Thursday, 22 January 2015

How to Overcome a Really Bad Day

Overcome a Bad Day Lit Nerd

I'm not going for the sympathy angle here, but I have to admit that I have an uncommon amount of bad days (I can hear violins in the distance). I work in a stressful environment, in a job I dislike, which is slowly destroying my trust in certain areas of the charitable sector. Y'know, not ideal. Given that I now consider myself an expert on coping with bad days, I thought I'd share my foolproof tips for moving on and getting over it.

Draw a line under it I used to do this metaphorically, but since I've started making a conscious effort to journal everyday it's become a physical action. There is nothing more satisfying than literally drawing a thick black line across the bottom of my notebook and knowing that it means the day is done with. It doesn't matter how rubbish it may have felt, it's done and it's time to leave all of those feelings behind.

Start each day with a smile Just because the day may devolve into a mush of frustration, anger and despair, it doesn't mean it has to start that way. Wake up, smile, sing in the shower, dance whilst brushing your teeth (carefully though, don't choke) and grab the day by it's unmentionables.

Evaluate Sometimes the cause of a bad day is entirely external and not something you can influence, but the opposite can also be true. Before blaming your unhappiness on the world around you take a minute to think about why you have had a bad day and whether it could have been avoided. If your own actions have been your downfall think of a couple of things you can do to prevent the same thing happening again. Maybe it is just a case of letting something go over your head (water off a duck's back style) instead of internalising it. This is something I am consciously working on at the moment.

Finish the day with a treat I don't necessarily mean edible treats here as that can carry it's own set of problems. I really mean spending some time at the end of the day doing something you love. I read, practise yoga, or just have an early night and listen to my favourite music as I drift off to sleep. Find something that you can use as a detoxing activity to flush out all the nastiness and start afresh.

Think of one good thing No matter how grey a day may seem there is bound to be some light shining through, even if it's just a tiny slither and pretty muted. Try to think of at least one good thing and hold on to that. It may be that your favourite song came on the radio, you had a seat on the tube, you read a really great chapter or ate an apple that had the perfect balance of crunchy-tangyness (you know the ones I mean). Start by thinking of one thing and others will follow.

How do you pick yourself up after a bad day?



  1. I've been advised to do that before too, to create a notebook where every day I write down three nice things that happened that day. Tiny, tiny things. Petted the cat. Watched an episode of my favourite sitcom. Saw a really pretty sunset. It kind of forces you to think about HAPPY things, just for a few minutes, and to realise that no matter how dark the day there's always something good in there somewhere.


  2. Some great advice, thank you! :-)

    I like to try and write a little sentence about the day after it's done, and you often find you're able to write something positive.

  3. Ellie! D'you know it always makes me smile when you comment.

    It helps me remember that even when nothing huge happens, there is still something to be happy about. The small things add up :)


  4. Thank you, Sinead!

    It's such a good habit to have as I think it's so important to keep track of the little things :)

  5. Excellent advice. One thing that helps for me personally is also taking a walk. I don't know why but all the thoughts seem to straighten up a bit when I go for a walk. (Probably works for running too - you would know!) I hardly come back in a foul mood. :)

  6. I hadn't even thought of that! Thanks :D Running does do it for me, but I guess I don't consciously think about it at the time because I'm generally running for the love of it anyway.


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