One of the beautiful upsides of having a significant other—particularly one with whom you live—is that, when you’re having a bad day, and you’re full of bad energy, you can just borrow some of their good energy. Your partner is there to lift you up when you’re down, and you’re there to lift him up when he’s down. Between the two of you, on most days, at least one of you will have the emotional strength to cheer the whole pair up. But one of the cunnundrums every couple has faced is that rare day when you both had terrible days. You come home, ready to collapse into your partner’s arms, assuming he can fix everything, only to find that he needs you for the same thing. If you don’t act fast, two pissed off people in the same house can be a recipe for a disaster. Here is how to rally when you’ve both had a bad day.
Order delivery/make something easy
If you both have no mental energy left, then gift yourselves the favor of not doing that one thing you both dread doing—like making dinner. When everyone feels like they’re going to have a meltdown if they have to do one more task, that’s a time you’re allowed to order delivery. Or, send the laundry out to a service rather than do it yourself.
Talk about something they look forward to
You can always count on your social calendar to cheer you up. You probably have something you’re looking forward to as a couple—a concert, a trip, a double date with your favorite couple. Start making other mini plans around that, like where you’ll grab a drink before that concert or what you’ll do your first morning of the trip.
Or plan something
You can always plan something, too. Somehow, booking an AirBnb for a weekend getaway that’s just a two-hour drive away can turn everyone’s moods around.
Get the pet involved
Petting an animal instantly lowers blood pressure and sends feel good hormones through your body. It’s hard to remember what the two of you were upset about when you look into your pet’s big adorable eyes and make her flop on her back with joy.
Text from across the house
Sometimes my boyfriend and I are so cranky when we first get home that we aren’t sure it’s even safe to talk to each other. So we go to separate rooms, and start sending each other funny text messages until we naturally want to start chatting.
Call that funny friend on speakerphone
Every couple has that friend who is just a ball of sunshine and always a riot. Maybe it’s an eccentric adventurer friend who could be at any given place in the world, at any given time. It’s hard not to smile when you call him and he just has to put down the chinchilla he was playing with before he can talk.
Put on a favorite show
Every couple has that show that makes them forget their troubles. For us, it’s “Forensic Files”. Something about watching detectives solve a murder makes our problems seem very small, relatively. Hey—I never said we were normal.
Vent, without reserve
If you feel better by venting, then go for it. Call that boss or coworker or family member all the names you need to call them (just to your partner, in the privacy of your home). Sometimes you can’t move on with the night until you get to verbally rip the offender to shreds. Again, not to their face…that could cause problems.
Go for a walk
When my boyfriend and I cannot stop dwelling on something, we just take a walk around the neighborhood and don’t go home again until we feel better. If the place is messy or covered with bills we don’t have the energy to look at, it can be best to just get out.
Make special drinks
If you are drinkers, you could make a special cocktail. I don’t know why but, the moment tiny umbrellas or maraschino cherries are involved, everybody cheers up.
Pick up a treat
For my boyfriend and I, that’s dairy-free cookie dough ice cream. Nobody is ever too old to have ice cream cheer them up.
Play that classic YouTube clip
The one that, when you first discovered it, made you laugh so hard you thought you’d never stop laughing again. Just play it on repeat until frowning literally feels stupid.
Even if you’re cranky and don’t think cuddling will help, don’t forget that your body and your partner’s body are bonded. They instantly start creating feel-good hormones when they’re together.
My boyfriend and I like to meditate together when it feels like no conscious activity will cheer us up. We have a few 15 and 20-minute meditations for positive thinking and stress relief. We lie down in our room, dim the lights, grab cozy blankets, and come up feeling much better.
Talk about gratitude
Talking about the things for which you’re grateful makes it nearly impossible to stay upset. When you begin listing the things you’re lucky to have—each other, a roof over your heads, food, money to travel—you just feel like remaining cranky would be ungrateful.