioned earlier, because we both knew that a car ride spent cracking each other up would fill me with a lightness and allow me to bring my best energy forward when meeting this new set of people. In the past, I might have shrugged off this help because I knew he was going out of his way for me. But I've learned that when we accept the support of others, it's a gift to them too...because it feels good to help someone out, especially someone you love.
10) Focus on one positive potential outcome. Choose at least one aspect from a best-case scenario that generates some positive emotions. Maybe it's getting the job, making a romantic connection, or getting into a headspace where some new creative ideas can flow your way. Whatever it is, go with it -- put energy into it, and allow the feeling to pull you forward. For me, I knew this new group was made up of dynamic, fun, upbeat women who were equally excited to meet people. Therefore, I knew that the odds of making a new friend connection were solid. Focusing on that allowed me to channel more feelings of excitement.
And, if nothing seems to be working...it's also okay to bow out, take it easy, get a good night's sleep, and start anew tomorrow. Everything always seems to feel at least a little better in the morning.
No matter what, you have full permission to feel however you feel. You're a complex, multifaceted, emotionally dynamic human being. Which, if you think of it, is a pretty amazing thing.
My hope is that this guide provides you with some helpful tools to feel better as soon as possible. If you try any of the above, keep me posted! I'd love to celebrate your wins with you!
To more "on" days than "off" days,
P.S. If you find yourself having a bunch of "off" days in a row, it might be time to implement some bigger life changes. If that's the case, feel free to message me. I'm happy to support you in figuring out how we can get you feeling more like yourself again.