“Every day may not be good. But there is something good in every day.”
When more than one big thing goes wrong in my day, I have this angry voice inside me telling me, “welp, it’s just going to be one of those days.” I get this negative voice inside me all riled up and ready to hate every moment of the day. And when I feel this negative energy, I attract negativity. Have you ever noticed how that works? I believe that what you put out into the world is typically what you tend to receive.
So what then? We’re expected to always be upbeat, even when one bad thing after another keeps happening? Not necessarily. Bad stuff seems to happen for no reason all the time. And I think it’s perfectly natural to feel bummed out when something doesn’t work out. But the main thing to remind yourself of when this happens is that one bad part of your day doesn’t need to define your whole day. No matter what, there’s time left to change your day around.
Here are some simple ways that you can save your day and make it count.
First we’re going to go through some of the mindset shifts that you can keep in your “bad day toolbox” for when something bad happens in your life.
1) Ask yourself, can I learn something from this?
Is there a lesson here? Sometimes it’s an expensive lesson. In life, you’ll have to learn some pricey lessons and it’s just the way it goes. You can choose to dwell but if the situation will remain whether you obsess over it or if you don’t, why would you choose to let it consume you?
You can help it. You can not think about it. Don’t limit yourself to your current mindset. Explore what it feels like to let something go. Distract yourself. But don’t give in to the idea that it needs to ruin your day. That’s a misconception that you’ve been letting yourself believe.
2) Adopt the mantra, “moving forward”
My boyfriend and I once talked about how we should get tattoos that say “moving forward” so that it could constantly remind us to move on from bad thoughts. If a situation is out of your control, adopt that same mantra. Say it out loud as you decide to move forward with your day. It’s a simple way to shift out of a funk. I haven’t forgot about it since and it’s one of the most effective ways that I let things go.
3) If you can do something about a situation, be bold
I’m a person who enjoys simplicity and hates when disruptions in my life come up. When life gets in the way of my day, I tend to have an emotional reaction. I don’t want to make phone calls to solve the problems, I just want the problem to not exist. But sometimes we have to step up and problem solve when inconvenient crap comes up. And when you’re an adult, it does. All the time. But I’ve realized that after I take care of business and figure out a solution, I feel like a total badass. Don’t avoid the problems that are showing up in your day.
Tackle them and you’ll feel like a champion before the day is up.
Now into the less serious ways to make your bad day better:
Release the tension
Do something soothing like taking a bath to release your tension from the day. On the opposite end, you could take a boxing class to get your aggression out. Find a way to release the energy that’s built up inside of you. Oftentimes something as simple as napping for 20 minutes can do the trick. Writing out your thoughts can make you see the bigger picture.
Call a friend
Friends can usually get us out of a funk. Vent to a friend, but after a few minutes of venting, change the subject to something positive. While we all need to vent to friends, it’s not the most satisfying to either person when the conversation ends with negativity. Talk about some things that are going right, too.
Read an uplifting story or watch a motivational Ted Talks
Get revived by watching something that reminds you that you can be a badass.
Play with puppies
Do you have a puppy? A friend with a puppy? The ability to go somewhere where there are puppies? Instantly puts you in a better mood. When in doubt: find all the puppies.
Pick up your favorite food
Preferably a healthy favorite food, but one that makes you feel comforted. You definitely don’t want to start making bad habits of using food as a source of comfort but occasionally it’s nice to have a night in and indulge a little, especially when the day has been unusually bad.
Turn your phone off and relax
Shut off the outside world. You don’t need that kind of stress to add to your bad day. Spend a few hours without distraction and really focus on self-care.
Try something new / check something off your bucket list
If you have time, on a bad day, go explore something new. Add something bright and new to your day. We all have a few places in our city that we’ve wanted to explore for awhile and never get around to it. Do it on a day where you need the pick-me-up.
Plan a trip
I’m working on being more present but a fun thing to do when the present moment feels terrible is to look forward to a trip somewhere. Start browsing for an upcoming trip and get wrapped up in the things you might explore once you get there.
Donate something or help a stranger
When you’re having a bad day and your thoughts keep circling back to “why me” it’s usually a sign that you need to get out of your head. The easiest way to do that? Think about other people for awhile. What can you do to surprise someone? Or help someone in need? Do something good.
Nothing clears my head quite like getting out of the house and taking a walk in nature. If the beach is accessible, go there. If there is a hiking trail near you, do that. If all of that feels like too much, just go sit outside for five minutes. It might not feel like much, but a breath of fresh air can go a long way in helping your sanity.
Clear your workspace
When nothing seems to be going right, cleaning up my workspace is my go-to move. I love sitting in my desk area with a tidy workspace. I feel fresh, motivated, and ready to tackle a project. It feels like you’re reseting your day when you take a few minutes to get organized.
Describe your feelings
This is a unique one that you might not have heard. I heard about it on Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School podcast. You tap into your feelings one by one and describe where you feel it and what it feels like. It can help to label your feelings, so you feel more connected with your emotions.
Write down everything you’re grateful for
We talk about gratitude quite a bit here and for good reason. Thinking about what you appreciate makes you less likely to need expectations. Write it down. Every single thing you can think of that you’re grateful for in 60 seconds. I promise that you’ll struggle to stay in a bad mood when you have so much to be thankful for.
Do one productive thing
A productive thing that is fun to you. What will make you feel accomplished when you’re finished but also feels like a reward? For instance, maybe you’ve been meaning to finish your book or write a letter to your friend, do that thing. You’ll feel lighter once you do something that makes you feel efficient.
Whether or not you can turn your bad day around, you can always find comfort in the fact that tomorrow is a new day. Start fresh with the perspective that one bad day doesn’t define the next day.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re having a bad day?