But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.
Part of maturity is coming to know oneself well enough to recognize warning signs, and to do something about them before things deteriorate further.
We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life. There are certainly things outside our control that we do well to just “let go.” Some of those things directly affect us.
But I’ve also learned that some things predictably lead to a “bad day.” And if I do something about it, things will look different very soon.
Here’s my checklist, and most of the time it will help determine why I’m not feeling good. And then I can do something about it!
- Am I physically tired? I work a lot of hours. I’ve chosen to take on a number of responsibilities. If I am behind on sleep I don’t handle stress very well. And I’m not nearly as pleasant to be around. After a good night’s sleep, a nap, or a true day off my outlook on life and the world is likely to be completely different.
- Am I mentally tired? With the number of roles I take on and the “risks” my husband and I have taken on in business, etc. sometimes the mental load wears me out. Choosing an activity completely “non-productive” periodically, such as listening to music, enjoying a wholesome but mindless movie, or watching a sports event with my husband can relieve the pressure.
- Am I getting the nutrition and exercise I need? Adequate protein, fruits and veggies, and water intake, and staying away from processed foods, keeps me mentally sharp. Just as important is the exercise I get (I use my Striiv daily), and the JuicePlus+ I take daily.
- Do I need an emotional house-cleaning? Holding uncomfortable emotions inside is exhausting, and affects everything else about my day – and life. Is there someone I need to forgive? Do I regularly express joy? Do I need a good laugh? If I am feeling fear or anxiety, am I dealing with it? Am I being sure my emotional cup is filled regularly?
- Are my relationships in order? My husband and I often – usually daily – check in with each other to be sure there is no unfinished business between us. Extended family, business associates, or friends can make things better – or worse! Sometimes I need to make conscious choices to limit the amount of contact I have with a negative or difficult person in order to be available to those I truly love.
- Is everything I’m doing both necessary and important? My natural personality is to worry too much about what other people think, and to take on things because I don’t want them to think ill of me. That doesn’t work! I must be completely sure that everything I do is because God wants me to do so, and because it brings me closer to our long-range goals in some way.
- Is my connection with God strong and growing? When I get feeling down, the most important place I run to is my secret place with God. Sometimes He gives me a course correction that I desperately need. Sometimes I just need His loving presence to fill my soul. Sometimes I realize I’ve backed off from making Him first place in my life, and realigning my relationship with Him makes things right again.
Going through this checklist doesn’t always magically make me feel good again. But it does take care of a huge majority of the times I need “fixing.”
May tomorrow be even better than today!
Your turn: What things have you discovered that can make you feel “bad?” How do you make sure your tomorrow is better than today? I’d love to hear from you!