Overcoming a Bad Day

Defeat is in your mind. Resilience is in your soul. 
~ Keri Murphy

There are different degrees as to how bad a day can be.  However, if you are alive and reading this article, then there is still something to be salvaged from the day.  Here are the things I do when I’m faced with a challenging day:

Get perspective.  Think about how bad things are in relation to the big scheme of things.  There is no doubt that you may be going through a tough time right now.  However, you can choose to deal with what is happening right now, in this moment.  

Don’t anticipate how bad things will be tomorrow, or how awful things were yesterday.  Simply deal with what you need to deal with right now.  

If you can’t act right now, then write down a plan of what you intend to do.   If there is no immediate action that needs to be taken right now, then let the anxiety go and don’t worry about it.  Continue moving forward and enjoy your life.

Take stock of things that are not so bad in your life and be grateful for them.  Some people make gratitude boards, some people write these things down.  Be grateful for the things that are not bad in your life.  

If you get on a role, think about the things that are going good in your life.  Even better, think about the things that are going great in your life.  

Do you have a  roof over your head?  Are you starving?  Are you in relatively good health?  Do you love someone?  Are you breathing?...Then savor a nice deep breath and be grateful for these are wonderful things.   

Consider that there are people out there that would love to be living your life.  Don’t take these things for granted.

Talk to someone.  If you think you will feel better by talking to someone, choose a friend, relative or trusted advisor that can give you objective advice.  

Some work organizations offer Employee Assistance Plans where you can have private counselling to talk with a confidential counsellor who may be able to help you with some coping strategies. 

Be careful when you decide to talk it out.  Getting a situation off your chest can be good, but on the down side, sometimes discussing a stressful matter or event over and over causes unnecessary re-living of an event that you could have otherwise been able to put behind you and start the healing process already.

Write in a journal as an alternative to talking to someone.  If you don’t want to share a sensitive situation with others, then try writing about it.  I use this strategy all the time.  I found it to be so much more effective than dragging my husband, relatives or friends into hearing my problems.

I find journaling to be a great outlet because I can say what I want to say, the way I want to say it.  I can be angry as I want or as emotional as I want and nobody is going to judge me.  Once everything is off my chest I can put the journal away; and if I want, return to it later.

Once I gain perspective I can return to the journal and think about if there is anything I should do.  Often times, answers are clearer when I am not emotional.  Sometimes things work themselves out by themselves and don’t require any action.

Journaling also helps me spot patterns in my own or other’s behaviour that I can be aware of.  Becoming more aware of mine and other’s behavioural tendencies helps me to be more sensitive and understanding towards others.

Write back to yourself.  Once you have gotten a bad day of your chest you can give yourself advice.  Put yourself in on the other side as if you were giving advice back to a friend.  

Would you take your own advice?  The benefit of this is you become more reflective and better at working out tough situations without assistance.

Do something you enjoy.  Perhaps your bad day doesn’t require any sort of follow up action.  If you simply need a little jolt to get you out of a rut, go visit a friend or someone whose company you enjoy.  Go to the library and pick up a book where you can engulf yourself in a good story.  Grab a magazine and savour the pictures and articles.  Watch an old movie and soak your feet. 

Forgive and accept.  If the day is over and there isn’t much more you can do to fix a situation, let it lie.  Try forgiving the person or situation that got you feeling bad, accept that sometimes things don’t go well and move on.

Exercise or do yoga.  If you find you are experiencing more bad days than good ones, consider taking up an activity that allows you to release some of your stress like aerobics, dancing or yoga.  Perhaps what needs to change is how you are treating yourself and your body.

When you feel good, write down why you feel good.   What I learned from my last little rut is that it’s important to write down your thoughts when you feel good.  

I write about what I am thankful for.  It makes it easier to remind myself from my very own words that things aren’t so bad; so when there’s another bad day comes along, I can look back and know I can get through it…that life is really good. 

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
~ Buddha

Share in a comment with us some of the things you do to have a better day...


  1. I think the old adage "Things could be worse" rings true for me. I've had my share of bad days, bad things, bad situations. I'm human afterall. But, those bad days put the good things into perspective for me. No matter how awful I think something is, there's always someone somewhere wishing my awful was their good. Great post. www.crystal-blake.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks Crystal! Being a mom, I'm sure you can appreciate what a really bad day feels like.


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