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Today started with some serious crankiness. My body felt stiff in yoga, my head was bursting by noon, lunch was a snarfed-down rush. But then around 3pm, a co-worker asked if I’d like to run out for a chai. And it was nice out. Not sunny, but not cold. After a few minutes of chatting, walking, and sipping my milky, spicy tea, I felt almost… calm. Grounded. Clear-headed. And I realized, just like “it’s never too late to have a good childhood,” or so goes the bumpersticker, it’s also never too late to have a good day. Here are some strategies to make it happen on purpose.

10 Ways to Re-Boot Your Day

1) Drink Chai. Or the soothing, calming tea of your choice. Some days I love jasmine or Earl Grey or genmaicha. Make sure to really smell it, feel the mug in your hand, let the liquid soothe you.

2) Talk About It. Grab a friend or a trusted colleague and tell them about your awful day. Getting it out can help you move on to the next, fresher thing.

3) Leave Your Zone. One former co-worker would only go for lunch within a two-block radius of our office. She called it “the zone.” If you have a similar boundary line, try stepping even one block outside of it for a new scene or cuisine.

4)  Take a Sensory Break. I like to go to a fancy all-natural cosmetics store (or just the beauty section of Whole Foods) and sample good-smelling stuff. A dollop of creamy, yummy, free hand lotion can really shift things.

5) Get It Done. That one task you’ve been avoiding? Do it. Set a timer if you need to and just focus on that one task. It’s amazing what can happen.

6) Meditate. Another timer task–you can use the one in your cell phone. Even 10 minutes of sitting quietly, closing your eyes and breathing gently can shift your brain waves–and perspective. Lock yourself in the bathroom to do it if that’s all you’ve got.

7) Make a Decision. Have you been waffling about something? Turn it into a pancake! (Sorry!) Even making a little decision–like what to eat for dinner–can free up your energy to change directions.

8) Take a Reading Break. I have some books on hand to get my brain out of itself. Right now it’s Hafiz poetry, a little multi-faith prayer book, and a cool little tome called The Song of Mother Divine. Even five minutes and I’m more in my heart.

9) Dance. This is sort of my answer to everything. But I’ll just pop on my iPod, go into the loo and boogie for one quick song in front of the mirror.

10) Buy Something. Ok, I know, this is not always healthy or, in this economy, wise. But a small dose of responsible retail therapy really can work wonders. Even if it’s a cheap, pretty thing that will make you momentarily happy–could be a new felt-tipped pen with purple ink to help you, er, re-write the day.

11) Bonus: Go to Sleep! Sometimes that’s the only way out–a nap, or just finally saying, “Day, you have kicked my tuchus and I surrender to thee. Good luck and good night.”

And here are some more ideas from a Beliefnet feature reprinted from Oprah.com:

Re-start Your Day

How do you turn an ick day around?

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