There’s truth to the old cliche “When it rains, it pours”. Even when it’s something small, sometimes it feels like the force of the universe is just against you. It could be a Monday, and you spill coffee on your nice white shirt that you’re wearing for a meeting… which turns out to be a bad meeting, and then you hit major traffic on your way home, making your commute an hour and a half, even though you only live ten miles away. (Disclaimer: I’m from St. Louis. Our traffic isn’t Atlanta or LA bad — Sorry in advance to those who face those travel times in their everyday commute!)
For me, it’s tough to deal with a bad day. It’s much easier to lay on the couch, do nothing, and be grumpy. But, if you don’t want your bad day to keep you from a productive one, then here are ten tips that work for me.
You all know already that working out releases endorphins and endorphins are natural “happy” hormones. The easiest way to get happy is to release some endorphins. Whether you’re going for a nice long run outside to soak in some of the beauty around you, or lifting some (mad) weights (bro) in order to relieve some pent up stress, working it out is a great way to alleviate the stress of a bad day.
2. Treat Yourself.
There’s no better form of therapy than retail therapy. Okay, maybe that’s a lie, and maybe your bank can’t afford you to go on a huge shopping spree. (I know mine can’t). Treating yourself doesn’t have to be through shopping though. Sometimes I like a glass of red wine or a beer on a bad day. Other times, I just want to paint my nails and take a long hot shower. Other days, I need someone to massage my back STAT! It’s easy to treat yourself and it doesn’t have to be extravagant. You had a hard day! You deserve it!
3. Listen to good music.
Music is my drug. Literally. I’m high on music, all the time. I love every genre of music, but I just can’t help but feel uplifted when I turn on some 80’s or 90’s pop. If that’s not your jam, turn on whatever it is that makes you rock out, and listen to that. Turn it up loud — or as loud as your ears will take it, close your eyes, and just let the music take you away!
Deep breathing eliminates toxins… Both physically and metaphorically. Ever get so caught up in your anger or negative emotions that you just want to scream? You just want to rant? You want to tell everyone about how the world wronged you today? Well, if you take just five minutes to close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths, not only are you eliminating some of the body’s wastes, but it helps you focus on other things besides the “toxins” in your day. Sometimes, if you take a few deep breaths, it can go a long way in calming your mood.
Sometimes, there’s just no way around it. Let it all out through some tears. I have been known to say “you should cry at least once a day.” Maybe once a day is too much for you. Heck, it’s even too much for me — but I really do at least well up once every day. Whether it’s a sad story, happy story, or one of those GD soldiers coming home videos… I get emotional. And I express it through tears. Sometimes it’s the only way you can express your frustrations. As long as you’re not crying too hard (because that just causes headaches and stuffy noses), you sometimes feel a lot better after you do.
6. Talk it out.
It’s nice to get another person’s perspective. Maybe that person will set you straight and you will realize the small things that are making your day terrible really aren’t that bad. Or maybe the person will just let you babble on and listen. Or perhaps, the person engages in a conversation with you about how much it sucks, but gives a motivational speech on how tomorrow will be a better day. All can be tremendously helpful. What are friends for if not to vent to every once in a while?
7. Write it out.
I love to journal, write, blog, etc… Hence the fact that I’m writing to you tonight. Sometimes writing is the best form of therapy to me. I’m a much better writer than I am speaker. (I say like and literally way too often.) It’s really nice to think about what I want to say, write it down, revise it, tweak it, or just vent all of my feelings into something private that only I can see… or if I choose, something I can share with the world. That’s the beautiful (and scary) thing about writing.
There are actual studies that have been conducted that say forcing yourself to smile will actually boost your mood. Can you believe that? Something might not be funny. Something might not be smile-worthy. But if you make yourself smile, then you can immediately boost your mood.
9. Do something kind for someone else.
I know the last thing you want to do is something for someone else when you’re having a bad day. Most bad days, I want everyone to do something for me. Just think though, have you ever done anything really kind for someone? How did it make them feel? How did it make you feel? Sure, there’s a little self-fulfilling prophecy here, but you’re killing two birds with one stone. You’re making yourself feel better, and you’re making someone else’s day better. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
Literally. Count them. Take out a piece of paper. Count the things you’re grateful for. When you get to ten, go to 100. When you get to 100, go to 1,000. There’s a million things we should be grateful for every single day. One bad day filled with all of the things we’re not grateful for shouldn’t let us forget about all of the things we have.
What do you do when you have a bad day? Any routines? Anything you do to try and restore the positivity in your life? Some of these things are easier said than done, and sometimes they just don’t seem to help all that much. Most times, though, I find that at least one of these “tips” will help make my bad day to an okay day.
I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!
I’m going to Bonnaroo again this year, so you’re going to see hippy-Bonnie for the next 4 months. Peace & Love, dudes.