Martial arts helped me get through a difficult day.
Without going into detail, I was getting beat up at work. Decisions made several levels above me were putting me in a difficult, unhappy, frustrating position. It all weighed heavily on my mind. I do tend to brood on things.
I left work, came to my martial arts school a bit early, and went to a standup/kickboxing class, not my normal one. Even at the stage of drills, the exertion, the effort to react quickly, the effort to keep good form took my mind off my frustrating day. Then came actual sparring--and there certainly was no time to brood.
I did say to the Joshu instructing the class at one point, while we were putting on our gear, "I don't care what happens here, I can't get beat up as bad as I was at work!" And yeah, at one point a speedy 20-year-old sempai did clock me a bit with a good hook. But in the grand scheme of things it only hurt briefly, and I fought well overall.
At the end of class, the Joshu was reviewing front kicks we had worked on, and he talked about how well I throw the front-leg push kick, how I use it like a jab. I don't get that kind of praise every day; and coming at the end of day like this one, I felt really grateful to hear a good word about myself.
Here's hoping everybody has smooth and un-frustrating days; but when you don't, it's good to have an art to fall back on that can take your mind off your troubles, and give you rewards in terms of health, camaraderie and the satisfaction of occasionally mastering difficult skills.