Bad days are apart of everyone’s life. Some days something happens that puts you in a bad mood, and other days just have an “off” feeling. For me, if I am upset about something, big or small, it’s easy for me to ruin my entire day. Sitting around and being upset is okay sometimes. We all need days to watch some TV, get a little extra sleep and tap into our emotions to find out why we are feeling a certain way. This practice is often known as “self care”. Self care is the “practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular, during periods of stress”. In any stage of life, it is vital to learn how to take care of yourself physically, socially, and emotionally. Everyone has different ways of practicing self care and often, it is depicted as soaking in a bubble bath or reading a book. Still, there are other ways to take care of yourself, and one of these is pinpointing reasons behind a bad mood/day and knowing how to help yourself.
I remember a particularly bad day I was having last year. Something had happened in my life that made me feel upset and hopeless and I spent the entire day in bed. Somehow, in the moment, it always feels like closing yourself off and feeling sorry for yourself is what’s going to make you feel better. Thankfully, I live with my parents who know when I am feeling down and always help to drag me out of it and find a logical solution to whatever problem I’m having. It’s important for me to remember though, that I will not always have someone there for me, so I need to learn how to get myself out of a rut and change my mindset so I can live the life I want to. The earlier you come up with your personal needs and comforts, the easier it will be in later stages of life, when more difficult situations arise. Around the same time I had this bad day last year, I created my own personal list of “ways to over overcome a bad day”. Here, I am going to narrow it down to just five things you can do to turn around one of these days. Of course, this is just me and you may need to create your own list, but I hope this gives you some inspiration.
- LET YOUR FEELINGS OUT: The first step in turning around a bad day, is to figure out why you are having a bad day. Did somebody say something to you? Are you disappointed about something? What is making you feel down? Once you identify this, you have to let it go. Most of the time, people keep emotions inside. It’s hard to express how you are really feeling because people might “not get it” or it may just make you feel worse. But, bottling up emotions often times will lead to an explosion later, and you may do or say something you will regret. Instead, the minute you recognize negative feelings, take the initiative to let them go. If you have someone you trust, you can talk to them or, in my case, I sometimes find it difficult to put my feelings into words, so I prefer to write them. If this is the case for you too, you may find keeping a journal to be helpful (I plan on writing a post about this in the future so stay tuned for that). Other ways to let out emotions that you may prefer are through music, art or even sports.
- TREAT YOURSELF: A lot of the time, bad days don’t come out of one specific event, but rather the events going on around you that may cause stress or anxiety. This is where the “self care” ideal comes into play. Find what makes you feel relaxed and uplifts your mood. I like to take a warm shower, change into comfy clothes, and watch a movie or read my book. You can also bake or cook something you enjoy, ask a friend to come over, listen to some cheerful music or buy yourself a present. Do whatever makes you feel special, because I promise…you are!
- TAKE IN THE RIGHT MEDIA: I have already discussed how watching a movie or listening to music can make you feel better, but this is all dependent on what type of movie/music you decided to take in. When you listen to sad music or watch a depressing movie, you are just wallowing in the bad day. It’s a natural instinct to want to exaggerate whatever emotion we are feeling, however, in order to make yourself feel better, you have to take in media that is going to be good for your mental and emotional state. This doesn’t only take into account movies and music though, the main source of media I am talking about, is social media. If you are feeling down, going through other’s social media accounts can make you feel even worse about yourself. In my opinion, unless you are going to specifically positive social media accounts, it’s best to stay off of social media if you can.
- CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT: Schedule keeps many of us sane, I know it does so for me. In some ways though, schedules can also make life seem monotonous and put you in a negative mindset. In any part of life, it’s always good to change your perspective and look at things in a different way. So, get out of your room, house, city…and so on. If you’ve spent your day in bed, try going outside for a walk, sunshine and fresh air always helps. On the other hand, if you have been going through your normal routine, but are still having a bad day, try doing something you don’t normally do. Dress up and go out for dinner with your family, Make a trip to the beach and go into the water, even just going to your local park with a friend and kicking around a ball. Whatever it is, it will give you perspective and show you that there are so many beautiful parts of life to enjoy.
- DISTRACT YOURSELF: If all else fails, distraction will prevail. In my experience, there are just bad days, that are bad days. Nothing I do seems to pull me out of it and everything seems to annoy me or make me sad. In these times, distraction is my best friend. Try repeating to yourself “today is a good day”, although you may not believe it, the positive reinforcement can’t hurt, and may help you get through your day. The fact is, you may just have to go through the motions, and do the little things that take your mind off of whatever is bothering you. So, do the little things, that add up to be big things…get enough sleep, go outside, eat healthy and comforting meals, and drink some water. In the end, just know that this bad day will pass, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
I recognize that this list of things may seem obvious to some people. But remember, this is MY list. Yours may look completely different, but the key is to know that you can always pull yourself out of a bad day, if only you know how. I hope you find a way to let go of whatever is weighing you down, because everyday is another chance to create a better life.
*PLEASE READ: Bad days are normal, and everyone has them. However, if you find yourself having a bad day almost everyday, or feeling down, anxious, apathetic, generally discontented, guilty, and/or hopeless for a majority of the time, please reach out for further help from a health care professional as you may be suffering with a mental illness*