I know you’ve had those days…
When you were up the night before finishing a project or tending a sick child…
And then the next morning you can’t find a decent, clean pair of pants for your 10-year-old to wear to school…
When breakfast becomes a battle of wills…
And the car’s check engine light comes on as you head off to run a “quick” errand…
We all have these days. In fact, I recall one afternoon when – after closing on the chaos of the morning – I was busy prepping for an important client call.
And who should come trotting by the living room window? One of our pigs who in their nosy-parker way had discovered someone had left the electric fence off.
I managed to pull off the speediest pig roundup in New England history.
But here’s the thing I discovered after racing outside, grabbing a rope and wheedling and coaxing a 130-pound hog back into the pen before running frantically back to my computer for a few last minutes of prepping.
That activity did me good. It woke me up, calmed me down, sharpened my wits and helped me focus on the upcoming meeting. Needless to say, after the pig chase, the meeting went well and I secured a new project.
Because if there is one thing you should not ever leave out of these crazy kinds of days – it’s exercise.
Exercise is the best friend of a harried, depressed, anxious and too-often tired mompreneur.
Exercise Gives You Energy
For generations scientists have been trying to discover how to create perpetual motion. But it may be inside our own bodies!
I’ve had days when I felt I was walking through mud I was so tired. But when I gritted my teeth and added did a few pushups or jogged in place for a couple minutes, I felt restored and revived.
And I’m not alone. Psychology Bulletin published a review of over 70 studies involving about 6800 people. They found that 90% of people reported feeling more energized by exercise.
It’s important to note that these studies included old and young, athletes and couch potatoes – even people battling chronic illness.
Unlike caffeine and sugar – the usual fixes – exercise is – well – good for you. It also gives you long term sustained energy. And it will help you sleep better at the end of the day when you need to get some real restorative snoozing in.
Exercise Sharpens Up Your Mind
From slowing age-related dementia to helping kids excel in math, researchers have shown nothing seems to come close to exercise in keeping your mind in shape.
Not only does exercise stimulate circulation overall, bringing more oxygen and nourishment to the brain, but it also has some specific effects up there. It helps you focus, helps you learn better and even stimulates the growth of neurons.
Exercise seems to stimulate the frontal part of your brain. This part of your brain is key for learning, planning, problem solving and emotional control. The kind of stuff we need desperately on those especially no good very bad days!
Exercise Beats Back Depression
Several studies have shown that exercise – as little as 20 minutes a day – can work better than antidepressant drugs. And it’s a lot cheaper!
It seems that exercise fuels activity in the hippocampus – the part of your brain linked to emotions. Other research links the release of hormones called endorphins when you exercise to buoying your mood.
All of that sounds good. But here’s what I’ve discovered from experience. When I get a little exercise in – even if it’s just a little – I know I can get something done. And something very positive at that.
That in itself can turn around a rough day.
Exercise Gives You Confidence
On those days when you feel like everyone knows how a bad a mom, business owner, wife…[you fill in the blank] you are because you’ve let everything fall apart, exercise can help you shift perspective.
When researchers talked to overweight children after they exercised regularly over a month, they found something surprising: the children’s self-esteem shot up.
And this was before any significant weight loss. Nor did the exercise have to involve learning new skills like shooting basketballs. Any exercise helped.
Next Time A Bad One Hits – Move!
Whether or not you have pigs running around, we all have these kinds of days.
And it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like giving up.
It’s easy to say, “I’ll get a workout in tomorrow. I can’t manage it today. I’m just having too much of a horrible terrible no good very bad day.”
Don’t. Just get up and move for 5-10 minutes. Jump rope. Dance hard to some favorite tunes. Run in place. Go play tag with your kids. Repeat it again in a few hours when you feel your energy flagging again or your emotions dipping.
I bet you’ll find that even a horrible terrible no good very bad day can be transformed.
*Bonus tip: Comic relief runs a close second to exercise for bad day relief. If you need some of this, you might want to take a few minutes to snuggle up with your kids and read Judith Viorst’s classic kids’ book, Alexander and The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (the inspiration for the title).
When she’s not chasing escaped pigs, Sarah Clachar is busy running her freelance health copywriting business from her home. Over the years, she’s developed numerous strategies for growing her business without undermining her health. To find out what’s the simplest, most important move you can do for your business, your waistline and your life, pick up her FREE report at www.yourhealthyhomebiz.com/revealed.