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10 Simple Ways to Make a Shitty Day Awesome

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Cuz nobody likes a grumpus

I’m generally a pretty happy guy.

I enjoy my life, love my job, have a few hobbies, and am blessed with the best friends in the world.

Like anyone else, though, I have bad days; sometimes, terrible days.  Days when maybe things go wrong, or don’t work out as planned. Hell, even days when I just get up on the wrong side of the bed and walk around being grumpy for three hours for no apparent reason.

But while I can’t avoid bad days altogether, I can do better at minimizing the frequency of such days, and the impact each one has.

And so can you.

To help you, I’ve got this handy list of things you can do and ways you can cope to make the bad days not so bad—just little “tricks” to help brighten a day that seems a bit gloomy.

This isn’t my normal fitness schtick, but it’s something that has been of great value to me.  I hope you enjoy it.

10 Simple Ways to Make a Shitty Day Awesome

1) Call Your Mom

You may have surmised that I’m a bit of a momma’s boy—which is why I’m putting this one first. My mom is absolutely the most important person in my life, and one of the main driving forces behind everything I’ve done and everything I hope to achieve.

But she’s also a royal pain in my ass.

Italian mothers wield guilt like a Samurai wields a Katana.  Anytime she calls me, I assume she’s going to scold me for not calling her, or to tell me the chicken cutlets she made went to waste because I didn’t come over for dinner.

That said, no one loves you like your mother.  Anytime I’m having a problem or I need advice, Momma Roman is there to lend an ear.  More importantly, anytime I’ve been down in the dumps, she’s helped to give me perspective, offer support, or just make my favorite dinner.

My mother is the strongest women in the world. She raised two children by herself, worked her way up several ladders with no college degree, and instilled in me the value of hard work.  She’s also exceptionally wise and empathetic; when it comes to helping me out, she knows how to speak my language. If I’m depressed, she gives insight beyond the typical clichés, and helps me understand how to either get over it, or get my head out of my ass and fix it.

And the best part is, even if she can’t help directly, she makes me some meatballs, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so bad.

So, seriously—if you need a pick-me-up, give your mom a call. 

Thanks, Momma Roman.
 

2) Make up Your Own Rules, Leave a Mark

I do this all the time.  I decide, you know what? It’s time for the world to be just a tiny bit different.  And so, I make up my own rules.  Start a trend.

For example, last year I decided that the word “bro” would not be pronounced “bru.”  A small change, but one I think needed to be made.  It’s caught on in fitness circles, and somehow it worked it’s way onto the Jersey Shore.  Okay, that wasn’t really my intent, but it happened.

Along other lines, I have decided that the high-five is now obsolete.  As technology advances, so too must social interaction.  To that end, I have been giving people what I call a “wi-five.”  This is a wireless high five—basically, it’s a high five where you don’t touch (wireless, get it?).

Wi-Five.

And because it’s wireless, you can send a wi-five through text or email, or, in the case of my friends, give them from across the room while out at a bar.

But this rule is important for more than high fives and bros. The real point is to look at situations and ‘rules’ from different perspectives. When feeling constrained, confused, or contrite, ask yourself: “Does this really make sense, objectively? Does this situation need to be this way, or are the ‘rules’ not as hard and fast as they seem?”

At any minute of the day, I like to be able to ask myself, “What am I doing, and why am I doing it?” The ability to simply stop and force yourself to reanalyse what’s taking place—from training to business to interpersonal relationships—is critical for overcoming obstacles and preventing them from arising in the first place.

Change the world—leave a mark on society.  Change a rule. 

3) Work Out at a Different Gym

This one is more fitness related, obviously, but still very relevant. No matter how good the program you’re using is, sometimes you just hit a “rut.” You can get a bit bored.

Now, the instinct for many people is to switch programs—but you know better, because you read my blog and you know that program hopping is a cardinal sin in the Book of Roman.

So, if you can’t switch programs, what do you do? In my experience, if you want to brighten up your training program (and your day), the easiest way to do it is to work out out somewhere else.

Hitting a new gym for the day is always cool – the set up is different, the atmosphere is different, the whole experience is different. It’s change of pace that often leads to a better workout.

If you need to jazz up your workout, get a guest pass at a new gym. 

4) Catch Up With an Old Friend

One of the unfortunate truths of life is that as we get older, we grow apart from people.  We get busy, our lives go in different directions, we get wrapped up in work or relationships. But, just because you don’t hang out, it doesn’t mean you don’t care, and that’s never more apparent then when you actually get together with old friends.

Recently, my buddy Rob was having a rough go of things, so I hopped in the car and drove from NYC to Fairfax, Virginia to hang out with him. I cursed him every second of the way because of the traffic, but when I got there and saw how relieved he was to see me, it was all worthwhile. Rob and I go back about 13 years, and hanging out and retelling stories and sharing private jokes was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. We laughed for about four hours straight.

Now, you can’t always free up enough time for a 7-hour drive, but I wager you can free up 20 minutes for a phone call. Even if you stalk someone on Facebook and have a general idea what’s going on in their life, call someone you care about but don’t see often, let them know you’re thinking about them, and just be an awesome friend.

It’ll brighten your day, and probably theirs. Double win. 

5) Employ Energy Osmosis

Just so we’re on the same page, Osmosis is movement from high concentration to lower concentration.  In this context, I’m talking about the movement of personal energy.

Some people are just electric—they have the highest concentration of personal energy imaginable.  You probably know someone like this—they just exude energy and passion.  I’ve been told that I fall into this category, and I used to believe that… until I met Gary Vaynerchuk.

This guy outstrips me by a mile when it comes to energy.

I train Gary at 7am, which means I get up at 5:30 or so to be there on time.  Often, I grumble as I reluctantly drag myself out of bed, but by the time I’m done with our session, I am on top of the world.  Even on those days where I’m stressing about something unrelated to early mornings, Gary’s energy and exuberance is contagious—it moves from Gary’s extremely high concentration to my own slightly lower concentration.

People like Gary are priceless; so if you know someone who fits the bill, put ’em on speed dial for days when you need brightening.  The best part is, people like that get joy out of helping people. Double win again.

6) Help Someone

In keeping with the last point, you can switch it and give your energy or knowledge to someone else.  I recently posted on my Facebook that there is absolutely no better feeling than helping someone achieve their goals.  I truly believe that with.  I’m never more satisfied than when someone achieves a goal, and I was a help to him or her along the way.

This is certainly true with my fitness coaching clients and the people who use my programs—their successes are my successes and I get so much out of hearing about them.  When my coaching client Andrew Edwards posted on my wall that he hit a PR of 225 on the front squat, it felt better than any time I personally hit PR.  It’s so weird how that works.

Along other lines, I get tremendous satisfaction with my one of my new passions: working with my Business Coaching clients.

It’s crazy just how much enjoyment I get out of helping people take the next step with their businesses.

About a week ago, I had lunch with Liz DiAlto, an awesome NYC-based trainer who works with a lot of women, getting them ready for everything from red carpet stuff to weddings with her Wild Soul Movements system.

Chatting with her about how to build her brand (and why she should) got me psyched; in addition to knowing she’d do well by taking my advice, I was also impressed by her existing skillsets: Liz is smart, drive, has excellent salesmanship, and, as a CSCS, knows her shit about training. She also gets cool points because she trains Suzanne Johnson, the wife of NY JETS owner Woody Johnson.  Score!

Between Liz and my new Business Coaching client, Sirena Bernal, a Boston-based nutrition expert and lifestyle specialist, who I am helping to transition into the online fitness realm, I see limitless potential. Both of these women have said they aim to be the “female version of Roman.” I have no idea what that even means, but I’m pretty sure it’s awesome.

Helping others and helping yourself (emotionally) cannot be separated—being a coach, a teacher, or a friend is simply too satisfying.  Which means that the act helps them, you, the world, and Unicorns.

If you’re not already helping someone, do so.

7) Take a 9-year Old Sick Day

Best. Idea. Ever.

Sometimes, even though I work out from home and ostensibly make my own schedule, I need to take a mental health day. It’s cool, but even that can be stressful—after all, it’s not like the world stops because you do.  For entrepreneurs, and anyone whose job is task-oriented instead of time-oriented, missing work means your work doesn’t get done, so you stress even more about missing it.

Not like when you were a kid. God, remember when you were a kid, and you stayed home from school? That was it. You just relaxed and got better. Kids have it made.

So, I decided that’s the way it should be done.

My thought was that if the problem with not enjoying your sick day is because you’re an adult, stop being an adult for the day

Seriously.When I take a “sick day” I mimic the sick days of my youth.

When I was a kid and I missed school, I’d sit in my bed, play video games, and watch the same three movies, over and over and over and over.  From the time I was 5 until I was 12, I never deviated from my pattern. I’d watch the Karate Kid, the Goonies, and the Monster Squad.

What’s the Monster Squad, you ask!? Well, it’s a lot like the Goonies, only instead of a rag-tag group of kids facing off against pirates, it’s a bunch of misfits squaring off against Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy and other monsters.

If you’re thinking, “that sounds dumb” you are fucking WRONG.

It’s awesome.  Here’s a trailer:

Anyway, whenever I’m sick or just need a day off, I create a day as close to I can, and I’ve found it’s the cure for both stress and the common cold.  In fact, I had a 9-year old sick day just two weeks ago, and this movie was still great.  Wolfman, my friends, has got nards.

Next time you need to check out of the world for the day, do it like a kid and you’ll never look back. 

8) Check Out Your Yearbook, Bru

Oh, yeah. This happened.

Oh, man. Yearbooks. I can’t even describe the hilarity contained in there.  Yearbooks can cheer you up for any number of reasons, and they only get better with age.  If you want to cheer yourself up, just crack open your high school yearbook and get ready to laugh. If you’re a masochist, just go through and look for the candid shots of yourself, just being an idiot teenager.

The last time I was moving, I happened to thumb through my Senior Yearbook as I was packing up—and there I was, in my mock turtle neck, fleece vest and cargo pants, looking for all the world like I just stepped out of an N*Sync video.  I laughed so damn hard that any stress from the moving process melted away.

From there, I checked out some of the notes left by friends, and got to reminisce a bit.

Hard to be grumpy when you can’t stop laughing at yourself.

And no, I won’t show you pictures.

9) Think Back to Old (Resolved) Problems

This may sound a bit girly, but I keep a journal.

It’s true. I don’t write in it every single day, but when I do I try to be detailed. I started doing this because it one day occurred to me that if I am willing to keep training logs and record every single workout I’ve done over 15 years, I should probably document some other important things in my life.  Besides, all great men keep journals, from Aristotle to Ben Franklin.

One of the advantages of journaling is that you have the ability to look back and sort of “re-live” past events, only with the benefit of perspective.  Recently, whenever I’m having a problem—as in, an actual problem, something more than just a rough day—I find it helpful to go back and read through some of the problems I had 6 or 7 years ago.

There were some moments of real confusion, where I felt completely unsure of a number of things, all at once.  I went through a terrible break-up, didn’t know if I was on the right path, and was generally questioning most things in my life.

In short, I was 23.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Aw, c’mon, Roman, you were 23, how bad could your problems have been?”  Well, that’s kinda where I’m going with this.

Looking back at it, some of what I wrote about doesn’t seem like a big deal, and on some level I start to wonder if I was in the emotional throes of youth, prone to fits of melancholy and dramatic exaggeration.

However, I guess my point is that they sure as hell seemed bad at the time; in fact, looking at journals, there are moments when—between the angst and the pontificating—I can sense some legitimate pain.  That was a dark time for me.

But I got through it. More importantly, looking back at it me gives me no choice but to acknowledge that I got through it.

At this point in my life, when I feel so sure of myself and my future, when I no longer question if I’m on the right path, I still run into problems; and, yeah, some of them seem bad.  And when they loom large and start to overwhelm me, I re-read the old journals and just reevaluate.  If confused-23-year-old Roman got through his problems, then capable-old-man-who-can-usually-handle-his-shit Roman can get through his, too.  I guess it’s just way of reaffirming that—no matter what—this too, shall pass.

10) Make a List of Ways to Brighten Your Day

You know, just making this list brightened my day up.  It’s a great way to put yourself in a good mood and remind yourself to take things lightly.  Above all, this was fun. I recommend it  wholeheartedly =)

Speaking of which…

That’s your homework!

I want 50 COMMENTS, so leave your TOP tip for helping to brighten a day, create a smile, and just make life more awesome.

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

  • henryleib

    Love the Peter Griffin hahah!!

  • Mike

    Sex

  • gemmy

    Hmm..all good ones, and I have to totally agree about calling your mother. Mine always makes me smile. However, the best things I do are completely selfish (sorry). I go shopping, but some pretty make up, a new dress or get a haircut. I love having my hair done! It’s like giving myself a hug :-). Once I’ve done that, my mood is better and the possibilities become endless!

  • Daydreamer

    Hey John !
    I’ve got a question for you !

    I’ve been forced to take some time off from lifting due to some cortisol levels problems (too low)
    I’m not at the end of my second week off, and was trying to eat at
    maintenance calories as I’m not very active. I’m 18, 5″11′, 139 lbs, so
    quiet lightweight, and was at 8% bodyfat DEXA tested.
    I’ve been eating anywhere from 2100 to 2250 cals a day.

    Could you explain to me why I actually lost a bit of weight, around 1
    lbs during these weeks of no training ? Is it muscle ? Fat ? Water
    weight ? Glycogen ? Should I be worried about muscle loss if my strength
    seems to be right in place or even better than before ? (my muscles
    don’t feel as hard as they were but I guess it’s normal, I don’t want
    them to be shrinking as I’m already quite small)Thank you for your blog and your help !

  • Jorma

    Number one tip Read Roman's blog. Always funny as hell and it will probably include something fun to contribute to or try out or participate in somehow.

    In all seriousness helping others is probably the most satisfying thing I can think of and sometimes it helps to put your own problems on the back burner.

    Thanks for another fun read!

  • eugene sedita

    Prioritize the things you like to do.Choose one you really find rewarding but can't seem to make time for. Promise yourself to devote a certain amount of time to it as often as possible and DO IT. Invest in this thing and you'll be investing in yourself. FFor me, it's playing piano. This takes the pressure off what you have to do and makes you realize how important it is to make something else, that you love important. It helps greatly to balance your life.

  • dean

    take a trip to surprise someone, making someone else smile and happy is a universal thing and always makes me happy, i think i might be happier making others happy than anything…thats why i love christmas giving other people gifts and seeing them is the best thing in my opinion

  • Thank you Roman. I have nothing awesome to say but this really was much needed today. I feel lighter and I'm very grateful.

  • Esther

    Ok…my English is a bit rusty since is my second language. What i meant was take the shower after your workout(in simple words when you finish your workout, take a shower….this explanation sound stupid).

  • Great tips Roman and I haven't seen Monster Squad in years!

    Listening to my favorite music, even sad music, can sometimes help me get back in the groove during an off day. Working out usually helps lift my spirits because even a crappy workout will release endorphins and other fun chemicals.

  • Daniel Wallen

    Lately, my girlfriend and I have been hitting up a local miniature golf course when we are feeling down. It's a great pick-me-up. They have weekly tournaments, and my goal is to defeat the teenagers who win these things someday. Watch out, shorties!

  • debbies21

    Scrub the bathroom till it sparkles then take a nice hot bath with a glass of wine, my favorite tunes and a guilty pleasure read. After an hour to myself everything is much better.

  • truth. endorphins to the rescue!

  • heck yeah.

  • I'll do my best, Bru. Sorry you had a rough day; hope the blog helped a bit.

  • Hugs are a great way to cheer you up!

    Regarding the billboard–I made it! I put up some pics on my Facebook page.

    I'll post more here in a future blog.

    Thanks for the votes!

  • Thanks so much for the kind words and the comment =)

  • lol, yes, that'll cheer you up FOR SURE.

  • Anytime, bru!

  • FANTASTIC post.

    The main focus of any life should be to become the best version of yourself, so you can help the most people and leave the biggest impact.

    LOVE IT.

  • Good point. I always start with the sports section…unless the Jets lose ;)

  • Liz's ladies LOVE her. I hope my readers give me as much love on other blogs.

    This is awesome and brightens MY day.

  • Deep stuff, Daniel. Thanks!

  • Very sweet of you, Will. I'm sure your gf is very appreciative!

  • Incredible points. Just being able to do what you love is amazing. Not having to perform a job I hate (which I've done in the past) is the most liberating thing in the world.

  • that's very Thoreau of you =)

    We all need our own Walden to escape to, no?

  • Thanks, Odhran! I appreciate the kind words.

    And yes, helping clients is a sure fire way to feel awesome. Nothing like helping people.

  • Beautiful.

    Thank you for the comment =)

  • Shower BEFORE exercise is interesting. I only do this when I'm heading to the gym later in the evening.

    As for reading the bible, I think after exercise is best.

    Arkham City…ANYTIME =)

  • Well LEARNING to surf can make you grumpy =) Not as easy as it looks, folks!

    But, I'll agree: living near a beach is an easy way to get happy. I don't think I woke up in a bad mood at all when I was staying in San Diego.

    Great stuff!

  • Just the truth, my friend.

    Thanks for stopping by, and for being generally (and genuinely) awesome.

  • Reading your blog usually brightens my day dude. You can be a funny guy in some of these non fitness related ones and when I'm not learning something new fitness wise I'm smiling at your past situations, jokes and f bombs you randomly pepper the blog with.

    Offline I agree with the mum thing and also training clients to achieve a goal. Best feeling EVER!

  • Daniel

    Sweet post! Great ideas, I wish I could shake your hand. In a rough patch right now, and sometimes we forget how simple it is to shift our focus from our problems to the blessings in life.

    -Wife

    -Mom

    -Playing hide and seek with my 3 year old daughter

    -Watching my 5 month old daughter sleep with her arms stretched above her head

    -Thanking God for salvation and a second chance. . .

  • I like #5 ;) …..Very kind

  • Will

    My tip, everyday I have a bad day, I actually buy girl friend flowers and candy. Just because I am having a bad day does not mean she should. Plus since we work together, she smiles most the day, and it lightens my day.

  • Risto Uuk

    A decent list, Roman!

    I love my life too, but I actually have highs and lows as well. I'm never grumpy or angry, but I might feel like I'm not progressing quick enough. It's probably one of the downsides of very ambitious people; they just want to improve and improve non-stop.

    One of these days I just try to remind myself that life is short and nothing will last. Instead of reading a book fast, read it slowly, enjoy it, remember it, pay attention to the language. Instead of feeling bad that your progress isn't as fast as John Romaniello's. Guess what, you aren't John Romaniello. You are you. Do your own thing as well as possible and try to be better today than you were yesterday. Become the best YOU! But don't push yourself too much. If you feel stressed, then something is wrong. No goal is worth making you feel bad.

  • Jeff

    Go surfing…if you don't know how to, learn…if you don't live by the beach, move!

  • June

    HUGS! ARE THE BEST! TO CHEER YOU UP, OR OTHERS! NO MEDICINE IN THE WORLD IS BETTER THAN A HUG! THEY DON'T COST A THING, THEY ALWAYS MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER NO MATTER WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. YES, YOU CAN EVEN HUG YOURSELF! WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING OF COURSE! LOL. GOOD MUSIC IS ANOTHER WAY TO CHEER YOU, SOME GOOD OLD ROCK TUNES! LOVED YOUR COLUMN TODAY JOHN, TOTALLY “AWESOME DUDE”, YOU NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE ME. BTW, WHAT EVER HAPPENED WITH YOUR PICTURE IN TIMES SQUARE BRO?? I VOTED FOR YOU AND ASKED MY FRIENDS HERE IN CANADA TO VOTE FOR YOU TOO. SMILES, MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE! HERE'S TO YOU JOHN, TODAY'S COLUMN SHOULD BE REPOSTED EVERY SO OFTEN. KEEP ON ROCKIN' WITH YOUR “BAD” SELF!

    ENJOY YOUR DAY EVERYONE.

  • Stacia

    Roman, you write an awesome blog.!

    And I appreciate all you share no matter what the topic. What I do to stay positive is take a good look around, and recognize how good I have it. I get to earn money doing something i was meant to do. And I have a partner who supports me fully and is my personal cheerleader when I am unsure of myself. Meanwhile so many others are slogging along in a job they hate or worse, with no job and wondering how they will pay the next bill that comes today in the mail.

    Yeah… I have a pretty good life!

  • Stephanie W

    Great post! Just have to give a shout-out to my girl Liz DiAlto – who rocks (as does her Tighter in 10 program)!!

  • captbob

    best way to stay happy all day

    dont read the front page of your

    morning paper.

  • Susan Harper

    LOL people usually come to me for a laugh! One of my favorite things to do to pick myself out of the doldrums is to watch the Elephant Story from the Carol Burnett Show. Tim Conway is the funniest man. Ever.

    Another thing I do is go out in the woods. Talk to a bird, or a rock, or a tree. Just sit and be still and quiet. Let all the stress and anxiety drain away into the soil. Let the fungi take that negative detritus and turn it into something else.

  • Maria Maderi

    Hi,

    I work in a Nursing Home and what I do is go to one of my regisrtants make them smile.

    Also I think of Groucho Marx advise… I not events have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. It's my choice!

    I also pray and ask God to take my sorrow , worry, or what ever is stealing my joy away.

  • Andrew Edwards

    Being mentioned in Romans post seriously improved my day.

    My own way is simply smiling. Its hard to be a grumpus when you are smiling

  • matt

    roman, man i am very glad you posted this…funny thing bud, yesterday i was having one of the most terrible days i have had in a long time.. the first thing i done was pick up the phone and call mom. you are absolutely correct to place her as number one. i was still feeling a bit down about the day yesterday until i read this post.. another proven fact of your awesomeness…keep it up bru..lol

  • I love this!!! I have done most all of those things a time or two to cheer up a gloomy day. The other thing I love to do is to pull out one of my bikes, usually my mountain bike and take off on the trails. Nothing feels better than the exileration of a mountain bike ride, scaring yourself a little and getting outside in nature. I love it! No matter what, I always come back with a smile on my face.

  • bob

    best way to be happy – watch your grandson's foorball game – espically when they are in the game.

  • Ryan

    Finding a Monster Squad dvd has just become today's no1 priority! I would suggest adding Cool Runnings to the sick day list, I dunno why but it works.

    As a trainer, that feeling of helping someone else achieve something is unbeatable. It's always at that point I think… damn I'd do this for free, if didn't have to eat.

    Failing that, smashing the gym yourself never fails, followed by some sort of all you can eat buffet and doing something that scares the absolute crap out of you. Good old endorphins!

  • Jeremy

    Tip #12

    Eat a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream like you did in your cheat day video.

  • webboy71

    Roman, I love your approach to life .. Thanks for sharing your views!

  • Jeff

    Yes, Roman the Monster Squad is a classic, one for the ages.

  • AMAZING.

  • And thank YOU for stopping by, Erica. Welcome aboard.

    Eliminating negativity is something I struggle with all the time – it's amazing how much it can effect you.

    When even 1% of your life isn't in harmony with everything else, discord happens quickly.

    Working on it all the time. Thank you for the reminder–wise words.

  • Carrying a hug is something I hadn't thought of. I like it!

    I agree about the ice cream: just no point without it!

  • Enjoy. The. Journey.

    PRICELESS advice =)

  • Hey Heather,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm equally happy I connected with her — fantastic human, that one.

    DOUBLE wi-five for the Conan idea. Everything about that makes me laugh. Great great great.

  • All of my coaches have been super positive people and seem to get as much out of helping me as I've gotten from them.

    And now, on the other end, it's incredible how seamless it is to get while you give.

    And yes, Liz IS awesome.

  • lol. Silly ducks.

  • Snarky? ME? Never!

    And don't steal the puppy. Just BORROW him =)

  • And thank YOU for reading and posting.

    The thing I love about gratitude is how well it works both ways =)

  • *wap, wap*

    Love it.

    And yes, if you don't laugh at Seinfeld, you're dead inside.

  • Excellent. Understanding your own smallness is another way to understand your problems aren't that big.

  • I

  • Two things:

    1) I LOVE the “decide” tip. You're absolutely right. “waffling” and twisting in the wind is what cuases most stress.

    2) Side boob is a great pick me up.

  • AWESOME list. Ballantyne turned me onto Jim Rohn. Really, really great stuff.

    There's something to be said for having no commute!

    Talk soon, bru.

  • The more people I meet, the more I realize that mothers in general, regardless of nationality or culture, are guilt-wielding EXPERTS.

  • Always, always, ALWAYS a pleasure to have you hear, Ms. Camille.

    Even when you reference banana hammocks. (I'm more of a neon briefs from Diesel guy, not full on thongs.)

    Thank you for the ideas and the comments.

    I'll pass your words along to Momma Roman. And, I appreciate the praise, but can take no credit =)

  • I'm down with the Yoga for sure! Long baths make me antsy, I'm not good at sitting still for that long. Feel you on the tea, though!

  • Well. That's some deep stuff right there.

    I'm sure Mr. Fred appreciates that as well.

    But, your advice about daring to break up with people that don't give you what you need is super legit. it goes for relationships, friendships, and business partnerships.

    #realtalk

  • Awkward compliments are the best type.

    My favorite one to give is, “um…you smell FANTASTIC. What scent is that?”

    Works on everyone!

    Looking forward to our chat. Big things for you, my friend!

  • Man, Liz is getting some serious love on this blog!

    Glad I dropped her name. I should bring her around more often–she keeps the comments rollin' in!

    Thanks for stopping by, Danica!

  • Ylwa

    I have the blessing (although some days it feels more like a curse) to be married to the most positive person I've ever met in my life. I'm talking up to the point where that has actually, on occasion, been the reason to piss me off. And somehow he manages to turn that around to. He's my Gary Vaynerchuck and teddy bear in one person.

    I'm not suggesting marriage as a pick-me-up here, but I really hope that everyone has a person like this in their life, spouse or not. I've become a better person since I met Fred, and I firmly believe that if you surrond yourself with people that are what you want to be, you will automatically work harder to be a more positive person to.

    Dare to break up relationships with people that gives you nothing! You'll get so much happier in the process

  • All great tips.

    And you're right about Liz – super cool attitude, a great mindset.

    I try not to dance in public…better for everyone all around =)

  • Danica

    Great post! You mentioned two of my favorite people.

    Gary Vaynerchuk's energy is thru the roof! Love his books, great speaker.

    And Liz Dialto… Shoot, I'm a “tightie” and love her programs. Seeing her posts and getting her emails is a daily pick me up. She rocks!!!

    Thanks for the tips. I love awesome people!

  • watching cartoons, period is great =)

    (especially the Super Hero ones!)

  • Julia

    I love attending Bikram Yoga, all the stress just melts away. Long baths and hot cups of tea usually make me feel better as well.

  • Jen

    Hi, I always talk with an Aussie Accent, Great place to live. When things get on top of me I just tell myself – One thing at a time – you do not have to save the world, you just have to put one step in front of the other, and get through the day. Nobody is asking you to do more, and if they do, put it on your to do list. One step at a time, one thing at a time. And enjoy the journey, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, but you know you have today, so enjoy it while you can.

  • You had me at “Call you mom”, swept me off my feet with #9 then stole my heart with #10.

    Great list.

    Thanks for the shout out, I really appreciate that, man :-)

    Aside from your list, I find that my day brightens when I give someone a compliment that makes them smile.

    Even something small like “Hey I love your earrings!”, or “Your butt looks hot in the Lululemons!”…(although this would probably create some serious blushing and awkwardness, which, makes me smile even more).

    Again, great list.

    Looking forward to our call.

    Talk soon,

    Sirena

  • Camille

    Hey Roman, funtastic post. How do I brighten up a gloomy day?

    1. I look for energizers (like you, actually. I wandered over here for a laugh and some mental stim, little did I know you were writing a post for me)

    2. I call my Grandmother. Or my Papa. Or both if the day is bad enough. These two people are the wisest, funniest, most loving people – and complete extroverts – so they will all but hire tigers and train them to help me see the big picture of my life. Plus, Grandma has a 60+ year jump on me and Papa has a 30+ year jump on me. That's about 100 years worth of perspective I can literally dial on the phone and infuse into my life, undiluted. Just writing about it makes me so damn happy I could weep.

    3. This is a combo trick: Lingerie, Broadway, and a really good book. Yeah, I wrote lingerie on there. There is lingerie for the Y-Chromo set, as well, so ya'll should buy some banana hammocks and get with the program. If I have to leave the house, I put my clothes on over my lace bodysuit and it's like have a cloak on under my clothes, I know I'm a superhot superhero and I just wanna sing. Which brings us to Broadway tunes! Chicago, the entire show, is excellent, but All The Jazz is the business. Also, “Don't Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl. Anything that asserts, “I am here and my presence is enough” RULES. Smackdown on sadness, it's JOY. Good book is self-explanatory, nothing like giving that imagination a rest from dreaming up awful scenarios for yourself by letting it explore a world made by someone else.

    Thanks for the post. You definitely helped my day! Shoutout to Mama Roman, she raised a damn fine son.

  • Priyesh

    Italian mother sound like Indian mothers. Mine can appreciate my SHW diet but would not be disappointed if I decided to ditch it for one of her calorie filled dishes.

    Don't worry Roman, I resist the temptation…well not always (guilt trip)

  • Roman, great list Bro.

    Here a few I use to keep it Real

    1) Read from Any of Jim Rohn's Books

    2) Listen to Tony Robbins

    3) Make a list of 10 Reason I'm so Blessed

    ***Best one: Call my Geandmother or better go see her.

    Thanks for sharing a sick list.

    Hey Just move up North GlenHead No more Commute to my Studio.

    Later,

    Rahz

  • Shelby

    My best tip for brightening my day is to enjoy a moment. Like drinking my cup of tea in the morning, or hanging out with my baby and eating icecream and watching Ghost Whisperer. I know icecream but hey, somedays are icecream sorta days.

    By the way, I love the Monster Squad too! I used to watch that growing up all the time. I loved monsters and I still kinda do.

  • Great post Roman…

    If I had to give a happy tip it would be…if possible take a nice walk in nature (a park for the city dwellers)…eventually take a break from that walk and just stand still…embrace your surroundings and realize how miniscule your problems are in the grandiose scheme of things…

  • Great post Roman…couple things come to mind. 1. look thru some old photo albums of friends and family (similar to ur year book thingy) 2. review past accomplishments that you've achieved (similar to your “old resolved problems”) 3. find nature and be all alone with NO technology…just breath, reflect, meditate, talk to God…whatever floats your boat. I call this “cultivation time” and its VERY powerful for rejuvinating the mind, finding clarity, and, of course, brightening your day. Love you style Roman and I've been a fan for a while….as CB always says: “be remarkable and unique”.

  • Alex

    I love hapkido. No matter how pissed off or gloomy I am, I calm down as soon as I step into the dojang. And I get way better as soon as I start training.

  • Kara

    I've been in a bit of a funk the last couple days and reading through your list definitely brought a smile to my face with all your snarky comments :) I might need to go steal a puppy from the dog park tomorrow ;)

  • Alex

    When I'm grumpy, hitting stuff really hard works, followed by squeezing a stress ball (I have a mini earth, mwahahaha).

    Otherwise, watching birds, especially ducks. They hiss and chase each other. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes there's a 'loser duck' that all the other ducks chase off when it comes within 1 metre. It's hilarious!

  • Alex

    I have a notebook where I write down funny stuff people say. For instance, someone said “Erotic is tickling your lover with a feather. Kinky is using the actual chicken.” That cracks me up whenever I think it. Laughing out loud randomly in public is good.

  • Totally agree with your point about how great it is to help someone elevate their biz. I have benefited so much from my biz coach and now I just try to pass it on as best as I can.

    I've used Tighter in 10 and just love how no-nonsense Liz's programs are!

  • Bira Rabushka

    I find that the best antidote to “grumpy day” is Ballroom dancing…They say it's the endorphins kicking in, but it could be the exercise, the music, the breathing, the romance of the experience. Works every time! No partner? Dance by yourself!

    Thanks for this wonderful blog!

  • So glad you connected with Liz DiAlto – that girl hustles like a mother f'r. Love what she's done for women with Tighter in 10 Days and can't wait to see what bring out next!

    Love the energy osmosis tip.

    Here are 3 ways I brighten my day:

    1) See a dog. It doesn't even have to be a puppy – just any dog will make me giggle like an idiot.

    2) Reach out to a friend I haven't connected with in a while, and remind them of a hilarious inside joke.

    3) Watch 10 minutes of Conan or the Daily Show (I DVR them each night) for a good chuckle.

  • Tim

    Nothing improves my mood and attitude quicker than gratitude. Forcing myself to be thankful isn't always easy but it does ALWAYS work.

    Thanks. . . :-),

  • Erica

    I'm new to reading your blog. Got an intro from the wonderful and fabulous Liz Dialto. I've been a client of hers in the past and continue to use all her products, including the Tighter in Ten program you mentioned.

    You've created quite a nice list. At the top of my current “to-do” list is to eliminate negativity from my life. I just don't have time for it anymore. Its still a work in progress but your list was more food for thought. Thanks :)

  • I'm “wapping” right now.

    New rule: No more clapping. Wapping is kinda like wi-fiving. No touching… because let's be honest. Sometimes the left hand doesn't want to touch that yucky right hand anyway.

    3 Ways To Pick Myself Up:

    1) Talk to my niece and nephew. They don't give a shit about my problems and only want to talk about the dead animal they found on their ranch.

    2) Watch an episode of Seinfeld. If you don't laugh at that, you're dead. And in that case you better learn to love Seinfeld because she does. (God's a woman. Get over it.)

    3) Walk out the door, walk into a coffee shop and the person in line in front of me I compliment. Usually about their shoes, scarf or other random item. They usually beam or think I'm a creep. Normally the former. It feels good… than I usually walk out the door, spill my damn latte over myself and have to walk back inside to compliment someone else. Grrrrrrrr…

  • Awesome list… I've used a few of these myself, especially #10 (we have a 7 month old “puppy”). Works wonders.

    You know what else is killer:

    “Decide”

    If I'm having a rough day, 9 times out of 10 it's because of lingering decisions. Its unreal how making a decision, a FINAL decision pulls that weight off.

    (lol – I keep seeing side boob as I type this)

    B

  • Kari

    I like to meow along to songs where I don't know the lyrics. Works like a charm.

  • I liked your 11 ways to happiness!

  • Shawna

    I take my hug out of my purse. My larger then average sized 12 year old teddy bear gives the best hugs in the world, i cant go a day without one. So one day he wasnt home when I got home so he left me a note”Hi Mom, here is your hug, Ben” It was the greatest, he remembered that i would need one. So i keep the note in my purse for bad days or when i wont get the real thing. Instant picker upper. You should leave your mom the same note.

    You already listed my others: mom, ice cream (life without ice cream is not worth living), outdoor walks with loaded ipod, energetic and positive friends. Hitting a different gym really helps.

    I am small but will gladly take a larger shirt to wear as jammies.

  • Kenny

    I don´t know about you guys, but food always make me happy. Starting the day with a nice breakfast can do miracles. Like just now; just arrived at the Uni library in Sydney(08am), the weather is crap, exams is coming up etc. However, my egg and bacon roll with my cappuccino and your blog post made my day!:) Cheers Roman

  • Liz

    Love this!

    My tips:

    1. SING. LOUDLY. Preferably in pubic. Even if it's way off key.

    2. Wink at yourself in the mirror. I promise. It works.

    3. Talk to Liz DiAlto!! So excited she's in this post. That girl is the sh**. Her attitude is freakin' awesome. Point being – spend time with people who are opinionated, loud, and open. You'll have way cooler conversations that way.

    :)

  • Claire

    Dance, sing along a feel-good song even if I don't feel like it to start with, buy shoes, watch a stupid comedy, notice how silly I am to feel that way, check out holiday pics or travel book, book a plane ticket, buy shoes, get a massage, wear sexy underwear, do something forbidden with a smile, jump on my bed like a 5-year old, write, dream, plan a trip around the world, do some DIY, cook a new recipe, call a friend, wear my favourite perfume

  • Christine Neff

    Speak with an Aussie accent, even if it's just to yourself. First off, they sound like such happy people, and second, you'll feel like such a goofball. Better yet, teach a fitness class with that accent!

  • Liz DiAlto rules! I've been following her for a few months now and her content is fantastic, her website is packed with value and her program Tighter in 10 is rocking my world right now! Love that you mentioned her!

  • aditi

    Roman, I make a top 10 list of the best things that happen that day. Even if they are weak like ” It didn't rain as I was getting in my car” or ” I had enough egg whites” at least I'm showing gratitude.

  • Ryan

    Great post, John! and THE MONSTER SQUAD kicks outstanding ass! I'm glad you referenced it…

    I watched that, clash of the titans, night of the living comet and a few other movies as a kid growing up in teh 80s…

  • Robert Blaschke

    watch cartoons with my boys… never fails

  • Making your day made MY day.

    It's a never-ending cycle of awesome.

    Thanks for the comment, Andy!

  • What you did there…I sees it!1!

    Love you bru.

  • Good stuff with the walk–especially with my doggy.

    LOTS of benefits of walking =)

  • Great post, bru.

    Love cranking up the music cleaning, but I'm not sure about the heels.

    I'll echo your thoughts about being a trainer. Given that the job doesn't require me to change out of my pajamas, I often find getting dress in “real” clothes can make a huge impact.

    Good point.

    Enjoy your undies dancing.

  • Wi-giggles are the new giggles. You heard it hear, folks.

    I'll check out the book, could be a good addition to my ever-growing library.

    Thanks for the kind words =)

  • Hittin' stuff is a sure-fire way to feel amped up. Fo'sho!

    Good post =)

  • Amazing tips.

    I especially love the tip about writing a note of appreciation.

    It's always rewarding to let people know they're making your life better.

  • Dude, I've given up trying to get people to see the Awesomest movies.

    Some people are hopeless.

    I even know a few chicks who haven't seen Star Wars.

    STAR WARS!?

    Sad.

  • Alas, I ran out of the smaller shirts. I will order more.

    Agree with doing something different. Nothing like a “pattern interrupt” to make you forget you were a grumpus.

  • Paul

    Wait, you allow people to read your blog that would say, “What is The Monster Squad?”… That doesn't seem right!

  • Scary German Guy approves of this post.

    I bet your grandma does, too =)

  • Hah! If you're having a bad day, the wrong NFL game can make it a LOT worse!

    But, cheat days help every time. It's hard to be sad when you're eating ice cream and chocolate.

    It's, like…science and shit.

  • Wow, the old pencil trick. I'm back in freshman psych!

    Good pick up =)

    But, yeah, even if it didn't work for you, would make probably give some other folks the giggz.

  • Very good point. Making someone smile or laugh is always guaranteed to make you feel better.

    One of the best things you can do!

  • Sorry to hear about your brother, TC. That's awful.

    Thank you for sharing that with us. I'll drop him a note on FB.

    Just keep being there for him, that's what he needs.

    And, chances are a few good books.

  • Jess

    As your sister I have to say this. As right as you are, you forgot a movie you ALWAYS watched: Clash of the titians ,,, well that and he-man and the thundercats just thought I'd share ;) but they were good, so of course its cool

  • Tom Kisner

    Take a walk with someone you care about. I would recommend doing it even if your not in an awful mood. Assuming the person is in a good mood you get the benefit of energy osmosis. If it's someone you haven't seen in a while you get to catch up with them. If it's someone you do spend a lot of time with you get to connect with them without all the distractions of modern life.

    On top of the emotional aspects there are the physical benefits of some steady state cardio, your out enjoying the sun getting some vitamin D, and I can't prove it, but walking is destressing in it of itself.

    If that doesn't work then I would highly suggest thinking of Liz dancing in her undies and heels blaring music and cleaning.

  • Roman! I love this post and appreciate the shout out. I won't tell you what I meant when I said “be the female version of Roman,” I'll just show you in the coming months.

    My methods for brightening days are all about shifting your inner attitude by jazzing up something on the outside (and are probably best suited for the ladies, but you never know, the “bru's” might dig it).

    For example, when I don't feel like cleaning my apartment, I'll crank up some girly jams like Salt 'n Pepa, TLC, Janet Jackson, and do it in my undies and some heels…instand sexy, fun dance party-the situation no longer sucks.

    If it's gray and ugly outside, I'll wear something really bright.

    As a trainer I'm constantly wearing gym clothes so sometimes I'll put on something cute to run an errand just because it feels good…you get the idea.

  • Kedric

    Make someone smile, i guess this works the same way like helping someone out.

    When I face an absolutely sucky I try making somebody with a sucky day smile.Instead of both of you whinning about problems you both get your moods cheered up.Pretty much like laughing after the person you tell a joke to laughs

  • Darren

    I always remember at the end of the movie when some dude asks 'who are you guys?' and they reply “THE MONSTER SQUAD” and start cheering like fools…and I did too, and still do. And the Goonies are awesome-sorry for the poor writing, its late.

    To cheer myself up I call grandma-she's such a positive woman, that we can get on the phone and I can be 10 yrs old as she teases, chides, and calls me my pet name. Shes a hoot and shes never down, you cant be after a talk w/ her. Love that woman.

  • rocky

    Reading this blog will brighten your day.

    But for me, sports with some real good friends. Seriously, backyard football is probably the most fun/relaxing thing in the world and gets your mind off of everything.

    The rest of my list if adding to yours..Cheat days, old family photos, NFL games (depending on the outcome), and old songs that you havent listened to for years.

  • Marie

    Awesome blog post! I've been told I'm Miss Optimistic, always smiling, giggling (I really like giggling) and actually have had my aura captured on camera (it exudes harmony!). BUT I too get some days where I feel not-so-giggly. When I do get these days, I employ the following mantra: “I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you”. It's from the book on Ho'oponopono (Hawaiian) called Zero Limits. Check it out, You enjoy reading books. I know you want to. hee hee (that was wi-giggle) :D

    By the way, I know what Liz is referring to when she wants to be the female version of you. Simply put: as awesome as one can be within the limitless possibilities of awesomeness.

  • Ted

    Great advice, awesome post. One of my favorites.

    As for other tips to brighten your day: Smile. Either that or hold a pencil between your teeth. Every psychology student knows the study on facial feedback where holding a pencil between participants' teeth resulted in elevated mood. But nobody does it. Added bonus – you get to brighten up the days of other people who see you holding a pencil between your teeth by giving them a nice chuckle.

  • Laura

    Firstly, you let all the ladies down with your XL man shirts. Shame on you!

    My tip is just to do something different. You can get 'locked into' stressed/grumpy mode so consciously break it for a while and do something you want to do and take back some control. Reclaim your lunch hour or do something you always mean to do after work but never do, try a different meal or drink or listen to some new music. Could just tip the day back for you.

  • Laura

    Firstly, you have let the ladies down with your XL man shirts. Shame on you.

    My tip; just take the time to go against the flow. When things go wrong and we get stressed it's like you're forced in a certain direction. Take a minute to just stop and chill out and do something different – something off track with the grumpy. Eg. Don't take lunch at your desk because you are on a tight deadline, go for a walk and get some sun. Take back a bit of control and do something you want to do.

  • Sabrina

    Fantastic list! My go-to tips:

    1) Ask for a boost. I have a few friends that I can simply email and say, “I'm having an awful day. X happened to me or I failed at X [or whatever]. Please boost me up.” They each take literally one minute out of their day to tell me why I'm awesome, and it never fails to give me a lift!

    2) Leave work early, then ignore the to-do list at home. (Will the world stop if you leave the dishes for tomorrow?) With the time you've created, indulge in a movie or a book or a bath or a library visit or a board game.

    3) Thank someone who's impacted your life. Write a note of appreciation to your trainer, a friend, a coworker, anyone. Whether big or small, focusing on grattitude never fails to change my attitude.

  • Andy Smith

    I think my tip would be to give someone you care about a compliment every day, tell someone they matter or smile at a stranger, it could make their day. Spread the joy.

    This article made my day, thanks for the awesome stuff Roman.

  • Rob

    For the record, the wi-five began as the “interstate hi-five” approximately circa 2000, which also shared designation with the “tecmo bowl hi-five.” Else wise, this is a phenomenal read; thank you and live you bru bru.

    (see what I did there at the end?)

  • i luv teh bebehs.

  • TC

    If anyone wants to help me cheer him up, send him a message telling him that we're all here to support each other in the RFS community!

    http://www.facebook.com/Steelers.and.Sox

  • Brandon

    I have a specific “Cheer Up” playlist on my iPod of songs I listen to when my mood needs elevating. Some are just because they are supposed to be optimistic and uplifting (the British singer Rachel Stevens has a song called “So Good” that is just perfect for that), and others have a more personal reason (I personally believe no one can be grumpy if something as hilariously dorky as “Spice Up Your Life” is playing.) Dancing like a moron is completely optional.

  • Nuri

    Nothing like playing with a puppy! Except maybe playing with a kitten. Or with a more exotic puppy. Any bebeh animal will do!

  • Brie

    awesome post! My tip is in the “Energy Osmosis” category, I think. My dog just recently died, and though I lost him, I have gained a whole new appreciation for the village of support I've created in my life! Friends have come to console me, sent cards, sent hugs from all over on fb, sent texts, taken me to exercise (dog was my running buddy, so motivation dropped), and one is taking me to the opera this weekend. So my tip is – for those days when “grumpy” is more like “down in the dumps” – Let People Help You. You feel better, it keeps you from wallowing in your own grief and pain, it reminds you that life goes on and people want you IN the game, and it recharges you for when it's their turn to get support from you! Of course, grief is a process, and it's going to be hard enough, so let it be what it is, and also let others help. :o) Cheers and thanks for the post! Love it.

  • Dawn

    Listen to your favorite music and crank it up, sometimes it works. Or a punching bag.. :)

  • TC

    Just reading this list brightened up my day.

    For the last two weeks, one of my brothers (who is also my roommate) has been in the hospital due to issues with his pancreas, and he hasn't been allowed to eat or drink anything in that whole time (he takes in nutrients intravenously, but you don't get to taste it that way).

    I very quickly realized that when a teddy bear or a cupcake can't cheer someone up, it's pretty difficult to do so. I visit him as often as I can, but it's still pretty depressing to spend an entire week in a hospital bed and not know when you'll be able to go home.

  • Hey Jo,

    My father and I don't maintain a relationship; my parents split when I was 10, and other than a few failed attempts, that's pretty it for my dad.

    Single parent family, and for the better.

    That said, there are a lot of fitness pros with good relationships with their fathers.

    Vince Del Monte, Elliot Hulse, Alex Maroko and a few others come to mind.

    Interesting question, though!

  • Jo

    Well said! I get tired of all the whining posts and ongoing drama on FB about how bad people's lives are all the time.

    Love the thoughts on a mama's love. What about your dad though? Aren't there any fitness buffs with awesome dads, ones they are tight with? Or, is that why it seems like very few fitness buffs are not married and never talk about dating women???