View Full Version : How do you deal with a REALLY bad day?

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John Boswell
06-14-2005, 03:18 PM
Greetings and Salutations! Kindly John Boswell here with a question of interest to... Me:

How do you deal with an exceptionally bad day?

Quick story: Today isn't nessecarilly my worst day ever, but it isn't the greatest by a long shot. In fact, I'd rate it among my top 20 worst, but not in the top 10.

Anyhow, whenever I have days like this, I usually know that life is just plaing sucking right now and tend to avoid the mat for fear of my anxiety joining me there and creating injury: to myself or others.

On the other hand, there is the school of thought that believes you should just "push through" such times, train through the pain so to speak... and let the problems of the day work themselves out. Well, sometimes that's just fine. Other times... ???


What do YOU do?

When you have a day, nothing goes right, everything goes wrong, everyone is pissed, people are ready to cry, you wanna walk out the door, quit your job and become a recluse... just what do you do?


Tai Chi?

Jim Beam?

I'm open to suggestions... but right now I gotta go, my next problem is walking in the F'ING door as I f'ing write this... right f'ing now.... :grr:

Ron Tisdale
06-14-2005, 03:43 PM

And hope this is the last of those really awfull days,

John Boswell
06-14-2005, 04:03 PM

Breathing is over-rated. ;)

(* okay... okay... I'll work on it. :D *)

Ulises Garcia
06-14-2005, 04:07 PM
Hey John,

There is something I do. First, I don't take myself (or anybody) too seriously. This allows me to take things lightly and with a sense of humor. Whenever I know that the day is just plain sucking (I just had my worst streak of hard times since I graduated University 10 years ago), I find the smallest excuse to laugh. Of course, working on the problems, while laughing at them, made the whole experience far more liveable. Just my experience, FWIW...


Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2005, 04:54 PM
I try to train if I can . It is something I find enjoyable. Yea the stress is an issue cause you may have a hard time calming down to do aikido, and that could be problematic.

I find yoga stressing cause those asanas hurt!!! :)

Drinking has never done it for me.

Hate to admit it, but watching TV at least gets your mind off it.

Running. Meditation, talking about the problem also come to mind.

Sometimes just going to sleep helps too!

06-14-2005, 05:00 PM
Training usually does it for me...kinda like a sanctuary for a couple of hours from the things that I cannot control... :)

Nothing like sweating out your troubles! ;)


06-14-2005, 05:06 PM
It depends.
Sometimes I don't go to the dojo on a bad day, sometimes I do. And sometimes I regret the decision later on and sometimes I don't.
But whatever I decide, I try to tell myself I have a right to be in a bad mood. Telling myself I should be cheerfull is above all counterproductive, so I'm sorry for everyone, but I feel the way I feel.
And at my best I tend to enjoy being in a bad mood now and again. evileyes

Big Dave
06-14-2005, 05:09 PM
Several years ago I was unexepectedly diagnosed with advanced cancer. (Stage three) This became my new definition of a bad day. Having dealt with this kind of illness gives one a whole new perspective. Much of the stuff that makes us crazy/angry/hurt in reality isn't all that important. I am not trying to trivialize your emotions but I would suggest spending a few minutes in reflection about whether or not they are worth all the negative energy you are giving them.

Janet Rosen
06-14-2005, 05:09 PM
It depends....If I've got a generalized negativity or malaise, I definitely train. If I'm pissy, tired, etc I train. And I always feel better.
When I'm depressed, I make myself train as part of my self-therapy.
Back when I was a hospice nurse, every now and then there would be a day where what I really really needed was to sit across a dinner table from my husband and eat a meal and drink a bunch of good red wine. So I'd bail from training to do that.
Today I'm having a more generalized sadness, missing loved ones now dead, but I trained at noon class anyway because it beat sleepwalking through the day or crying. It really helped.

06-14-2005, 05:27 PM
Depends on the day. If it's a day I can go to Aikido or Ju-jitsu on I go do that.
If it's a friday or a wednesday I go up town and dance it out.
Up until I can deal with it I just put my MP3 in and ignore the world, while drinking Yop.

06-14-2005, 05:44 PM
all i have to do to get through a really hard time is think of something really good that will happen after the bad stuff is done.... such as a really bad day at work... all i have to do is say "i can make through the work day cause after work im going to do... (whatever i like to do)" (which is usually go to the dojo!)
so i say if you have a bad day... go train... itll make you feel better! (without the use of drugs or alcohol)

Jeanne Shepard
06-14-2005, 07:00 PM
A nap always helps me.


Paul Kerr
06-15-2005, 01:47 AM
It usually doesn't take me long to realise that there are many, many more people in this world who are much, much worse off than I could ever be. I have my health, the love and support of a wonderful family, real friends, a good job, a nice house. If the last two were to disappear then I would still have the first three and those are what I value above all. In short I have nothing to really worry about. When I become very conscious of the blessings I have then the shittiest of days seems to become irrelevant very quickly.

06-15-2005, 01:49 AM
I have a kind of three-step plan for those days:

1. Chocolate.

2. More chocolate.

3. Go and train. Hard.

It works most times, but not always. If there is no practice then I have to leave out step three, of course. But I make sure I never leave out step 1 and 2. :)

06-15-2005, 02:03 AM
Most places I go I can be easily distracted from what I'm doing, the brain wanders thinking about all the problems that I'm dealing with during the day (I work in a support environment) and all the other things going on in my life (including Aikido ;)) .

When I'm in the dojo, I never think about anything else other than Aikido, it's my haven away from the world for a couple of hours.

As for getting through a normal day, I find having a sense of humour and laughing a lot (I mean a lot) certainly helps deal with the stress :D. Having said that, I was told last night that one of my best friends has had a complaint lodged against him at his office because he and a colleague have too much fun and enjoy themselves at work. Go figure!



06-15-2005, 03:44 AM
When I'm in the dojo, I never think about anything else other than Aikido, it's my haven away from the world for a couple of hours.

I couldnīt agree more! :)

Amir Krause
06-15-2005, 07:40 AM
So far I have found 2 solutions:

1. When meditating, imagine you are a leaf carried by the wind or a river.
2. Go and practice.

I have found practicing normally relieves my tension in a way nothing else can.


John Boswell
06-15-2005, 09:47 AM
Well, I did go to class. I almost lost my cool, but I kept it together.

In the end, the thing that helped the most was when my wife called and said," 124 beats per minute!" See, she tested positive for being pregnant a couple weeks ago... and yesterday, the Doc did a sonogram and gave her the news: there's a heartbeat and it's going 124 beats per minute.

Pretty good stuff... :)

Karen Wolek
06-15-2005, 09:56 AM
Hi Bozz,

You know what I'm gonna say. <grin>


Seems the worse a day I've had or the less I want to practice....those are the times I really need to. I almost always feel better while training.

Chocolate and naps help, too. And reminding myself that this too shall pass. Everything is temporary.

Hope things get better for you. :)

06-15-2005, 10:36 AM
i like to train is something a little more violent ;)
but of course not taking me or anything else too seriously helps .

06-15-2005, 10:39 AM
[QUOTE=Jeanne Shepard]A nap always helps me.

naps rock

06-15-2005, 11:38 AM
When you have a day, nothing goes right, everything goes wrong, everyone is pissed, people are ready to cry, you wanna walk out the door, quit your job and become a recluse... just what do you do?

Don't give up.

Take a break if you must. Give yourself time to work on your problems. But just don't give up -- not up on aikido but up on yourself.

Pauliina Lievonen
06-15-2005, 11:44 AM
Congrats John! :)

For me it depends on the nature of the bad day. I have stressful bad days when I sometimes ask a sempai to throw me around for a while so I can safely get it beaten out of me. :) Then there are food related bad days where my mind is just a big awful fog. Those days the best thing to do is not go out the door but stay in bed, for my own safety...


Berney Fulcher
06-15-2005, 11:51 AM
Training then Jim Beam for me. Getting the order mixed up is bad though ;)

Ron Tisdale
06-15-2005, 12:09 PM
Congrats Sir! Best wishes for you and the Fam...


Fabian Junker
06-15-2005, 12:12 PM
Training usually works for me, however, IMHO it depends on your judgement of yourself.. whether you can train without taking all the BS to the mat. For me, most of the times most all of the frustration leaves my poor little mind as soon as I get on the mat and am around the people in the dojo. If it doesn't, I know I have to be especially careful.
Besides that, chocolate sometimes is a good idea :D as well as calling my best friend and just tormenting him with my problems once more :)

Janet Rosen
06-15-2005, 12:47 PM
See, she tested positive for being pregnant a couple weeks ago... and yesterday, the Doc did a sonogram and gave her the news: there's a heartbeat and it's going 124 beats per minute.

Congrats, now get back to...um...er...never mind :-)

Karen Wolek
06-15-2005, 01:01 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Boswell
06-15-2005, 01:50 PM
Thanks everyone! Today started off rocky, but I like Janet's idea. ;)

Not bringing the BS to the mat is the hard part. I almost snapped at Sensei last night which is never a good idea. That only leads to Yonkyo practice... ALL NIGHT ! eep! In the end, I sucked it up a little and ended off better than I began.

Thanks again for all the well wishes. I'll work harder to focus on the good news and do like Kato Sensei say,"Be like water." I think he stole that from Bruce Lee though. :D Just kidding, Shihan! :eek:

Lan Powers
06-15-2005, 05:32 PM
As well as getting to "unmercifully" practice Yonkyo yourself to your pooooooor compliant uke.....whimper, whimper :)
A bit of the old ultra-Harmony,(Beethoven in the distant background) to paraphrase from the "Clockwork Orange"

06-15-2005, 05:37 PM

Well, I have always been a proponent of the adage, "A problem shared is a problem halved..." therefore I find someone very deserving and then take my problems out on them... I always feel so much better.


Nick Simpson
06-16-2005, 07:15 AM
Coffee. Music. Shower. Bath. Playstation2 (epic quests take my mind off things). Guitar. Training. Cold Beer. A Good Book. Time With Friends (generally watching Monkey or Sharpe or Ninja Scrolls or something equally as fun). These things have been known to 'Chill me out'.

Nick Simpson
06-16-2005, 07:16 AM
Oh yeah, Congrats John!

Steve Mullen
11-01-2005, 04:57 AM
personally i don't think you can find comfort at the bottom of a bottle, because the bottom is just glass, its the stuff in the middle that really works ;p

Mark Uttech
11-01-2005, 05:04 AM
Bowing works wonders.

Robert Jackson
11-01-2005, 08:33 AM
Hey Bozz... Obviously this is a bit late but I'll tell you how I used to deal with a bad day (this was before I moved)... Go to class... Grab Lan throw him as hard as possible... Repeat until all your aggression is gone... It works wonders especially when he yells :O..


Seriously, I'm in the training group. I find all my worries and stress disappears the moment we finish warming up and start training..

Eric Webber
11-01-2005, 11:30 AM
1. lots of ukemi - survival instincts have a way of getting the rest of life in perspective
2. give your best aiki training chum a shinai and let him got town on your hide - another good reality check.
3. visit a monastery
4. small batch bourbon and a good cigar

...funny, these all also work to make a really good day into an excellent day.

John Boswell
11-11-2005, 09:34 AM
I'll pick door number 4 please, Eric. :D

Mats Alritzson
11-11-2005, 10:28 AM

I believe the yoga method to deal with all sorts off pain is pratyahara. As I've understood it's about not blocking out the pain in any way but to focus on it. For more information contact a yogi.

Eric Webber
11-11-2005, 11:44 AM
I'll pick door number 4 please, Eric. :D

Recommend three fingers of Maker's Mark accompanied by a Romeo and Julieta Reserva Real in the Toro size. Should start feel that stress melt away like butter!

Mark Greenwood
11-19-2005, 08:48 AM
I have tried many different ways to deal with a bad day.
I have also been suffering with mild depression, so i have tried to use aikido to deal with that.
However not all the time has it been of benefit to me, or so it may seem. One time i nearly broke down on the mat and cried, when it seemed like i was being pushed to my limit.

I have practiced my Jo/bokken kata at work, and this has worked on occasions. I have also practiced taichi openhand, and broadsword form. I have practiced chigung and also yoga. Also just meditating.

I have not come up with anything that seems to work all the time.
At the moment i have not attended my aikido lesson for two weeks,just because i have no interest in going and doing. I am still searching, however i think along the lines that if you take negativity with you it can cause harm to you or a training partner.

I have wanted on a few occasions let my instructors know of my negative state and ask if they could suggest a way of training.

11-19-2005, 09:19 AM
Aloha John\Keone,

Sometimes humor works even if it's some serious sarcasm. Try this one from the 1960s TV show MASH:

Ladies & Gentleman, take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice! :D



11-19-2005, 09:40 AM

Well, I have always been a proponent of the adage, "A problem shared is a problem halved..." therefore I find someone very deserving and then take my problems out on them... I always feel so much better.


Aloha Shaun,

*You* must be quite a lot of "fun" to train with! "Take that! You rotten...!" :rolleyes:



11-20-2005, 02:31 AM
How do you deal with an exceptionally bad day?

Take the Boon's 1-2-3 special.

1) One fine Cuban roll (cigar)

2) Two shots of Scotch

3) Three pieces of Swiss Dark Chocolate (I like ' em bitter sweet...)

and let the world be... Peace!


11-21-2005, 12:39 AM
chocolate, training (really hard moves that have me completely puzzled and get me thrown around a lot), and talking to a beloved friend who hasn't gotten tired of all my noise yet...but failing the above, get a goat: a guy went to see his rabbi about the really bad time he was having he told his pastor, " you know I have x kids, a wife, etc to look after and life is really hard, I only earn $y amount etc etc, my house is tiny, there's no space to think etc" and the pastor listened patiently for a while and then said, "get a goat and move it into your house".


"no butts, get a goat."

"oh well, ok, grumble gumble"

"and come back in two weeks to see me"

two weeks later, the rabbi asks the guy, how are you?

"awful...you know the goat's really making the place messy, dirty, smelly, it makes so much noise, it attracts flies, it butts me when I'm not looking..."

The rabbi listened patiently and when the guy finished ranting he said,
"ok get rid of the goat and come back in two weeks"

Two weeks later the guy comes back and the rabbi asks him how he is:

"oh, rabbi, life is so good. My family is fine, my kids are doing well, my wife is happy, it couldn't be better...."

<no animals were harmed in the process of making this joke in case anyone was wondering>

12-03-2005, 08:41 AM
Sit down and breath from your tanden (hara),
In all you do use compassion, respect, courtesy, kindness and love,
in this way all things ill fall properly into place :-)