Bad days are inevitable. I’m sorry to be the bearer of such news, but it’s true. Regardless of who you are, you’re still going to get them from time to time. I don’t know about you, but I find that oddly comforting. To think that we all have this in common makes me feel less alone.
The good news is, is that these bad days aren’t permanent. Like with anything in this world, these things are temporary and will eventually pass. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do to help turn things around.
Before you play Daniel Powter’s ‘Bad Day’ on repeat yet again, here’s 10 steps that helps me when I’m dealing with a bad one:
- Breathe – If there’s one thing from this list that you must absolutely remember, I’d say it would be this one. Breathe in. Breathe out. Take deep breaths. Breathe through it. Repeat as necessary. I find that the exercise of simply reminding myself to breathe in and out is quite grounding and reminds me to be more mindful and present in the moment.
- Journal – Write it all down! It doesn’t have to be good writing, it doesn’t even have to make sense or be coherent sentences. As long as you write it down and get your thoughts out, I can almost guarantee the relief you’re going to feel after. The great thing about keeping a journal is that they’re for your eyes only – share your deepest thoughts, your fears and hopes and dreams in it – it’s so freeing to have a place where you can keep all that! So record the bad days and be done with it. Plus a few years down the track when you come across an old journal, it’s always nice to read back old thoughts and reflect on the past!
- Get some sleep – I feel like this requires no further explanation because everyone loves a good sleep. But what better excuse to jump into bed early than a not so great day? So hop into those PJs, my friend, and let the power of sleep heal you. The morning is a fresh start, and even if all your problems still won’t be resolved, you’ll be in a better headspace after some rest and will have better perspective!
- Treat yourself – to me this is synonymous to being extra kind to yourself. Treats don’t necessarily mean spending money on things either – you can treat yourself to an extra cup of hot chocolate, or maybe you’ll use that nice lotion that you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Go on, treat yourself. This is your permission slip to do just that.
- Talk to a friend – human interaction IRL is still the best, but one of the great things about living in 2018 is that we have such amazing advancement in technologies nowadays that the people we love are usually just a message away no matter where they are in the world! Check in with a friend, tell them how you’re feeling, and if you’re hanging out IRL, get those hugs in!
- Have a warm shower – Baths are nice and all, but personally I find that when I’m having one of those days, the last thing I want is to be in a bath alone with my thoughts with no distractions. So I light some candles and take a warm shower instead. There’s something about water hitting your skin and feeling like it’s cleansing you of everything, especially on a bad day.
- Watch an episode or two of your favourite show – Or binge, by all means. If shows aren’t your thing, how about a favourite movie instead? Whatever you decide to go with, there’s nothing wrong with tuning out for a couple of hours and losing ourselves in another world when ours aren’t looking as peachy as we’d like.
- Go to your happy place if you can – We all have our own happy places. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy too, I know people who find being in their own room was their happy place, and others like going to their favourite local café for a cuppa or two. I have a lot of happy places that’s scattered near my house and near my workplace so I feel like there’s always somewhere I can go to. One of my favourite ones is a bookstore that’s open late at night. I love spending hours just browsing and finding comfort in words. I always leave the shop feeling comforted and a little bit better.
- Move your body – Yeah, yeah. I’m gonna save you from the ‘endorphins make you happy’ speech and instead just focus on moving your body. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, it doesn’t have to be exercise or a full blown gym session (I mean, if that’s your jam and it makes you happy then you should definitely go for it!), I’m just saying to move your body. Crank out your fave upbeat song, sway to the music a bit, bob your head or hum along. Just move! Notice how your body feels, how your toes wiggle, or how your head feels when you move along to the rhythm. That’s a nice reminder that you’re alive and can shake off these bad days.
- Cry – We’re all human here! Sometimes that’s all that’s left to do. Notice how you usually feel better after a big cry? That’s because crying is a great way of releasing emotion. So cry away! I tend to listen to sad songs or watch sad movies to trigger the waterworks and it feels great to get it all out! Just remember to drink heaps of water after.
If all else fails, just remember that this too shall pass. One day you’ll be able to see the big picture and see why things happened the way they did, and I hope that thought comforts you and helps you get through it.
You have survived all your bad days so far. That’s a 100% success rate! Go you! Hang in there. You are never on your own.