It’s funny how when one thing goes wrong, it seems like everything else starts to go wrong as well. You sleep through your alarm, and now you’re rushing to get dressed. Of course, then you can’t find anything clean to wear, there’s no more hot water for your shower, you break a shoelace or heel, get into an argument with your parents, boyfriend or friend, forget your lunch- and all before 10 am.
Everyone has bad days. It can start off fine, and due to circumstances outside of your control (cranky parents, PMS-ing friends), slowly spiral downwards. But don’t fret, you don’t have to be stuck in this negative cycle just because the day starts to go south. You can pull yourself out of a funk and turn around a bad day by taking a few moments to take care of yourself and by changing how you’re thinking. It’s amazing how quickly things start trending upward the minute you take time to focus on the positive. Instead of thinking about how you’ve been wronged and how there’s nothing you can do about it, take a step back and realize that accidents happen, other people have bad days too, and try not to take it personally.
Then do one (or all of the following) to cheer yourself up and put yourself in a better headspace to improve your day.
Go for walk.
One of the easiest things to do to take a break from a bad day and clear your head is to go for a walk. Sometimes physically removing yourself from a negative situation can help you think through the problem. Additionally, exercise of any sort- even a slow stroll- helps release “happy” neurotransmitters which will definitely boost your mood. If you can, take the walk outside, as natural surroundings can help you relax more and calm down.
Sometimes we all need to escape the stresses of the day and take some relaxing time for ourselves. Try going to a spa and treating yourself to a facial or pedicure, giving yourself a little time to just relax and enjoy your alone time can help give you a new outlook on the day. Also, try a relaxing massage to help get the stress of the day out of your system. Many spas offer specialty massages such as aromatherapy massages that can help elevate your mood.
Yoga is renowned for being a mood-booster and can help you feel better about a bad day, possibly giving you the opportunity to view the situation with a new perspective.
If you don’t have the opportunity (or space) to be active, you can try meditation for the same calming and mood-enhancing effects as yoga. Find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted and seat yourself in a comfortable position. Try to clear your mind of all thoughts by focusing on your breathing. In fact, just practicing deep breathing (without the full meditative state) can help calm your stress response.
Meditation also has long-term benefits as well- consistent practice of meditation can help you handle bad days better as you’ll have had more practice with training your thoughts, so that you can move them in a more positive direction.
While we’re not advocating a full-on pig out on junk food, a few small squares of dark chocolate can help make you feel a little better thanks to phenylalanine, which enhances the production of neurotransmitters that help you feel happy. Don’t like chocolate? Try turkey, banana, or popcorn instead- they’re all considered to be mood-boosters.
Spend some time with an animal (or watching animal videos).
Petting animals can be very relaxing- so spend some quality time loving your dog or cat. In fact, some hospitals and hospices encourage pet therapy because of its ability to heal and soothe patients in pain. The next time you’re suffering from a bad day, take some time to make you and Fido have a better day by spending some time together.
Don’t have a pet or are allergic to most animals? Looking at pictures or watching videos of cute animals can give you a similar boost in mood- and improve your productivity, which can help you feel more empowered and in control.
You don’t have to let a bad day run its course- take charge of your negative feelings and turn them around with a few simple actions- and have a good day instead!
Gwen Eve Lewis is a freelance writer and has contributed to several health and beauty blogs. She always finds a way to make a bad day better with these tips and encourages girls to keep a positive attitude all day long.