Sometimes bad days just happen and if you’ve had a bad day, they just make you feel worse and worse. You don’t really know why, they just kind of pop up out of nowhere. I had a doozy the other day. I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I couldn’t put things right again. I’d forgotten to freeze a banana for my morning smoothie, my gym gear hadn’t dried overnight and I’d had a rubbish night sleep. The one thing that actually pulled me out of my funk was how trivial all these issues were. Who lets a non-frozen banana ruin their day? What even is that?
The thing with bad days is that they stop you from being rational. Which is why need a list of remedies written down for when you can’t think straight. This is my fail safe list of remedies for when you’ve had a bad day.
Every time I suggest exercise as a solution to feeling low, someone will yell at me and say it’s not a cure for depression. I am definitely not suggesting that exercise is a cure for depression, but for your average run of the mill blues, it can be pretty bloody effective. And in my little test group of one (myself) nothing beats it to get me out of a bad mood. I am a different person after I’ve exercised. It’s tough dragging myself off the couch when I’m feeling grumpy but it fixes me every time. Every single time. Raise your heart rate, just for 20 minutes. If it doesn’t work, at least you’ve gotten off your butt and moved a bit.
Did you know that most headaches are cause by dehydration? Whenever I feel really slumpy it’s usually because I’m dehydrated. Drink a bottle of water ASAP and see how you feel. Tea is also great – I’ve been drinking lots of green tea recently and it’s been hugely helpful with my energy levels through out the day and also my digestion. Lots of water and green tea on bad days please – stat.
Don’t try to reward yourself
It’s so easy to start thinking that you deserve chocolate, or wine, or expensive shoes or a cigarette just because you’re feeling a bit sad but the high will only last a short time and then you have to deal with the added bad feelings because you gave into temptation. It also puts a stop to cyclical rewarding behaviours. Like have wine on Thursday nights because that’s the day you have to have a regular meeting with a difficult client. Rewarding yourself every time something goes wrong will start a toxic cycle that will be pretty difficult to break.
Reach out to friends
You don’t even need to tell them you’re feeling low if you don’t want to. Just being around your people, in a regular everyday setting can make you feel so much better. This is a particularly important point for extroverts (like me). If I’m feeling bit low it’s usually because I haven’t spent enough time with other people. For example, if Mr Smaggle goes away and I spend the whole weekend on my own, I will be really low by the time he gets back. I adore alone time but I need to have lunch or coffee with a friend most days if he’s away. If you know this about yourself, try to avoid spending days on end without human contact.
Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life
If you have a bad day it can make you feel like your whole life is the worst. And it’s not. Acknowledge that it’s just one day and tomorrow will be different. Whenever I’ve had a bad day, I try to think back to the day before and usually it was quite awesome. I just focus on the last time I felt good (which usually wasn’t that long ago on a run of the mill bad day) and it makes the current bad day feel much less hopeless.
Remind yourself that no one is thinking about you
When you’re having a bad day, most people start creating negative thoughts in their head about how everyone hates them. That’s my favourite go to. I’ll go over everything I said on the weekend and decide that I offended people. I’ll decide my best mates think I’m an idiot. If I haven’t heard back from a potential client I’ll decide they hate my work and never want to hire me again. Unsurprisingly these kinds of thoughts are not very helpful so it’s best to remind yourself that no one is thinking about you. It’s harsh but true. I read a study a while ago where they showed that happy couples think about their significant other for one minute every half an hour. So that’s less than an hour throughout the entire day. And that’s thinking about someone you like. Trust me, no one is spending their day thinking about how shit you are. That’s just not a thing.
Have a really serious shower
Wash that nasty day off. Get in the shower and scrub like a maniac. Use all your products – masks on your face and hair, pore strips, shave things, exfoliate. Use all the fancy stuff you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Literally wash the day off, pop on your favourite fresh undies and loungewear and let the bad day slide away.
Block yourself from Facebook for the day
When you’ve had a bad day, the last thing you need is a full-on highlight reel of everyone else’s faux fab lives. Use Self Control App to block Facebook on your desktop and just delete the app from your phone for the day. You can re-install it later and everything will be the same, it will just stop you from reaching for it like an emotional clutch when really you just need to back away from it.
Go to bed early
Time really does heal all wounds and I promise things will be better tomorrow. After your amazing shower, take yourself off to bed early, without your phone and read a good book until you drift off. Take a cup of chamomile tea with you and really relax the day away. Sleep deprivation is a sneaky beast and if you’re anything like me, it might be the reason why you had a bad day to begin with. Sleep is excellent medicine so prioritise it on days when you aren’t feeling that great.
If you really need to vent, do it. Just do it privately. Write out a big long letter of all your grievances and what’s bothering you. Really let it all out, don’t hold back. When you’re done, drag and drop the document into your desktop trash can and let it go. Resist the urge to rant on Facebook, even in private groups and messages. When you’re all fired up, it’s best not to bring up sore points with people. Wait until you’re a bit calmer and then discuss it. Until then – write it and bin it!
Remind yourself that you’re okay
Your feelings are valid and it’s okay to feel sad sometimes but if you’ve got a roof over your head, enough money to buy essentials and you’re fit and healthy, you are literally winning at life. If you’re really struggling with life, it helps to look at how good your circumstances really are. Sometimes I even look into my past to feel better about life. I’ll think about other times when I felt like this and ask myself if I could swap this moment for those moments in the past would I do it? I rarely say yes.
Create and refer to your Feel Good Folder
Chrissy taught me this trick and it’s amazing – every time you get given a compliment, copy and paste it into a Feel Good Folder on your computer and read it when you have a shit day. It makes such a big difference to be reminded of all the good stuff about you, especially when you’re feeling rubbish. I have a feel-good folder of lovely things my readers have sent to me over the years and it’s the perfect anecdote if a troll went haywire on me that day.
Bottom line? Keep busy, make it through the day, be gentle with yourself and don’t over indulge.