5 tips for surviving a really bad day

shutterstock_135009398We all have them, those horrible-no-good-very-bad days. It’s impossible to avoid them but here are some tips to help you get through them:

  • Eat something awesome first thing in the morning. Food is a huge part of who we are and it’s a huge part of how we feel. Research also shows that how we feel in the morning affects our mood throughout the day. When we’re having a really rough day we try to eat what we enjoy, but make it something strong and energizing (vs. you know, downing scoops of ice cream, which we love, but which wouldn’t give us the sustained energy we need.)
  • Make a plan to do something you absolutely love. Research shows that having something to look forward to makes you happier. So on a rough day we try to make a plan to do something we like. We can’t always do it the same day, but having something great on our calendar gives us something to look forward to: a yoga class, lunch with a friend, anything at all, as long as it’s something we really enjoy doing.
  • Do something to make progress, however small. One of the worst things about really tough days is that they feel like we’ll be stuck in them forever. But willing yourself to get a lot done and just work through the bad day isn’t enough — we try to tackle some really small tasks that make us feel like we’re making progress: we organize our desks, clean up our office fridge, write emails we’ve been putting off, anything that gets a specific small task completed. Research shows that feeling productive makes us happier and we can totally vouch for this.
  • Over-share gratitude.  According to numerous studies, gratitude leads to feeling happier and not the other way around, so this is our most trusted and most helpful “bad day gone happier” strategy.

12 thoughts on “5 tips for surviving a really bad day

  1. I love this blog! The thing that made it most interesting is its simplicity – there is nothing complicated about being happy, just keep on keeping on. I liked that I could relate to your tips. I have already being doing most of them, probably because of your positive influence Nataly and probably because of all of my other Happier friends. Great blog, great website, Happier = great idea!

    • Thank you Diane – and what you wrote really struck a chord with me. I think we make being happier be more complex than it is, sometimes.

  2. First, I love the way you spell your name.

    Second, I’m having a bad day today, and not much is helping. I like getting into nature, but I don’t have the energy or desire to get on my shoes and do that today. I have a technique that helps me stop negative thoughts and live more in the moment, but today I’m very low on energy and I’m having a hard time moving through the thoughts without attention negative emotions to them.

    I do find cooking something makes me feel good, distracts my mind, and gets me excited. So, today I’m simmering some pizza sauce and getting the ingredients ready for a pizza. I’ve also got dessert in the works. And, I am trying your point of doing something for work, anything, to make me feel like I did more than just sit around and try to resist my thoughts.

    • I hope your day turned out around for the better but also thank you for a great reminder to do something that makes you feel great – I love cooking too, it’s a great way for me to get my mind into something creative and productive.

  3. I just realized a couple of days ago, I over share gratitude too. On Tuesday I had the worst day I’ve had in awhile. I was looking for gratitude and happy moments everywhere. I realized it when I got notice of the multitude of shares. It truly helped. By day’s end I was feeling sane and hopeful.
    I also recommend: staying away from the news, practicing meditation, journaling out your fears, and trying to stay in the moment. 🙏💙

    • +1 on practicing meditation when it’s a rough day. There is a great quote on this (paraphrasing):

      You should meditate 10 minutes a day. If you’re too busy, you should do it for 20 minutes.

  4. Natalie, you are providing such a great service! This blog is certainly a good one. I have been doing many of these things for a long while. I learned, as I attempted to assist others in my counseling practice, to help myself through hard times. It is part of the journey.

    The one thing I might add is this: when facing a difficult day, a difficult week, or more, look for the lesson or the unexpected outcome! Sometimes there are surprises that can lift the spirit.

  5. Pingback: Happier Jump-Starts: Tips for an Awesome Midday Break | Happier

  6. I love this blog post;thanks for sharing.i have a sedentary indoors office job and I don’t go outside as often as I should for fear of looking silly.i need to remember that no one cares;and if they do,then that’s their problem.
    When I’m having a really bad day;I take myself into a room and do some breathing exercises,since I came off my anti anxiety medication I have been trying to actively reduce my anxiety naturally. because I have experienced panic attacks before and know how not fun they are,as soon as I feel my tension rising,I do some breathing and imagine the bad energy flowing out of my fingertips and toes into the ground;the colour is usually either black or red.when I breathe in,the energy is usually a light blue or a yellow because yellow is my favourite colour.i also like to treat myself to an earl grey tea when I feel sorry for myself and buy a women’s magazine for easy reading.keep posing Nataly;I love your site and your blog!

  7. Pingback: Why you should put sprinkles in your omelet | Happier

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