No one enjoys having a bad day. When things start going wrong, it’s hard to know what to do, or how to make things better. When you are struggling to keep a bad situation positive, not knowing what to do can be frustrating, which can make your already bad day seem even worse.
Here are seven simple ways you can turn a bad day around and plan for a much better day tomorrow.
1. Treat yourself
You have had an awful day. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Other people messed up. You messed up. No one listened to you even though you knew you were right all along. You might want to take your disappointment and frustration out on someone or something, but you are much better off giving yourself time to recover and recharge.
Go see a movie. Give yourself the entire night off just to sit on the couch in your pajamas and eat ice cream. Do something that makes you happy, even if it is not productive or free. Sometimes we have rough days, and the outcome is out of our control. You deserve a little bit of time to relax and mentally and physically prepare for a better day tomorrow.
2. Do something nice for someone else
When you are having a particularly rough day, one way you might be able to turn it around is taking the focus off of you and your problems and instead shifting your focus onto someone else. Doing something nice for another person might actually even be able to improve your happiness both in the short and long term.
It can be something as simple as holding a door open for someone or giving up your seat on the train. Buy someone lunch or offer to take them out for coffee. Kindness has the potential to not only turn someone else’s day around, but your day as well. Someone else might be having a bad day, too; you already know how they might be feeling. Be the positive energy you feel like you need right now.
3. Use positive affirmations
When we are having a very bad day, negative thoughts are much more likely to find their way into our heads and make things seem much worse than they actually are. Our ability to perceive things in a much more positive light depends on our attitude, and one way to improve this kind of perception is by using continuous positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations can help you turn a gloomy day into a much brighter one. Something as simple as whispering “I can get through this” under your breath as you head back to the office after your lunch break can be enough to actually help you get through it much more easily than you would have otherwise.
4. Reflect on your favorite memory
When upsetting things happen to us, it becomes much easier to retrieve the most negative memories we have stored in our brains. One negative experience can trigger thoughts of similar past experiences and make you feel even worse. One way to solve this problem is to, instead, focus on happy memories.
Instead of letting your worst memories get the best of you, take some time to write down or even just sit and think about a few of your favorite memories. Let them play back in your mind; close your eyes and picture them. This will help remind you that things may seem bad now, but they have been better before, and will be again soon.
5. Plan something you can look forward to
Bad days are often the longest days. Sometimes all we have to look forward to is a glass of wine and finally getting to go to bed tonight. Short term planning to help you feel better works, temporarily, but you can also take things a step further and plan something for the not so near future.
Plan a day trip somewhere you haven’t been in awhile. Make plans to have breakfast or coffee with a long time friend. Or you can even start to plan an even bigger event or vacation to give yourself something to look forward to, especially on a bad day when you can’t imagine things getting any worse than they already have.
6. Read a few inspirational quotes or passages
Sometimes listening to or hearing the words of others makes us feel better even on our worst days. If today has just been exceptionally unbearable, try to find quotes, sayings or passages that put into words how you are feeling right now.
Inspirational quotes or passages may not work for everyone every single time, but it’s worth a try; they may really help you put a positive spin on the seemingly negative events you have experienced today. Having something in front of you to remind you of why you have to endure this awful day will help you get through it.
7. Spend time with someone who makes you feel happy
When you are having a bad day, sometimes all you want to do is be alone. This might work for a little while, but the much more effective solution, in the long run, would be to spend time with someone who makes you happy. A friend, significant other or family member may not know how to fix what’s wrong, but they can help you feel better.
You do not have to even talk about the specific events of your day or what has been upsetting you so much lately. Sometimes even just sitting in the same room as someone you like being around, watching a TV show together or going out and doing something fun to take your mind off of the bad day you’ve had is enough to cure your case of the blues, at least temporarily.
Always remember that a bad day today does not make tomorrow bad; tomorrow hasn’t even happened yet. Hang in there. Whisper a few affirmations, get comfortable, phone a friend and stay strong. Things will get better.