I really, firmly believed what I needed was more coffee. More coffee would save everything. I pulled into the unnamed coffee drive-through place, and felt not immediate relief, but an energetic tap on my shoulder that said, Pay for that person’s coffee behind you.
I almost shrugged it off. Almost. But I didn’t. I asked the cashier if I could pay for the person’s order behind me, and driving away, it wasn’t the piping-hot delicious latte I had in my paw that sent waves of pleasure through me, it was seeing the pleasant face of the young woman behind me in my rear-view mirror as she dug through her wallet looking for the money she wasn’t going to need, at least not today, not right now.
Now, I’ll not have you believe I always have my shit together. I am not always the pay-for-the-person-behind-me person. But in the moment that I heeded the Universe’s message to just pay for that coffee, I avoided meltdown. Because as it turns out, I was having a crappy day. I felt small and fragile and irritated and wanted nothing to do with the world. And so, in a counter-pose, I decided to embrace it.
When I have crappy days (or moments), I’ve started asking myself what would really take the sting of suckage away. I think it’s invaluable to have a wee bag of tricks in your bonnet when you’re feeling less-than, or more-than how you want to feel. My motto has become, If it sucks, make it count, meaning, if something about my day is less than lovely, or I say or do something I’m not proud of, rather than sulking (although sometimes I’m an award-winning sulker, and sometimes I’m totally okay with that), I try to turn things around by taking action toward how I want to feel, and who I want to be.
In no particular order, here are some of the remedial actions I take when I’m feeling like I might just lose it, in the hopes that they might help you, too:
- Two words: Hot. Springs. If you’re in the Portland area, take a trip out to Carson Hot Springs on a Tuesday, where the normally $21 soak-and-wrap becomes $18, and you get to soak in piping hot mineral water whilst sipping cold mineral water (straight from the faucet), in a perfectly private old claw foot bath tub, and then get swaddled like a wee babe while you cool off. It is 100% not fancy. There are fake flowers in the dressing room, but if you don’t feel your tight muscles become goo, I will personally give you your $18 back.
- Make meaning. Light sage, burn palo santo. Say a prayer over your food, or whisper words of thanks for health, or a paycheck, or a mind that can think for itself. It’s not glamorous, but ritual and gratitude bring seemingly-insignificant moments to light as actual bits of magic.
- Organize + Beautify. Or call it “nesting.” I recently painted our bedroom the whitest white I’ve ever seen, and it purified me. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a home-body or home-maker, there is something meditative and soothing about leaving a space more beautiful than it was. Channel your inner Zen monk and rake your sandbox (or front lawn). Go through a box of photos and organize them by date. Whatever you do, use your hands and make it matter to you.
- Align your actions with your values. I’ve noticed a lot of clients experience anxiety and stress from the ways their lives don’t reflect their values. One woman decided to change her online dating profile to reflect the fact that she was, indeed, looking for a long-term relationship, and not just a casual one, and BOOM, FREEDOM! I recently decided to pare my clothing down to a capsule wardrobe, and dear sweet lord if small steps in the direction of minimalism haven’t boosted my mood + routines.
- Pay it forward. Buy someone’s coffee for them. Make dinner for your sweetheart. Pick up that neighbor-dog’s poop. It won’t win you the Nobel Peace Prize, but small acts of generosity can remind you that generosity is a resource you always have in your possession (which can help you turn your generosity back on yourself when you need it most).
- This song. And this song (for dancing in your underwear). And for good measure, this song. Because, obviously.
- Good old fashioned Solitude, ya’ll. Sometimes the best thing to give yourself is space. Make a practice of allowing yourself permission to be all, “You really don’t want to be around me right now,” and remind yourself that no one has to like it or agree with what you need.
- Astrological remediation. Feeling unseasonably like punching your sweetheart in the mouth? You might be having a transit. Planets-in-motion can make all kinds of interesting/challenging aspects to your natal chart, and having someone who can help guide you into appropriate energy-release could seriously save your mood (and your relationship).
- And finally, remember that your vibration matters. By now we can all agree: what we focus on increases. Don’t fool yourself into liking whatever uncomfortable thing is going on for you, but do find the place in yourself that has a bodily memory of peace, and dwell there for a bit. It’ll soothe your sympathetic nervous system, release endorphins and remind you that this, too, shall pass. I love this book and this book for a vibrational reality-check.
With love, loves. Always with love.