Bad days: the universal phenomenon where one thing after another goes wrong and it seems like the world is against you. Maybe it starts off with something small, like spilling your coffee or getting stuck in traffic. Maybe you receive some bad news, you get into an argument with a friend, or you just can’t seem to get to the bottom of your workload. Your irritation and a general feeling of suckiness only seem to amplify as the day goes on. However, fear not- no matter what time it is, it’s not too late to turn your day around!
There is definitely no shortage of possible causes to a bad day. However, finding a solution to alleviate your bad mood can be difficult. It is much easier to let yourself ruminate in your bad mood, complain about everything bad that happened, or even take your mood out on others. In my experience, examining the main cause of your bad mood is the fastest and most effective way to snap out of it. Taking small steps to solve the problems that are weighing you down is the only way you can progress. So, with that in mind, here are five things you can try to turn a bad day into a good day, or, let’s be realistic here, at least a mediocre one.
Self-care has become quite a buzzword these days. It has many connotations ranging from deluxe baths to scented candles to… other things. But with how much self-care been “Tumblr-fied” recently, it’s easy to forget the actual importance of it. Not to mention the fact that in reality, it probably won’t be very aesthetically pleasing. To me, self-care means doing something, even just the smallest thing, that you know will make yourself feel better on a bad day. Taking a shower, cleaning your room, and drinking water are all obvious ones. But maybe it also includes going for a walk, responding to messages, or petting your dog. Maybe you’ve had a bunch of fleeting thoughts about these small things, like “I should water my plants” or “my floor could use cleaning” that you’ve pushed aside to deal with more pressing matters. Letting these build up is not healthy and bound to put you in a bad mood. If you’re having a bad day, or even if you aren’t, take half an hour and just do some of these small things. Take care of yourself because you’re the only you you’ll get!
2. Be Productive
Yikes, I hate to be a downer already. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear if you’re reading this list. But like I said above, one of the best ways to turn your day around is to do some self-reflection and find one or two main reasons why your mood isn’t the greatest. For me, and a lot of other creative types, not getting work done or not feeling inspired is a one-way ticket to a bad day, with all-expenses-paid guilt and self-doubt! So, if this is you, the best way out of this seemingly bottomless pit of anti-productivity is to just do something. If you have a big project that’s getting on your nerves, trick yourself into working on it by doing small sections at a time. If struggling to create is sending you into a downward spiral, my advice to you is to get something out. Write a few sentences, do a rough drawing, practice a new song no matter how bad it sounds. You might hate it, it might be objectively bad (hey, I’m not trying to sugarcoat things here), but the only way out of these creative blocks is through them. It takes heaps of mediocre work and uninspired days for an amazing outcome to eventually surface.
3. …Or Not
I get it, sometimes being productive simply isn’t in the cards for your day. If you’re at the point where you can just feel that you won’t get any work done, it’s perfectly fine to accept that too. Again, examining the cause of your bad day can help you decide whether or not to push yourself to be productive. If you’re exhausted, had a stressful day, or if you feel overworked, then there’s a very high possibility that forcing yourself to do more work will only majorly worsen your mood. And I understand that unfortunately, some people are in the position where they simply have to do more work even when they feel this way. If this is you, I commend you, and stay strong! However, if you do have the option to not work and you’re feeling burned out, it’s ok to take it. Do something that will help you unwind and take your mind off the steaming garbage heap of a day you just had. Binge a show, put on your favourite playlist, go for a walk, bake cookies, or read a book you’ve been neglecting. One rule for this: do it without guilt or shame for not working! I promise you, the world will keep on turning. This may be exactly what you need to ensure you have a better day tomorrow.
4. Get Out of Your Own Head
Like #2, this is a bit of a tough love solution. This obviously doesn’t apply to everyone or every situation, but often, bad days are either caused or worsened by only being concerned about your own little bubble. On frustrating days it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything that’s gone wrong and just stew in your own misery. You may not even fully take in the good things that do happen! But by taking a step back and looking at the situation from a different perspective, you may realize things aren’t as bad as you thought they were. One easy way to do this is by talking about it with a friend or family member. Just getting it off your chest and hearing someone else’s opinion on whatever is bothering you can drastically change your mood. Remember the big picture, or remind yourself of something you’ve been looking forward to. Or even better, take a minute to stop and really think about all of the wonderful things you have going for you. At the end of a bad day, you likely have food, water, a bed to sleep in, a loved one you can confide in, and most importantly, an Internet connection! But so many people don’t even have those things at the end of their bad days. Everyone’s struggles are valid, but taking time to be grateful and put your bad day in perspective can change your mood pretty quickly.
5. Accept It & Move On
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can’t make like Taylor Swift and shake it off. Bad moods are notorious for their ability to linger, so don’t beat yourself up about it. If you’ve made an effort to try to improve your mood and it just isn’t working, that’s completely fine. It’s important to let yourself experience negative emotions and unshakeable bad days are simply inevitable. So accept the fact that you’ve had a bad day and just let yourself feel all the negative emotions. Cry, scream into a pillow, write angry journal entries- whatever works for you. If you’ve let it all out, chances are you’ll feel a little bit better. The most important thing to remember is that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start. You have the perfect opportunity to put your bad day behind you and move on with your life. This tip is actually inspired by one of my all-time favourite quotes, which happens to come from the twenty one pilots song “Truce”. So remember:
The sun will rise, and we will try again.
As you may have guessed, this post was inspired by real-life events! Yay! But for real, I actually used a few of these tips today. While my day still wasn’t the best, I feel a bit better and ready to try again tomorrow, and that’s really all that matters. I hope at least one of these tips was able to help you out if you’ve had a bad day as well. If you haven’t, lucky you! I hate to break it to you, but you’re gonna have one eventually. So come back here when you do!
Do you have any tips for turning a bad day around? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Fuzzable.