We’ve all had them — one of “those” days. And for singles, having one of “those” days might include one of “those” dates. Bad days–and the occasional bad date–are unavoidable.
Here are 15 effective ways to better handle life’s hassles:
1. Identify your style. Are you a night owl or a morning lark? Are you a creature of habit or do you hate routine? Knowing these things about yourself will help you get more out of every area of life.
2. Plan ahead. A little foresight goes a long way. So do some research on that must-try restaurant before you find yourself facing a two-hour wait (and a frustrated date).
3. And have a backup plan. You wouldn’t prepare a presentation without backing it up. Apply this same mentality to your dating life, and expect the unexpected. If that concert gets rained out, have an alternative ready to go.
4. Make an appointment with yourself. Give yourself a set amount of time each day to get organized. That way, you can enjoy yourself when it’s time to relax.
5. Be your own best friend. Dating can be challenging and sometimes hard on your self-esteem. So resist the urge to be your own worst critic. Self-reflection is one thing, self-scrutiny is another.
6. Unwind. If you’re constantly on the go, it may be time to slow down. Take your date someplace relaxing and soak in the peace and quiet — together.
7. Give thanks. Even when you’re in a rough patch, there’s a lot to be thankful for. Set aside regular times to recall the things you love about yourself, your life, your job, and your social circle.
9. Get perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for feedback. Maybe they can see something you don’t.
10. Live (and date) within your means. So many of life’s anxieties could be avoided by creating and sticking to a budget. Finding creative and inexpensive ways to live and date will reduce stress while adding joy.
11. Don’t date while distracted. Multitasking makes everything more difficult and less enjoyable. Disconnect from your devices and recharge with the person in front of you.
12. Act the way you want to feel. Most of us tend to think that our feelings dictate our actions, but the truth is just the opposite. Whether you’re at the office or out on the town, remember: If you want to be interested, you need to behave like you already are.
13. Scale back. If your life is bursting at the seams, you can be sure that the seam will soon split. Pare down your obligations so when an opportunity presents itself (either at work or play), you’re able to take it.
14. End the night on the right note. You may be having the time of your life, but it’s important to know when to call it a night. Quality sleep is the fuel you need to rise to tomorrow’s challenges.
15. Laugh about it. Turn that tedious work meeting into a hilarious dinner date topic. Odds are good that you’re not the only one who needs a laugh after a rough day.