3 Simple Ways to Save a Bad Day

I’m a mom raising four daughters. We’re a homeschool family so we’re home together nearly 24/7.  Everyone who finds out we have four girls says something along the lines of, “How do you deal with all the emotions?”

What do we do on those days when nothing is going right or emotions are getting the best of us or it’s just not a good day? I’m not an expert, of course. Our oldest is not quite 13. But we have survived our fair share of bad days.
3 simple ways to save a bad day

There are three simple things one or more family member might need in moments (or days) like this:

  1. Snack

  2. Sleep

  3. Shower

One or more of those things, in various combinations, will fix most problems.

Save a Bad Day with a Snack

So, if tempers are short, we first check and see if we forgot to eat. Maybe we got up earlier than usual and we need to move lunch up. Or maybe we just need some 10 AM crackers and peanut butter. Or maybe mom got busy on a project and didn’t realize that it’s now 12:30PM and lunch hasn’t magically appeared. (I’m ridiculously guilty of this one.)

Save a Bad Day with Sleep

If it’s not food, it might be sleep. The night before could have been restless, or someone had a virus and they’re not back to 100%, or someone had a bad dream, or we stayed out too late. A naptime could help fix the issue. At the very least a “quiet time” lets each family member retreat and recharge (oh so important when you have an introvert – or more than one – in the family.)

Homeschool advice here: if you’re really butting heads with one of your children on schoolwork, put it away. Live the rest of the day, get some rest, and try again the next day. The textbook will still be there but hopefully the attitude won’t. Sometimes things just need to be set aside. Let the day go on, get a good sleep that night, and see if things aren’t better in the morning.

Save a Bad Day with a Shower

And if it’s not food or rest, you or one of your family members might just need a shower. I used to feel guilty about taking a 3 PM shower. I don’t any more.

3 PM is when I drag. My temper gets short. If I really need a break, a shower is a good way to get it. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t do their best thinking in the shower, right? So, I might not be the only family member who needs a mid-afternoon shower, why would a pre-teen or teen be any different?

If you have grouchy little ones, never underestimate the power of a bathtime with toys or bubbles or just to soak. You could add whatever you like to jazz it up (I like to add some Epsom salts for anyone who’s achy and tired but not quite sick). The novelty of having a bath during daylight hours may be enough to cheer up some grouchy souls.

One More “S” to Save a Bad Day

I’m deeply indebted to Susan Wise Bauer for pointing out these strategies during a session at the Great Homeschool Convention. I knew a snack and sleep could be powerful, but I hadn’t thought of about showers. I knew I sometimes needed an afternoon shower, but it hadn’t occurred to me that it was a reasonable attitude adjustment.

If I was to add one more “S” it would be: sun. Sometimes everyone just needs to go outside. I’ve noticed our tempers get a little shorter on the drearier days. Outside can be a great option, even if the sun isn’t shining.  That’s why rainboots and umbrellas were invented, right?

What are your favorite strategies for saving a bad day?

3 simple ways to save a bad day

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