5 Things to Do When You Have a Terrible Day

As you can imagine, I’ve been having some less-than-stellar days over the past few weeks. I’ve been pulling out all the tricks I have in my book (drinking water, making soup, hot baths, my favorite movies, etc.). Oh, and Maxie’s advice is, as always, spot on.


Photo by Carter Fish

5 Things to Do When You Have a Terrible Day

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

Growing up, my mother always told us, “You decide your day.” Meaning, if you want to have a good day you will. On the flip side, if you have a crappy attitude and see everything as a problem, then your day will be miserable.

And about nine times out of ten, I fully agree and live by her sentiment. Our perspective is so integral in our experience. However, sometimes you do have an all out, universally crappy day. It could be from sadness, from loss, from heartbreak, from pain, from fear or simply everything going wrong.

Last month, I had a really ugly day. So bad that I laid on my couch in the dark staring at the ceiling for 80% of it terrible. I couldn’t wrap my head around work, so I blew it off. And I ignored my phone almost completely.

These types of days rarely get talked. They’re difficult to show and most times they’re pretty private, which is why it’s easy to forget that everyone has these types of experiences. Even though everything around us and most messages on social make it seem like all days are perfect, glowy and bright…that’s just not the truth. Not even close.

So when you’re having a truly terrible day, here’s a few key things to remember and do:

Don’t numb the emotion.
It’s OK to cry. It’s even OK to scream. When things are going terribly, really feeling it is the only way it will all eventually pass. So often, we turn to things that will numb what we’re going through (you know your vice), but this will just prolong the discomfort in the long run.

You’re not meant to go through life alone. This includes your struggles. It’s courageous to ask for help when you need it. Let someone lend an ear for you because talking things out is a great way to process. So, call your most comforting friend or family member and let them be a shoulder to cry on or a safe space to totally vent.

Remind yourself this isn’t forever.
“This too shall pass.” <– It’s one of my favorite mantras for the worst of times. I repeat it and repeat it and repeat it until my worries ease. Whatever you’re going through on a bad day isn’t going to stay that way. Nothing ever does.

This is always the one I avoid on a bad day even though I know it’s the thing that will probably give me the most immediate relief. When you get that great sweat in, the dopamine immediately brings you to a happier place. So if you can show up for a workout even when you’re down, your mood will feel a nice bump.

Turn off social media, immediately.
I M M E D I A T E L Y. I could say it until I’m blue in the face: social media will do nothing but make you feel worse. All of the data shows that the more time we spend on it, the more depressed we feel. Thus, the first thing you should cut off during the tough times is how much time you spend ogling over other people’s good times.

Your bad day won’t be here forever. Neither will a bad week. Remember, if it weren’t for the tough times, we wouldn’t as fully appreciate the joyous ones. So get a hug from someone you love and don’t forget these reminders when your day is one of the crappy ones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



I love this post! This is something that is rarely talked about and these tips are spot on. I do agree that our attitude can define our day, but these little tricks will be sure to help when that doesn’t work. I can’t even pick a favorite because I agree with all of them whole heartedly!
And I know your days will get better, Carly!
xo Lauren

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

“Remind yourself this isn’t forever.” Yes! I suppose this advice is more long term, but even if we start off the day on the wrong foot, that doesn’t mean the rest of the day needs to suck. It’s easier said than done, but if I tell myself this enough, sometimes it will work 🙂 Another mantra I keep in my head is from Alexandra Franzen: Today is not yet over. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

Bryn Bradsher

I feel like these are such simple tips but its amazing in the moment that you don’t always think about it. Like turning off social media and just hitting the gym. I know I go straight to venting, it’s the best way for me to get some relief!

xo Bryn


Thank you for sharing Carly. My daughter suffers from severe anxiety and I know how crippling it can be. Just remember this too shall pass. A wise man once said “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” (John Lennon)

Devon Hembury

Seriously needed these tips this morning. I’ve had some not great days the past couple weeks as well, and it’s so nice knowing that other people are going through it too! Thanks for sharing, Carly! xo Devon Seventeen Dresses

Aislinn Santoyo

Thank you for sharing Carly!
I saved this post to my favorites to read when needed. I find it admirable that you are so open about your life in the most elegant way, I know it’s probably not easy but just know that for those that read your blog it means a lot!
Hope things are well.
Aislinn Santoyo HTX


Great post, Maxie and Carly! I’ve been forcing myself to “choose my ‘tude” lately on some crappy days.

Carly – I have been there with what you’re going through and I know how much of a rollercoaster of emotions it can be. I just want to say that you seem to be rising above the pain of a breakup and forcing yourself to pursue LIFE (workouts! tv appearance! puppy time!) and I am so impressed by that. We are all rooting for you and appreciate your honesty and authenticity, as always!


What a great post! Always such wonderful reminders. Keep positive! Also, you should check out The Lively Show podcast! It always has helped me keep grounded and stay positive even on terrible days! Much love!


Love how honest you are in this post!! I completely agree about what you said about deciding your day. My mom always said the same thing to me. And you’re completely right, social media always makes things worse. Chin up girl, you got this!!