We might not be able to stop bad days from coming, but there are things we can do to make a bad day better.
We can take action to make a bad day better
No matter how positive we are or how productive we are, everybody has a bad day sometimes. Recently I had one of those days, which got me thinking about what we can do to turn a bad day into a better day. In this episode, I share ideas and resources I researched as well as some wonderful ideas the women of the TPW Facebook group shared with me.
What makes a day bad?
I want to be clear that I'm not talking here about a true crisis such as a death in the family, major illness, natural disaster, 0r job loss. Although many of the ideas we’ll discuss will help in a situation like that, these are more complicated than what I talk about in this episode.
A bad day, as we discuss in this episode, might be a physically bad day–perhaps you don't feel well, or you are sore or exhausted–or an emotionally bad day–perhaps you feel sad or down (whether or not because of some event or situation you can identify), or feel shame because of something you did (or think you did), or you may be annoyed or crabby.
How to make the day better
If the bad day is a result of a mistake we've made or a problem we've caused, we can often make the day better by finding a solution to set things right (rather than just dwelling on our mistake) and creating a system to prevent mistakes from happening again.
Sometimes we need to simply push through. We can’t always just check out when the day is bad since children still need to be cared for, our job still needs to be done.
Often what's needed to make the day better is to change our mindset. As a starting point, we can remember to focus on the things we can control:
- Our attitude
- Our thoughts
- Our behavior
- Our reactions
- Our words
Several members of the TPW community find it helps to take action – do something good for yourself, something productive, or something nice for someone else to shift your focus off yourself. (Natalie Eckdahl, in episode 225, mentioned this as something she does when she’s having “one of those days.”)
Consider getting outside. Even if it’s cold, bundle up and go for a walk. The writer of 11 Scientific Benefits of Being Outdoors explains the benefits of being outdoors, which include an energy boost, the effects of natural sunlight in mitigating pain or alleviating Seasonal Affective Disorder, the free aromatherapy of nature's scents, restoration of focus, and more.
Taking time for self-care, both physical and mental, can vastly improve a bad day.
- Pamper yourself – Take a bath or shower, read a light book, sleep, cuddle with your pet, drink a glass of wine.
- Sleep – When we're not rested, everything is harder to cope with. Many of the bad days we have are at least partly because we don't get enough sleep.
A key to improving a bad day is managing our own thoughts. I get a lot of help in this area by listening to Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School Podcast. Her recent episodes on modern mental health (246 & 247 ) are fabulous. Some of the keys to mental health she talks about are:
- Learn to identify the emotion and give it a name
- Know where your emotions come from. They do not from your circumstances, not from other people, but the thoughts we have about our circumstances.
- Be okay with the feeling, whatever it is. Know it’s not a sign something’s wrong with you. Accept that feelings aren’t right or wrong, they just are. And feeling bad about feeling bad just makes it worse.
Other things we can do to turn our thoughts in a more positive direction:
- Start (or add to) a list of things you’re grateful for.
- Calm yourself down – breathe, meditate, create, do yoga, pray, journal
Still more things we can do to improve a bad day:
- Talk to a friend or connect with a loved one
- Laugh – watch a funny movie or some funny videos on YouTube, talk to a friend who makes you laugh, turn on some music and have a dance party
- Keep things in perspective. Take a step back. It's not the end of the universe. Give yourself grace and get back on track the next day.
Other suggestions from the TPW community
- If you're having a bad day due to something that happened, allow yourself to feel angry or disappointed. These are valid feelings.
- Remind yourself of the good things you do have going for you such as good health, a home to take care of, people who support and love you.
- Reassess your task list or plans. Shift your priorities and give yourself more space to tackle the most important tasks.
- Take care of yourself with a glass of wine and book.
- Call a friend or family member to vent. Talking it out can help you put things into perspective.
- Get a babysitter or some takeout food. Do whatever you need to to take it easy on yourself.
What do you think?
THANK YOU to the TPW Facebook group members who gave their input for this episode!
Lucia, Jessica, Lils, Katerina, Lynda, Cristina, Heidi, Brooke, Jane, Suzanne, Elizabeth, Kelly, Rachel, Ruth, Chris, Merav, Shelly, Amber, Shaunah, Monekia, Luisa, Beth, Anna, Jen, Lucy, Shari, Emily, Theresa, Jeanna, Betsy, Alicia, Elena, Julia, Fiona, Coryne, Bailey, Elisabeth, Kori, Alyssandra, Kikki, Jennie, Fernanda, Erin, Ronnette, Abigail, Anju, Lauren, Leann
Resources and Links
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