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.