How many people always have great days? I suppose the definition of a “great” day is subjective, depending on what a great day means to each of us individually. More often, I find myself hearing people say, “Well today, at least I’m vertical” or “I’m on the right side of the grass.” I usually find these kinds of responses humorous, but a little sad.
One thing we often forget to value is time. We have 24 hours in every day, hours we should try to use wisely. But even so, we all have “bad” days from time to time. It’s all a part of life, each of us facing various irritations throughout the day … traffic congestion, poor customer service, car problems, a difficult person. These irritations can cause us to think this is turning out to be a really bad day.
What a terrible feeling to stumble through a day and say when we get home, “Wow, I’m so glad this day is over”! It’s the same as receiving a priceless gift and just throwing it away. It’s terribly sad when we don’t take the time to try to make a bad day better as the day progresses. Let’s stop for a moment and realize there are some things we can do to turn things around.
7 Proactive Tips for a Better Day
Put Things Into Perspective
No matter how badly your day may be going, let’s always consider the true importance of what’s happening. Some questions to ask include: “Will these things actually change the course of my life over the long term?” The good news is … very likely not! “Will the problem I’m facing result in a tragedy such as someone being injured?” Probably not. “Will I remember the problem I’m facing on this particular day in one month? In one year? In five years? Will others remember it?” In most cases, the answer is absolutely not. These questions help put things in perspective very quickly.
Recognize Learning Opportunities & Teachable Moments for Ourselves
At the end of a challenging day, it always helps to take a quick look back and identify any lessons which may make you a better person and leader. What went really well? What could have gone better? Were there any teachable moments? But do note, we can’t find ourselves always focusing on the past. We have to turn our attention and hopes toward the future where opportunities for fulfillment and success lie. Compare this to a rearview mirror in a car. The rearview mirror is very small in comparison to the windshield. The thing to remember is that we need to look forward to where we’re going much more than we need to look backward.
Help Someone Else
It makes us feel good when others reach out to help us. The interesting thing is that it feels even better when we reach out and provide help to others. When you’re having a day that isn’t one of your most enjoyable, look for an opportunity to help someone, at work or elsewhere. Giving is one of the most therapeutic activities we can do. Many times, it gives us the great feeling we need to overcome and blow off any low points in a difficult day. An old Chinese proverb says, “Flowers leave some fragrance in the hand that bestows them.”
Take a moment to pause and think about all the blessings you have in your life. Think about your family, friends, good health, good job, opportunities, freedoms … all the things we tend to take for granted. Reflecting on these gifts has a powerful tendency to melt away the frustrations we so often face. This step is closely related to putting things in perspective.
Take Some Time To Step Away
If your day is proving to be a difficult one, it usually helps to take some time to get away for lunch or dinner. Try to make this a time to “recharge your batteries” and enjoy relaxing with coworkers, confidants, family, friends, or even by yourself. This helps you take a deep breath, clear your mind, and get ready to finish the day strong with a different, more positive perspective.
If you’re like most people, you appreciate and get a little “rush” and a sense of pride when you receive compliments. It feels great when others recognize your talents and skills, and this can certainly lift your mood and improve your performance throughout the day. Similarly, it doesn’t hurt to pause and identify all of the accomplishments and good things you’ve done over your career. Will having a bad day minimize who you are as a successful person with many outstanding accomplishments? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, identify and utilize your strengths and successes to overcome difficulties and become more confident in who you are as an employee, a leader, a spouse, and a parent. You pick the role and then take some time to reflect on past difficult times and how you have overcome them. After all, why should you allow one single day to define who you are?
Take a Break and Move Around
It is a well-known fact that exercise improves our moods and emotions. Stepping away from your desk and taking a brisk walk outside, if the weather permits, is a great way to “recalibrate” and finish the day strong. Research shows that exercising for as little as 10 to 20 minutes has a tremendously positive effect on mood. Also, deep breathing and relaxation techniques are a good way to calm down, take control of emotions, and rethink the difficulties of the day.
Now that you’ve decompressed and made your day better, it’s time to start planning for a successful future! That includes managing your dental practice’s finances and taxes. At The Dental CFO, we can help with a variety of tasks from practice management consulting to strategic planning. Find more information about the services we offer here, or reach out to one of our experts to discuss how we can help your dental practice grow!
Can you think of other ways to turn a bad day into the gift it was meant to be?
“Don’t ever waste a day. Once time goes by, you never get it back.”
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