The Good Days & Bad Days
BY JENNI IBRAHIM, L I F E COORDINATOR
The focused discussion at the August L I F E meeting centred on the theme of dealing with both the good days and the bad days. We asked ourselves, what makes a day either good or bad, what we did to optimise the good days, and manage the bad days, do we change plans when you wake up feeling under the weather, or do you just soldier on? Here are some of the ideas raised by members at the L I F E meeting.
What are good days?
- When I wake up and I’m still here!
- Have had a good sleep, feel well and energetic
- When I achieve something or do something enjoyable.
- On good days, some people plan for more physical tasks, like housework, shopping or an activity. Local councils often have a program of interesting activities for seniors to join in.
What are bad days?
On a bad day, try not to fit in too much or get too busy. Make sure there is time for a few rests between activities too, pacing yourself to make the most of your energy. It may be better to cancel or postpone activities if you wake up feeling unwell.
One L I F E Member, Alex, said he could turn a bad day into a good one by doing something he enjoyed, like sharing kitchen tasks with his grandchildren.
If you just feel a bit down or off colour, getting out and about, meeting a friend, or taking a walk can often lead to a change of mood. Try making a list of things that need doing including some enjoyable activities, so that the day is not just filled with chores. Sometimes people stayed away from others on a bad day, staying home in their PJs.
L I F E Member Heather mentioned she has a ‘Desperation Bag’ with ideas, puzzles, meditations, CDs and books for the bad times.
Personally, I don’t really have out and out bad days or good days. I’ve had some bad times or experiences, but the whole day does not have to be coloured by one bad thing that happened. The Act Belong Commit campaign encourages people to:
- Act – do something (don’t just sit in your chair feeling sorry for yourself);
- Belong – do something with others (don’t spend too much time alone); and
- Commit – do something that is meaningful or worthwhile for you, that you value. That might include helping others or religious observance.
- Talk to people, that can lift you out of the doldrums.
- Have something to look forward to (coming to L I F E events?).
- Achieve a balance in your life, e.g. mixing with people of both genders.
- Get interested in the lives of others (it’s not just about you, is it?).
- Make appointments with yourself to do some enjoyable things, get some necessary tasks achieved. Prioritise your activities. Give yourself permission to do enjoyable things, like reading a book, watching TV or a movie. All work and no play… as they say.
- Keep a diary or a personal journal to reflect on the day’s activities. Or write letters to close friends and family.