We’ve all had them. Bad days.
The kind of day where you sleep through your alarm, stub your toe rushing to get ready, and hit every red light on your way to work. It’s all downhill from there.
It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that.
So, you’re having a bad day, but can you turn it around? Is it even possible? Most days, I like to think so.
Here are 5 things to try when you’re having a bad day.
- Put yourself on a time out. Time outs are not just for the two year olds. Sometimes, even we need to take a time out. Remove yourself from the situation, step outside, or if you have kids like me, hide in the bathroom for couple of minutes. If you can’t just bolt from your car or a disastrous meeting, try breathing. In and out. Just breathe. We do it all day without thinking about it, but when you shift your focus to each breath you can lower stress, lower your blood pressure, and relieve anxiety. Try this simple breathing exercise. Take a deep breath in, counting to four. Hold that breath as you count to seven. Exhale for for eight counts, and then repeat.
- Express gratitude. I know when you’re having a really bad, down right shitty day, it’s easy to forget all of the good things you have going for you. When you take a second to acknowledge what you’re grateful for it changes your perspective. Try writing down three things you are thankful for that day. If you can’t write it down at the moment, say them out loud. Spilled your coffee? Express gratitude for being able to buy that coffee or that white shirt that you spilled on. (Because, if you wear a white shirt, you WILL spill your coffee on it. It’s science.)
- Laugh. I have a couple of memories I hold onto that always bring a smile to my face. Moments, that when I think about that, I can’t help but laugh. If those don’t work I turn to the humor feed on Pinterest or watch a quick video on YouTube. Maybe you have a favorite comedy that does the trick. Whatever source makes you laugh, find it and use it. Also, don’t forget to laugh at yourself. Laugh at the situation.
- Take a na
p. If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, go back to bed and take a nap. I know we don’t all have the luxury of taking a nap whenever we want, but sometimes it’s just what we need. Works for my kids ever time, usually saving my sanity and theirs. If you do get the chance to snooze away the day’s problems, the amount of time you spend asleep may be important.
Try sticking to either a 10 minute power nap, or a 90 minute nap that allows you to get a full cycle of sleep.
Pull on that eye mask and wake up ready to conquer the rest of the day.
- Remember, there is only 24 hours in a day. Your bad day will come to an end. It feels never ending when you’re stuck in the midst of problems, and you might even have more than one bad day in a row. That’s ok. You will survive and make through to the other side. I promise. Do what you need to do in order to take care of yourself and stop feeling guilty about it. Drown yourself in a bowl of ice cream or call a trusted friend that will let you vent if that’s what you need. Think about what lessons you could learn from your day and add them to your gratitude list.
There is a saying in Tibetan, “Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.
– Dalai Lama XIV
What do you do to turn around a bad day? Do any of these tricks work for you?
Leave a comment or share your favorite tip with me using the hashtag #wildforawhile on Twitter or Instagram.
Use my gratitude printable the next time you have a bad day. Download it here.