What To Do When You’re Down and Out

Although I do my best to be upbeat, positive and cheerful most days, there are “those” days when I feel like roadkill. I couldn’t put on a happy face if you offered me diamonds. If I really can’t be positive that day, I’ve learned to give in. I accept that 1) It’s just a bad day. It will pass. 2) These feelings won’t last forever. 3) You can’t be happy all the time (well, I can’t. If you can, good on ya!). 4) We are allowed to have the occasional bad day.

Thanks to a dear friend who gave me a Eckhart Tolle CD (check him out at http://www.eckharttolle.com), I learned from him to be “in the moment.” That is, if you’re going to have a bad day and you can barely get out of bed, DO NOT:

  • “Should” on yourself, as in “I should get up and DO something.”
  • Hassle yourself.
  • Worry that you will never be positive again.


  • Give yourself permission to really BE in that bad day. Make no excuses, and don’t beat yourself up for not doing anything.
  • Stay in bed. Read a trashy book. Snooze. Watch “Bridezillas.” Eat cinnamon toast.
  • Be unashamedly un-guilty.

That’s it and all; my magic formula for a bad day. Instead of forcing myself to ‘just DO something productive, already,’ I don’t. I give myself complete and total permission to be loaf around as I please. It’s the best cure for losing the blues I know of–well, that and counting all the good and great and wonderful people and things in my life. But you know how it is; sometimes you just can’t get your chin off the ground. So when that happens, give yourself permission to have a bad day and ENJOY it.

The last bad day I enjoyed was epic: I never even washed my face or brushed my teeth. I spent the day in my pajamas alternately napping, reading an old Stephen King book, and making my standby comfort food, Vegetable Spooge:

  • Make a small pot of quinoa and/or bulghur wheat (it’s easy; the directions are on the package)
  • Get out your trusty food chopper and chop up as much carrots, onions, celery, etc. as you want
  • When the quinoa is ready, dump in the chopped vegetables and add *cheese if you like
  • Enjoy (it’s not only tasty but good for you, too)!

*For dietary reasons I use goat cheese, which is surprisingly delicious

The next day, I was back on top of the world and ready to be productive. I had had my day of permissive laziness and self-indulgence, and felt better for doing it. Just remember that when you do sink down, know that the next day will be better, and you WILL feel good again.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are really having some severe depression, anxiety, etc. issues, then by all means see someone–a doctor, therapist, counselor, etc. Needless to say, on-going bad days can lead to bad things, so if you are having more bad days than good, get help. This post just addresses the occasional bad day we all have from time to time.


2 thoughts on “What To Do When You’re Down and Out

  1. diane kirkup says:

    I love this – I always struggle with the “should be’s and do’s” on those
    hard days – and just think, if you can’t get your chin off the ground, you
    at least can wear away unwanted chin hairs, something is accomplished!

  2. lulujbf7 says:

    Thanks, Diane–great comment! (Especially about the chin hairs!)

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