Some of you might know that my dear hubby has had to travel for work a lot lately, which results in my taking over the parental duties for days at a time. And some of those morning after a long week, I just don’t feel up to the task.

I wake up honestly thinking, “I just CAN’T do it today.”

Each of us has had those days with work, too – both past and present. It’s that defeated, deflated, and exhausted feeling in your gut that grabs you and convinces you that you aren’t good enough to get the job done.

If you are there, I hear you and would like to throw out some suggestions that have worked for me in the past. Whether you are having a day at home or work that you just aren’t equipped for, consider trying one or two of the following techniques:

Get Help

Pull out that phone or computer and reach out to your network, ASAP! Whether it means finding a babysitter to take over for 2 hours, delegating some of your work to teammates, asking another person to lead a meeting for you, or looking to a friend for support or guidance … let others know you are having an “off” day and tag out. Remember that others are having better days than you – and they have more capacity to be supportive.

Find Allies

We are a social species, and building our relationships has been proven to make us happier and healthier. If you can, find a way to meet up with another mom, ask a work friend to eat lunch or walk with you, or go to some kind of group area… DO IT. I know it feels contrary to what you feel like doing (i.e. hiding in a hole), but being able to share, laugh, or be frustrated together will help you feel less alone and more at peace.

Do Something For You

There is a very good chance that you are exhausted due to overexertion at home and/or work, and you are going to feel that way until you make some time for an activity that rejuvenates you. Does that look like a walk, getting a pedicure, writing in a journal, playing music, taking a walking break, meditating, or something different? How can you create a space in your day to renew a bit?

Admit Defeat

Instead of pretending and convincing yourself and others that you are ok and able to be “on”, consider admitting that you have been conquered. Accept that today is just going to suck. Your work, your meetings, your kid’s behavior, your attitude, and your ability to handle stress are all just going to SUCK. So you admit that it’s not going to be your best day, and move through it as best you can.

Give Yourself a Break

Admitting that your day will suck and accepting that it’s OK to have an “off” day are two very different things. We are much better at admitting our lameness to others before we accept it within ourselves. What can you do to give yourself a break for the day? Most likely, you are pretty successful and effective on most of your other days. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to expect perfection from yourself at all times. Give yourself a break. It’s normal, and it will help if you see that, too.

Whenever I’m trudging through one of these sucky days, I have 2 distinct phrases that run through my head. Both were passed to my by wise individuals, one of them being my mom.

When you are convinced the terribleness will never end, remind yourself:

“This too, shall pass.”

And if you are struggling to take it easy on yourself, remind yourself:

“I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, and that’s all I can do.”

Because you are the best at being you, and you can do it well most days… just maybe not today. It’s ok.