After a particularly rough day, how do you raise your spirits?

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20  Answers

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I always try to remember I am not alone, this too shall pass, and most of all, tomorrow is another day. And if all else fails, Friday promises salvation (and a Dirty Martini!)

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i look at photos taken that day...a camera in hand helps you catch the wonder even in a challenging day.

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Spending time with my friends and family is by far the most effective way to raise my spirits. Although I wouldn’t turn down a glass of wine or a glass of milk with cookies either. My spirits are surprising easy to raise.

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This is kind of embarrassing...watch any Real Housewives show! Those ladies are great comedy!

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Bubblebaths, talks with friends, a good book!

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To say that I've had some "rough" days in the past 4+ months would be putting it mildly! How do you lose your BEST FRIEND, the Daddy of your children, the Papa to the precious grand children, your "knight in shining armor" and not have rough days? Though the obvious reason for them being rough is the empty spot in our home, there are so many other factors that contribute to a day being "rough". I am now the single mom of 3 (almost) teenagers (my youngest will be 13 in June, my oldest will graduate in May). I'm also the step-mom to 2 wonderful grown up children who have spouses and children of their own (precious grand-babies). I daily ache for these 5 precious souls who have lost their Daddy. For the 5 precious grand-babies who have lost their Papa and won't really remember much about him. I work full-time outside of the home and struggle to maintain a balance between work/home-life/bill paying and survival! Shortly after Rick's death, some friends mentioned their desire to exercise, so we started an "accountability group". I have come to find that on a particularly rough day, I now truly look forward to coming home, putting on my exercise clothes and hitting the treadmill, or more recently, the roads on a run or bike ride. I especially enjoy exercising outdoors after a rough day. Out there, it's me, the music on my iPhone and GOD! It's then that I can LISTEN to HIM speaking to me while all those endorphins are kicking in and on my body - physically and mentally. Rick LOVED the outdoors - he was an AVID hunter (that's putting it mildly), so I feel closer to him when I am outside as well! I am probably in the best physical shape I've been in my whole life, and I'm closer to God than I have EVER been before, I guess I could say I owe it to the "rough" days! God has also blessed me with WONDERFUL friends. Some are friends who I've had pretty much all my life, some who have been around since I was a teen-ager, some who became friends through church and having babies, and even more recently, some who I've "met" here on the internet who've walked this journey of widow-hood as well. God has strengthened and renewed some friendships and I find that depending on the situation that has caused me to have a rough day, HE sends just the right friend at just the right time. HE sends who HE knows I need to speak truth to me, to set my thoughts back on the right path, and sometimes just to let me have a little "pity party" for myself and understand! I honestly can say that I am praising God in this storm as the "rough" days have been few, and there seem to be less and less of them. HE has given me just WHAT and just WHO I need just when I need it - to raise me up through the rough days that are bound to happen! He has also taught me so much about myself and how I want to be able to love people better. How I want to be an encouragement to others who are going through their own "rough days"!

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At the end of a rough day (& there are plenty!), I crawl up in my Heavenly Father’s lap and have a good cry. Whether through tears that fall within my soul, or tears that flow down on my cheek, He faithfully wipes every one with His gentle hand.

I used to squelch my emotions, and probably still do to an extent. But God has shown me that his heart is drawn to desperate cries from hurting hearts! And knowing that has given me so much freedom in my emotions. Freedom to be disappointed, freedom to be hurt, freedom to be angry. Basically, the freedom to not have it all together – even with my emotions. And I’ve experienced such a depth of intimacy in my walk with Him, as a result.

Oftentimes, my hardest days are a result of my own personal struggles that leave a trail of mess behind, whether internally or relationally. But I’ve found much comfort in discovering that no matter how big of a mess I make in my life or others’, God is always bigger. Because of my relationship with Jesus, He doesn’t even SEE the mess! All He sees is the perfect, holy life of Jesus living inside of me. God unconditionally loves and accepts me – despite the mess!

There is indeed nothing quite like the freedom to fumble through the good, the bad, and the ugly of life – safely in His loving arms.

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I've learned that rest---the fine art of doing nothing---is what helps me. I know that's very counter-culture, moms are always go go go. But we need these margins---this blank space---in life. I lay down for 20-30 minutes of quietness or gentle music, or I'll take a walk or drive in the country. Sometimes I pray, but often I simply listen to the breeze rustling through the trees, birds chirping on the wires, the sound of my own heart and breathing, or the absolute stillness of a starry night. The quiet rejuvenates me. When the house was full of kids, getting them to bed early and myself to a nice warm bubble bath provided that margin I needed. After that, my spirits are raised by reading what God says in the Bible and sharing that with others. It's really encouraging to know that God is actively involved in our lives and He hasn't forgotten us or left us to our own devices.

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If I really want to get going after a rough day, I usually do something creative. That may seem pretty broad, but there are a lot of creative things I like to to, and it depends on they type of day I've had as to what I will want to do. Sometimes I cook or bake, sometimes I knit, sometimes I sew, sometimes I draw, and other times I work on some photos. Creativity is innately positive, and it gets you thinking outside yourself. This is a great release for a tough day when you feel like you had no control over the outcome.

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When this happens there are a variety of ways that I use to process my experience and to cope. As evidenced on my blog, one of my outlets is writing and sharing.

However sometimes I just want to escape, go somewhere and forget my troubles. Sometimes I literally go somewhere, as in on a run or to a group fitness class (exercise is a huge stress reliever for me). Other times I will escape virtually through praying, meditating, listening to music, reading a book, a magazine, other blogs and/or watching a favorite movie or television show (two of my current favorites are Parenthood and Downton Abbey).

Another way I get away from it all, when I can’t physically go somewhere, is to go to one of my “happy places.” I do this by closing my eyes and imagining that I am in one of my favorite places, such as the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (where my maternal grandparents retired to in 1979, lived until the late 1990′s before their deaths and I have many happy childhood memories of).

Lately, when I need a quick pick me up, I have found a new “happy place” that I like to visit. I go and watch some of my favorite video clips on YouTube. Watching them is one of my simple pleasures in life and helps me to get my mind off whatever might be clouding my vision. My current favorite YouTube video is the “History of Rap” performed in 2010 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon by Jimmy, Justin Timberlake and The Roots.

If you’ve seen this video and enjoy it as much as I do and haven’t seen the sequels, be sure to check out History of Rap Part Two and Part Three (if you can find them, as the last time I checked they were no longer available on YouTube). Though Parts Two and Three are not quite as awesome as the original (in my opinion), they are very entertaining and if you are a fan of rap music (like me), I think you will get a kick of out them.

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On particularly rough days, I’ll watch something on TV that makes me laugh. I like to watch sit-coms, particularly old ones from my childhood, or the ones from the 90’s, like “Friends” and “Frasier”.

What about working out? Why not yoga or meditation? Because I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine, and it works wonders for me. When I can distract myself with something funny, I can literally feel my spirits lifting. Laughing out loud makes me feel lighter, as if a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

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This is a tough one. I have been having a lot of trouble with that lately, as it is nearing the first anniversary of my son's death. But, I do find that helping others helps me!

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I get out the play dough, or the cars, and I play with my son. Or we read a book together, or sing a song, or dance or go for a walk. My son has been through so much, he has no idea, life is just a giant playground to him, and that's a great place to be!

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Rough days come around now and then, sometimes more often than not. But, when rough days leave me ragged, I find solace in several things:

3) Uplifting music. Music speaks to me in ways that most other things can't. Music truly does span cultures, languages and backgrounds. Particular songs take me back to memories connected with them. The diversity of music is one thing that I love about it. I find music encourages me when my want-to has gone, gives me energy or soothes my weariness. Whether peppy prose or soft serenity, any ditty makes my day!

2) Essential oils. I've recently been introduced to a particular brand of essential oils that are certified therapeutic grade. I've struggled with health problems all of my life, including lack of energy and insomnia. I’ve tried EVERYthing and nothing has ever really seemed to help. But I have been pleasantly surprised that this particular brand of essential oils really does help me to relax and rest after a stressful or difficult day.

1) Relax to something I love. Above and beyond being with people that I enjoy, I enjoy relaxing after a long day with a hobby. My hobby-drug of choice is interior decorating. It is so nice to light a few candles, turn on some Michael Buble, sip some wine and flip through page after page of my favorite decorating magazine or book.

When my spirits are low, I find a little me-time does the trick, no matter how long. As a mom, I can always use a few moments to recharge my batteries so that I can be the very best mommy and human possible!

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I try to tune out the rest of the world and focus on my daughters. They are at such a fun age and they really inspire me to slow down and enjoy these special moments before they grow up. Reading other blogs also helps me because I am able to step outside myself and realize that I'm not the only one having a rough time, and usually there is someone out there who is struggling more than me. It helps me to refocus on what I am grateful for.

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Sometimes, on really bad days, the best thing for me to do is just surrender and allow myself time to sit in my grief. Tears can be so healing when you let them out, and since I have to put on such a brave face most of the time, I try to allow myself time to just face the bad stuff. I always feel drained and somehow refreshed afterward. In addition, taking a break from everyday life to spend time with my children always raises my spirits. Appreciating the beautiful lives that my husband helped me bring into the world, knowing that they are wonderful gifts from him keeps him close to me and allows his legacy to live on. They are so intuitive to my emotions and usually extra sweet to me on the bad days. Being able to talk about their daddy is very healing for me as well. Children have a way of simplifying life and helping you realize what really matters.

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All I need to see is my daughter's smile. Any bad day that I have is not a bad day when I see her. That's all I need.

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I've found that it's so easy to get overwhelmed sometimes with just the day-to-day things going on. If I'm feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, I make an extra effort to smile with my little dude, take a walk or head to our favorite beach spot. I just like to find a way to "stop and smell the roses" (or salt water). Life goes by entirely too quickly to let yourself have a lot of rough days. Happiness is a choice. I like happy.

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After a hard day, I bring my concerns to the Lord in prayer, crank up the praise and worship music, and refocus my attention on my beautiful baby girl. When I consider how blessed I am to be sharing my life with Michaela, and when I acknowledge how big my God is, my problems are put in perspective.

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Erin's death is so recent that I find it hard to raise my spirits and all days are rough. I am able to find some comfort from being with my loved ones and talking about Erin and all that she gave us in her short life. I also look through the many photos that we took of her and try to lose myself in memories from the days when she seemed well and when you wouldn't have known there was anything wrong with her. I also find comfort in searching for quotes and sayings on the internet that describe my feelings and I often post these on my blog. Finally, the friends that I have found through twitter are able to raise my spirits. I have been able to make contact with other women who have experienced similar loss to myself and benefit greatly from their friendship.

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