The phrase “to get out of bed on the wrong side” is quite common in many languages, but many do not realise its implications. To know you’re going to have a bad day from the moment you open your eyes in the morning and believing you can’t change it (I just got out of the wrong side of the bed) is quite tragic, considering that that exact day might be the most important in your life. And even if it isn’t, even if you don’t have an exam, an interview, a contract to sign or whatever hugely significant thing to do, why should your day be ruined?
For me as a tennis player, I simply cannot afford such awakenings. A bad mood will ruin your play on the court, your work-out in the gym or on the stadium, cause lack of motivation or a decreased self-esteem. If that day you happen to have a match, knowing you’re not having a good day will most definitely affect your performance and can even result in a loss before you even step on the court. This is not to say, there are no bad days for me, of course there are, but, in time I learned a few tricks to at least be able not to start my day in a negative state of mind or sometimes change it, if something causes it during the day.
First of all, a good awakening begins the day before. I try to have regular hours of sleep, either going to bed and waking up at the same hour every day, or sleeping the same amount of time, if I can’t stick to the hours. Also, right before I go to bed, I write down the most important things I need to do the next day, so I know that having a bad mood will not be acceptable since I have so much to do. This list can even include personal goals such as “smile at three unknown people” or “enjoy your breakfast”; the content doesn’t matter as much as knowing you have some goals does.
Secondly, I like to wake up with plenty of time before my first scheduled activity. This allows me to go for a run and prepare everything I need without risking to forget anything, be in a hurry or stress out, all this before I even stepped outside. I never hit the snooze button as this bad habit accounts for delays, stress and dissatisfaction, without really allowing more time for rest, and if I’m very tired and know I’ll have trouble not ignoring the alarm clock I’ll put the phone in the other room. (This way I’ll need to get out of bed for sure) Also, what I find very important is the sound of the alarm. I chose to be awaken by crickets and not by a strong shrill. And the second thing I do, while still in bed, and this is major for me, is listening to something motivational, usually, in the morning, this something is the following speech:
At other times during the day, when I feel I become sad, demotivated or depressed, I simply search them on youtube, and always before a match or a training I listen to this:
So now I have reached the first major factor that I can use to change my mood: music. I have compiled a playlist titled motivational, with various songs. It’s not necessarily the words that count, though usually it’s them who get me up, but the feeling I get while listening to them. I sometimes get goose bums, something I feel my blood rushing, sometimes it’s just an association of a moment with the respective song that I make. (Wake up call, Till I collapse, Ready for war, are just some examples)
If that’s still not enough, if music can’t touch me, I refer to my visual sense. This, visual stimulus, depending on my mood is either a photo of something I have already achieved (a trophy, a diploma, a picture in a special place), a photo of something I badly want to achieve or of a person that inspires me (a competition, a player, a place I want to go, my dream university), or if I really feel down, I look at a picture of something I have sacrificed or representing all my effort, and I remember what I already gave up for my dream, and instantly realise one bad day is not worth losing all I have worked for until now. (These are pictures of friends, parties, even food cravings, or displays of my previous determination)
Should this fail as well, I take a pen and start putting thoughts on paper: my frustrations, my reasons for being annoyed, my desires all my thoughts. Doubt, sadness, all things negative usually do not have a place in a clear mind and this is exactly what writing does: it clears up my mind.
By now, there is a slight chance that I still feel down, but should this be the case, I usually decide to do a physical activity. Physical effort usually requires attention and coordination, and often there is no time left for thoughts or doubts. Whether I clean up my room or the entire house, or go for a run, or start doing push-ups, it doesn’t matter as long as I’m on the move.
To sum up, if wanted, changing your mood can be done in a variety of ways: listening to music, watching inspirational photos or films, doing any mental activities (reading, writing) or performing physical activities. I guess there are others ways as well, but the ones mentioned and detailed above are the ones that work for me. So despite, realising that one can wake up in a bad mood or experience one during the day, I have grown not to accept this as an excuse for anything.
What about you? Do you wake up on the wrong side of the bed? And if yes, what do you do about it?