I’m generally a pretty happy guy.
I enjoy my life, love my job, have a few hobbies, and am blessed with the best friends in the world.
Like anyone else, though, I have bad days; sometimes, terrible days. Days when maybe things go wrong, or don’t work out as planned. And, even days when I just get up on the wrong side of the bed and walk around being grumpy for three hours for no apparent reason.
But while I can’t avoid bad days altogether, I can do better at minimizing the frequency of such days, and the impact each one has.
And so can you.
To help you, I’ve got this handy list of things you can do and ways you can cope to make the bad days not so bad—just little “tricks” to help brighten a day that seems a bit gloomy.
This isn’t my normal fitness schtick, but it’s something that has been of great value to me. I hope you enjoy it.
10 Simple Ways to Make a Bad Day Just Awesome
1) Call Your Mom
You may have surmised that I’m a bit of a momma’s boy—which is why I’m putting this one first. My mom is absolutely the most important person in my life, and one of the main driving forces behind everything I’ve done and everything I hope to achieve.
But she’s also a royal pain.
Italian mothers wield guilt like a Samurai wields a Katana. Anytime she calls me, I assume she’s going to scold me for not calling her, or to tell me the chicken cutlets she made went to waste because I didn’t come over for dinner.
That said, no one loves you like your mother. Anytime I’m having a problem or I need advice, Momma Roman is there to lend an ear. More importantly, anytime I’ve been down in the dumps, she’s helped to give me perspective, offer support, or just make my favorite dinner.
My mother is the strongest women in the world. She raised two children by herself, worked her way up several ladders with no college degree, and instilled in me the value of hard work. She’s also exceptionally wise and empathetic; when it comes to helping me out, she knows how to speak my language. If I’m depressed, she gives insight beyond the typical clichés, and helps me understand how to either get over it, or get my head out and fix it.
And the best part is, even if she can’t help directly, she makes me some meatballs, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so bad.
So, seriously—if you need a pick-me-up, give your mom a call.
Thanks, Momma Roman.
2) Make up Your Own Rules, Leave a Mark
I do this all the time. I decide, you know what? It’s time for the world to be just a tiny bit different. And so, I make up my own rules. Start a trend.
For example, last year I decided that the word “bro” would not be pronounced “bru.” A small change, but one I think needed to be made. It’s caught on in fitness circles, and somehow it worked it’s way onto the Jersey Shore. Okay, that wasn’t really my intent, but it happened.
Along other lines, I have decided that the high-five is now obsolete. As technology advances, so too must social interaction. To that end, I have been giving people what I call a “wi-five.” This is a wireless high five—basically, it’s a high five where you don’t touch (wireless, get it?).
And because it’s wireless, you can send a wi-five through text or email, or, in the case of my friends, give them from across the room while out at a bar.
But this rule is important for more than high fives and bros. The real point is to look at situations and ‘rules’ from different perspectives. When feeling constrained, confused, or contrite, ask yourself: “Does this really make sense, objectively? Does this situation need to be this way, or are the ‘rules’ not as hard and fast as they seem?”
At any minute of the day, I like to be able to ask myself, “What am I doing, and why am I doing it?” The ability to simply stop and force yourself to reanalyse what’s taking place—from training to business to interpersonal relationships—is critical for overcoming obstacles and preventing them from arising in the first place.
Change the world—leave a mark on society. Change a rule.
3) Work Out at a Different Gym
This one is more fitness related, obviously, but still very relevant. No matter how good the program you’re using is, sometimes you just hit a “rut.” You can get a bit bored.
Now, the instinct for many people is to switch programs—but you know better, because you read my blog and you know that program hopping is a cardinal sin in the Book of Roman.
So, if you can’t switch programs, what do you do? In my experience, if you want to brighten up your training program (and your day), the easiest way to do it is to work out out somewhere else.
Hitting a new gym for the day is always cool – the set up is different, the atmosphere is different, the whole experience is different. It’s change of pace that often leads to a better workout.
If you need to jazz up your workout, get a guest pass at a new gym.
4) Catch Up With an Old Friend
One of the unfortunate truths of life is that as we get older, we grow apart from people. We get busy, our lives go in different directions, we get wrapped up in work or relationships. But, just because you don’t hang out, it doesn’t mean you don’t care, and that’s never more apparent then when you actually get together with old friends.
Recently, my buddy Rob was having a rough go of things, so I hopped in the car and drove from NYC to Fairfax, Virginia to hang out with him. I cursed him every second of the way because of the traffic, but when I got there and saw how relieved he was to see me, it was all worthwhile. Rob and I go back about 13 years, and hanging out and retelling stories and sharing private jokes was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. We laughed for about four hours straight.
Now, you can’t always free up enough time for a 7-hour drive, but I wager you can free up 20 minutes for a phone call. Even if you stalk someone on Facebook and have a general idea what’s going on in their life, call someone you care about but don’t see often, let them know you’re thinking about them, and just be an awesome friend.
It’ll brighten your day, and probably theirs. Double win.
5) Employ Energy Osmosis
Just so we’re on the same page, Osmosis is movement from high concentration to lower concentration. In this context, I’m talking about the movement of personal energy.
Some people are just electric—they have the highest concentration of personal energy imaginable. You probably know someone like this—they just exude energy and passion. I’ve been told that I fall into this category, and I used to believe that… until I met Gary Vaynerchuk.
This guy outstrips me by a mile when it comes to energy.
I train Gary at 7am, which means I get up at 5:30 or so to be there on time. Often, I grumble as I reluctantly drag myself out of bed, but by the time I’m done with our session, I am on top of the world. Even on those days where I’m stressing about something unrelated to early mornings, Gary’s energy and exuberance is contagious—it moves from Gary’s extremely high concentration to my own slightly lower concentration.
People like Gary are priceless; so if you know someone who fits the bill, put ’em on speed dial for days when you need brightening. The best part is, people like that get joy out of helping people. Double win again.