We've all had those days - your boss is in a horrible mood for no apparent reason, you walked to work in the rain, oh, or your make up decides to disappear between your home and the office.
Whatever the reason, we understand your pain. Having a bad day is the worst. But there are sure and impenetrable ways to lighten your mood. Maybe you have a failsafe way to get a smile on your face - a swipe to your favorite kitten-obsessed Instagram page, or a white chocolate Hersheys bar.
If perchance you are a person who really struggles to out of that funk, who sulks all day, we're here with ten remedies that might turn your day around, most of which can be done from your desk.
1. Inject 80's music into ears
If the company allows, pop those earphones in and what I'd personally recommend, is a little 80's disco. There is nothing better than Chic or Earth, Wind and Fire when you're pissed off. Why? Because instead of the buzz of the office or the slur of your agitating overlords, there's a whole lot of crazy fun going on in your head and there's nobody that can get in on that action. You've likely danced more than a few nights away to these songs, so relish in those memories and go back to work a happier you.
2. Google anything Tina Fey or Amy Poehler have ever said
We are positively obsessed with these ladies, because they have the ability to make us laugh every.single.time either decides to open her mouth. If there's a strict no-youtube policy on the office floor (we've heard tell such workday laws), they are quoted on innumerable websites that could be passed for research or stat-seeking. Go forth with confidence and a dose of hilarity.
Tina Fey in The Office
3. Apply some red lipstick
Red lipstick was invented to embolden women; to rouge a boring lip; to raise spirits. There is nothing better than that feeling: the one you experience after you've put your first layer on, because you look so good. It hasn't smudged yet, you can't see that snagged streak of red on your tooth, and you feel positively fabulous. We would recommend anything from Mac's Russian Red to Chanel's Coromandel. Because, honestly, how can you remain sullen? Red lips are made for smiling.
4. Scroll J.K Rowling's Twitter feed
Ah, your childhood, remember it? This woman certainly does, she provided a whole lump of what you remember of it: midnight queues for book releases, twilight showings of new movies. And she most certainly hasn't lost her charm, or her way with words. Her Twitter feed is a goldmine of sarcasm, humor, fantasy, and the occasional political rant. And, 12.3 million people seem to agree.
I can't say I consider myself a 'world leader' though. Maybe of worlds inside my head? In the real world I can barely lead my dog.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 4, 2014
5. Add a little sweetness to your coffee order
Is it a mocha day - or a caramel macchiato afternoon? We wouldn't advise going as wild as the uber-sugary Summer '17 hit the Unicorn Frappucino, but a little peppermint syrup, whipped cream or some foamy deliciousness added to your boring old drip coffee, can sometimes be the most wonderful change you so desperately need on a bad day.
6. Take a smokeless smoke break
No ladies, we are not advocating for a cheeky workday cig. Smoking is bad, but the "smoke break" retains certain benefits, despite the nicotine. And how is your boss to know you don't smoke? Maybe you spontaneously took it up because of all the work they've been giving you lately. Notify your overlords, and get out of the office for a few minutes, walk around the block, ring your mom, make use of the age-old getaway that was institutionalized during the Mad Men era and yet under-implanted by millennial everywhere.
7. Plan a getaway
This sounds a little funny, because it is a little funny. If you're having a shitty day because of a money problem, maybe skip to number 8. If however the only thing you can think of is getting the f out of the office - this is perfect for you. Look up a day trip out of town, even if it's just a weekender. Maybe you're in need of a Caribbean cruise or some zip lining in Saint Lucia? Whatever it is, get on Kayak, look up flight sales or Groupon weekend offers and just browse. What's the harm in searching? If you find some crazy deal, even better, if not, that's OK, at least you are reminded that a break from the office craziness around you is possible.
8. Have a (controlled) but completely gratuitous Amazon Prime spree
Amazon Prime was Jeff Bezos' way of helping all women in need of a quick fix to get it via two-day shipping and a world of stuff to choose from, well at least that's how we see it. Whether it's a $20 bathing suit, the shiny new coffee maker you've wanted for eternity, or a book you've been dying to read, just buy it. It will there in two days; you didn't have to go to the store for it; and it will make your day (as well as delivery day) infinitely brighter. And get pumped for Prime Wardrobe, which will enable you to Prime Spree without the guilt. You'll be able to order as many items of clothing as your heart desires to your home, without paying a single cent. Try them on in front of your bedroom mirror, and what you don't like, send back in the same box they came, for free. Amazon, you just get us.
9. Make reservations without reservation
If you visualize a martini, a martini will come. We promise. Get Opentable or Thrillist up on your screen and choose your watering hole for the evening. Food and drink can take a terrible day into greatness - from a glum Monday to a tough Friday. Call your girlfriend, set a night in motion and spend the rest of your day happily anticipating the revels of the evening ahead. Who knows where a bad day might take you.
10. Have a lollipop
Depending on your work environment, you might want to wait until you leave the office for this one. If not, suck it loud and proud. We don't exactly know why they make us feel better, but there's something so childishly wonderful about eating a lollipop as an adult that we can't deny its mood-altering qualities. If you're feeling exuberant, grab a whole bag of Blow Pops, and get to bubble making.
Not too many years ago, my advice to political candidates would have been pretty simple: "Don't do or say anything stupid." But the last few elections have rendered that advice outdated.
When Barack Obama referred to his grandmother as a "typical white woman" during the 2008 campaign, for example, many people thought it would cost him the election -- and once upon a time, it probably would have. But his supporters were focused on the values and positions he professed, and they weren't going to let one unwise comment distract them. Candidate Obama didn't even get much pushback for saying, "We're five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That statement should have given even his most ardent supporters pause, but it didn't. It was in line with everything Obama had previously said, and it was what his supporters wanted to hear.
2016: What rules?
Fast forward to 2016, and Donald Trump didn't just ignore traditional norms, he almost seemed to relish violating them. Who would have ever dreamed we'd elect a man who talked openly about grabbing women by the **** and who was constantly blasting out crazy-sounding Tweets? But Trump did get elected. Why? Some people believe it was because Americans finally felt like they had permission to show their bigotry. Others think Obama had pushed things so far to the left that right-wing voters were more interested in dragging public policy back toward the middle than in what Trump was Tweeting.
Another theory is that Trump's lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable behavior was deliberately designed to make Democrats feel comfortable campaigning on policies that were far further to the left than they ever would have attempted before. Why? Because they were sure America would never elect someone who acted like Trump. If that theory is right, and Democrats took the bait, Trump's "digital policies" served him well.
And although Trump's brash style drew the most handlines, he wasn't the only one who seemed to have forgotten the, "Don't do or say anything stupid," rule. Hillary Clinton also made news when she made a "basket of deplorables" comment at a private fundraiser, but it leaked out, and it dogged her for the rest of the election cycle.
And that's where we need to start our discussion. Now that all the old rules about candidate behavior have been blown away, do presidential candidates even need digital policies?
Yes, they do. More than ever, in my opinion. Let me tell you why.
Digital policies for 2020 and beyond
While the 2016 election tossed traditional rules about political campaigns to the trash heap, that doesn't mean you can do anything you want. Even if it's just for the sake of consistency, candidates need digital policies for their own campaigns, regardless of what anybody else is doing. Here are some important things to consider.
Align your digital policies with your campaign strategy
Aside from all the accompanying bells and whistles, why do you want to be president? What ideological beliefs are driving you? If you were to become president, what would you want your legacy to be? Once you've answered those questions honestly, you can develop your campaign strategy. Only then can you develop digital policies that are in alignment with the overall purpose -- the "Why?" -- of your campaign:
- If part of your campaign strategy, for example, is to position yourself as someone who's above the fray of the nastiness of modern politics, then one of your digital policies should be that your campaign will never post or share anything that attacks another candidate on a personal level. Attacks will be targeted only at the policy level.
- While it's not something I would recommend, if your campaign strategy is to depict the other side as "deplorables," then one of your digital policies should be to post and share every post, meme, image, etc. that supports your claim.
- If a central piece of your platform is that detaining would-be refugees at the border is inhumane, then your digital policies should state that you will never say, post, or share anything that contradicts that belief, even if Trump plans to relocate some of them to your own city. Complaining that such a move would put too big a strain on local resources -- even if true -- would be making an argument for the other side. Don't do it.
- Don't be too quick to share posts or Tweets from supporters. If it's a text post, read all of it to make sure there's not something in there that would reflect negatively on you. And examine images closely to make sure there's not a small detail that someone may notice.
- Decide what your campaign's voice and tone will be. When you send out emails asking for donations, will you address the recipient as "friend" and stress the urgency of donating so you can continue to fight for them? Or will you personalize each email and use a more low-key, collaborative approach?
Those are just a few examples. The takeaway is that your online behavior should always support your campaign strategy. While you could probably get away with posting or sharing something that seems mean or "unpresidential," posting something that contradicts who you say you are could be deadly to your campaign. Trust me on this -- if there are inconsistencies, Twitter will find them and broadcast them to the world. And you'll have to waste valuable time, resources, and public trust to explain those inconsistencies away.
Remember that the most common-sense digital policies still apply
The 2016 election didn't abolish all of the rules. Some still apply and should definitely be included in your digital policies:
- Claim every domain you can think of that a supporter might type into a search engine. Jeb Bush not claiming www.jebbush.com (the official campaign domain was www.jeb2016.com) was a rookie mistake, and he deserved to have his supporters redirected to Trump's site.
- Choose your campaign's Twitter handle wisely. It should be obvious, not clever or cutesy. In addition, consider creating accounts with possible variations of the Twitter handle you chose so that no one else can use them.
- Give the same care to selecting hashtags. When considering a hashtag, conduct a search to understand its current use -- it might not be what you think! When making up new hashtags, try to avoid anything that could be hijacked for a different purpose -- one that might end up embarrassing you.
- Make sure that anyone authorized to Tweet, post, etc., on your behalf has a copy of your digital policies and understands the reasons behind them. (People are more likely to follow a rule if they understand why it's important.)
- Decide what you'll do if you make an online faux pas that starts a firestorm. What's your emergency plan?
- Consider sending an email to supporters who sign up on your website, thanking them for their support and suggesting ways (based on digital policies) they can help your messaging efforts. If you let them know how they can best help you, most should be happy to comply. It's a small ask that could prevent you from having to publicly disavow an ardent supporter.
- Make sure you're compliant with all applicable regulations: campaign finance, accessibility, privacy, etc. Adopt a double opt-in policy, so that users who sign up for your newsletter or email list through your website have to confirm by clicking on a link in an email. (And make sure your email template provides an easy way for people to unsubscribe.)
- Few people thought 2016 would end the way it did. And there's no way to predict quite yet what forces will shape the 2020 election. Careful tracking of your messaging (likes, shares, comments, etc.) will tell you if you're on track or if public opinion has shifted yet again. If so, your messaging needs to shift with it. Ideally, one person should be responsible for monitoring reaction to the campaign's messaging and for raising a red flag if reactions aren't what was expected.
Thankfully, the world hasn't completely lost its marbles
Whatever the outcome of the election may be, candidates now face a situation where long-standing rules of behavior no longer apply. You now have to make your own rules -- your own digital policies. You can't make assumptions about what the voting public will or won't accept. You can't assume that "They'll never vote for someone who acts like that"; neither can you assume, "Oh, I can get away with that, too." So do it right from the beginning. Because in this election, I predict that sound digital policies combined with authenticity will be your best friend.