Do ‘the next right thing’

Some days you don’t get it right. Some days everything seems to be going wrong and you find yourself making the wrong decisions. Or at least the wrong decisions for you.

Maybe you are having a bad day at work where everything is going wrong, you’ve eaten your body weight in chocolate because that’s all you could find in the kitchen at work and because you’re feeling so rubbish you miss your evening workout and head home for the sofa, just because.

Overall that feels like a rubbish day. It’s all too easy to write the day off as ruined and vow to have a ‘better day tomorrow’. You promise yourself that you will tidy the house or be more organised at work. You promise yourself you will take your healthy snacks in to work to prevent the afternoon comfort food binge and you promise yourself that tomorrow night will be the time you get back to the gym. 

You don’t have to be perfect and get your routine in perfect order which is hard for me to admit as I am a creature of habit. Sometimes when you are having a bad day you should stop, breathe and tell yourself to ‘do the next right thing’. 

The next right thing might be to pick up a healthy snack rather than raiding the biscuit tin. The next right thing might be lacing up and heading out for a run rather than crashing on the sofa. The next right thing might even be to go home, put your pjs on and snuggle up on the sofa and watch a film because you are tired and your body needs to rest. We can all take stock, breathe and do the next right thing for us, we can pull back any situation and we don’t have to write off an entire day because of one bad decision.

Throughout my life I have struggled with black and white thinking, I’m an all-or-nothing kinda girl and that can be damaging, dangerous even. This kind of thinking is closely linked to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression because you are never good enough. No-one is perfect. 

It’s a lesson I am trying to teach myself and just like a habit or way of thinking, it can take a long time to change. My new mantra is to always ‘do the next right thing’.

Black and white thinking is common in depression and people often find it hard to see the shades of grey in-between. 

Something is either one way or the complete opposite. If something bad happens during the day then you are having a bad day, there is no middle ground. You either can do something or you can’t. You eat a piece of cake and you have ruined your diet so you continue to eat rubbish for the rest of the day. You miss a workout and your day is ruined. You have a disagreement with someone and you are the worst person in the world. Something goes wrong at work and you feel like you are rubbish at your job. You wake up and you are feeling down so you are too sad to face the day. All of these things are black or white, either or.

But if we stop and think about the situation from an outsider looking in we would stop being so harsh on ourselves. If something bad happens during the day, that is one bad moment and probably 5 good things have happened, so in general the day has been pretty good. You eat a piece of cake, stop and do the next best thing. You enjoyed the cake but there is no need to eat the whole thing. You had a treat and that’s ok. You miss a workout because you are tired and that’s ok to. The next best thing is to rest and listen to your body. Not punish it with negative talk.

If we stop the all-or-nothing thinking we can start to see the good in the day and end the day seeing the positives that we have achieved. This is a big lesson for me, but something that I am going to work hard to change.

It’s a mindset. 

Stop and do the next right thing for you.

M x 

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