What a coincidence to be writing my tips on getting though a bad day while I’m sitting in bed in my pyjamas at three in the afternoon having a very, very bad day. One minute I feel furious with anyone who looks at me; the next minute I’m crying my eyes out for no reason at all. And all I can think about is chocolate and pizza!
I can’t say that it’s one particular thing that has caused me to be in such a grumpy mood but today was just one of those days where you wake up and know that everything and everyone is going to be working your last nerve. I’ve had more than my fair share of bad days this past year and I’ve come up with a list of tips that sometimes help me to get through days like today when the world just feels a little bit more gloomy than normal. Generally there is at least one thing on this list that helps me feel better so I hope that you find this information useful and that these tips help you to shoo away the dark clouds and get through a blue day in one piece.
A little disclaimer: if you seem to be having more blue days than normal or feel like you aren’t coping with life in general, please be kind to yourself and see your doctor. These tips are designed to get you through a rough day but if it’s more than just the odd bad day, there might be something that your doctor can recommend to help you in the long run.
Start the day right
Some days you wake up and just know that it’s going to be a tough day. You might be under a lot of stress with work commitments, having some personal difficulties or it might just be a hormonal time of the month. If you know that you’re going to be in struggletown, start the day of the best way you can. Take your vitamins. Have a decent breakfast. Clear your mind by sitting outside for a few minutes or going for a quick walk if you have time. I have a substantial drive to get to work in the morning and so I find that using that time to listen to some positive podcasts, praying and thinking about the good things in my life generally sets my mind right for the coming day.
This is absolutely the last thing I feel like doing when I’m having a grumpy day but if I can find the energy to drag myself to the gym, even if it’s only for a thirty-minute work-out, I generally do feel a little bit better. Exercise is amazing for your mental health and produces ‘feel good’ endorphins in your brain, which have been proved to have mood-lifting properties. Even if I don’t feel better after a work-out though, it still helps me not feel as guilt when I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s later on while I watch Bridget Jones’s Diary.
On days when you’re feeling particularly sensitive or vulnerable, avoid negativity wherever you can. I’m a big fan of social media and I love to spend hours on youtube, facebook and instagram but on days when I’m feeling a bit on the teary side, I stay offline whenever I can. Looking at photos of people who seem to have their lives so much more together than you is the absolute worst thing you can do for your state of mind and you definitely don’t want to be dealing with any online negativity when you’re already feeling down in the dumps.
Limit contact with people in your life who affect you negatively. Try to avoid people at work who rub you the wrong way and postpone meetings with friends if you know they are likely to be emotionally draining. I find that when I’m having a bad day, my tolerance levels for people who are overly critical, rude or abrasive is not very high and I’m more likely to say something in response that I will later on regret.
If you’re at work, plan something really delicious to have for dinner when you get home, dessert included! In your lunch hour, treat yourself to a foot massage at a nearby salon or buy yourself something lovely that you’ve had your eye on. When you get home, run yourself a bubble bath, light some candles and spend the evening relaxing and pampering yourself. And above all, do not feel guilty about doing any of this!
Count your blessings
This is something that is really simple to do and makes the world of difference. I started a daily gratitude photo project a few years ago and it really helped me to remember how good my life was because each day I was forced to think of something that I was grateful for. Sitting down and writing a list of things you are grateful for in your life can really help to improve your mindset because it puts things into perspective and reminds you that however bad this day is, there are better days ahead.
De-clutter your life
This is obviously not something that can be done in a day or necessarily something that you feel like doing when you’re having a bad one. When I’m having a particularly awful day, everything else in my life that is unfinished or messy or overdue seems to feel twice as bothersome. The pile of dirty laundry that I have let accumulate for weeks feels unbearable. All the unpaid bills and unanswered emails and admin work I have put off doing feel crushing in their urgency. On the odd occasion that I do have a giant meltdown, it’s rarely something massive that is the cause but instead a build-up of many little things that I’ve allowed to pile up and overwhelm.
Be kind to yourself
As good as it is to be proactive about a bad mood, sometimes all I need is a really good wallow to make myself feel better. I have some amazing people in my life who do their best to cheer me up when I’m feeling down and try to get me out of the house to try and make me feel better. As lovely as this is, I know myself and I know that sometimes what I need to do to feel better is to be by myself, watch something indulgent and frivolous on TV and eat a lot of chocolate. This is the opposite of what everyone tells you to do on a bad day but if it works for you then by all means do it. Just be careful that this doesn’t turn into a habit as it’s very easy to isolate yourself from the people who care about you when you’re feeling down. This tip is great for a day but not something that is a good idea in the long run.
I hope you find this post helpful and if you are reading this and having an awful day, please keep in mind that this is just one day out of many. There are brighter days on the way and whatever is happening in your life right now to make you feel this way, just remember – this too shall pass.