We’ve all been there. For reasons outside of your control, your day is quickly going downhill. Whether it’s an argument with a partner, a minor crisis at the office, a bad night’s sleep, or just an ordinary case of the blues, the day isn’t going well.
Having a bad incident (or two) happen during your day isn’t necessary a problem in and of itself. The problem arises when your bad day effects every other part of your day. It’s a downward spiral that means that oftentimes, you can never really catch up, put the negative part of your day in the past, and move on with a positive, upbeat attitude.
With a little bit of effort, and a small shift in your mindset, you can easily turn your bad day around. If you’re in the middle of one now, or you’re just stocking your arsenal in preparation of your next bad day, consider these three easy ways to change the course of your day.
Step Away From Social Media (Or Any Other Bad Habit) and Step Outside. The problem with bad days is that they tend to feed on themselves. You’re having a bad day, so you mindlessly scroll through Facebook, or turn on Netflix, or reach for the last slice of cake. These things aren’t bad, per se, but if you’re using them to numb your day, it’s counter-productive. You feel bad about wasting time on Instagram, and so you start to feel even worse than you already do.
Instead, put on your tennis shoes and step outside. You don’t have to run a marathon, just walk around the block, spend a few minutes deep breathing on your back deck, or jot some notes in your gratitude journal on your porch.
The point is to change your location, breathe in some fresh air, and hit the reset button on your day. Often, the brief change in scenery is just what you need to turn your bad day into a good one.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else. This doesn’t have to be an expensive, life-changing gesture. Text a friend a joke or funny meme. Jot a quick note of thanks or “thinking of you” card and drop it in the mail. Call a friend just to say “hi” and that you’re thinking of them. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive thru line. Smile at a stranger. Let the person behind you in the grocery checkout line go before you.
You don’t even have to share your troubles with the person you’re reaching out to (though that doesn’t hurt, either). In short, reaching out to make someone’s day better takes the focus off of you and puts it on others. It feels good to do nice things for others, and that, all by itself, can help turn your day around.
Find the Positive. The thing is, there really is a silver lining behind every cloud. Lose a day’s worth of work because of a computer malfunction? Your second attempt will be much better because of the practice you had! Annoyed that you didn’t get chosen for a speaking gig or other opportunity? Think about all the positive things you’ll be able to add to your life with the free time you now have.
Having a hard time finding a positive? Then make one! Think of something you can do to change the course of your day. Have a big project you’d like to make a dent in? Have a phone call you’ve been procrastinating making? Want to exercise more? Take a step (or more!) towards reaching that goal, and, chances are, you’ll start to feel better.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are as many strategies to turn around a bad day as there are minutes in a day. The key is to find a few that work for you, and employ them when needed.
What did I miss? Leave a comment with your favorite way to turn a bad day around. Thanks so much for reading. Have a fantastic day!