We’ve all had ’em.
Those days where you count the minutes until you get to leave work. The days when you are literally owed a gold medal for not telling off the zillionth rude customer you’ve had to deal with. Days when you swore Alanis Morissette wrote her song “Ironic” based on your life (except it wasn’t a black fly in your chardonnay, it was a wasp in your prosecco – gross!).
It’s so easy to come home from those days and just crawl into bed and hope for a better today tomorrow, resigned to the fact that this day couldn’t possibly improve.
But why let your day be a total write-off? After all, we still have the latter part of our day, usually free from the stresses of school or work, to spend as we choose!
There are several ways to recover your bad day and turn it into a good one, letting you go to bed feeling like you got some enjoyment out of the day. Read on for a list of ways that are sure to turn your day around and have you saying “Not today, bad day! Not today!”
1. Organize and impromptu girls’ night in
Surely you weren’t the only one who had a less-than-stellar day. Call up your girlfriends and arrange an emergency girl-time session. Think sangria and pedis or your favourite reality show with lots of yummy snacks.
Having a vent-session while indulging in some pampering or guilty pleasures with your besties is a great way to unload some of the stress you felt during the day and to spend some much-needed time on your self-care.
Bonus: if you and your girlfriends go way back, bust out some old yearbooks or go through some photos of the earlier days of your friendship. The laughs will make your forget about your bad day all together!
2. Get outdoors
I don’t know about you, but there’s something so therapeutic about the great outdoors. Maybe it’s the sights and sounds waking up your senses. We spend a lot of time driving through the outdoors but very little time actually outside. After spending some time outside, even if it’s just a half hour, I definitely notice an improvement in my mood. And don’t ask me why but I find I even sleep better if I’ve spent a good bit of time outdoors, maybe it’s all the fresh air!
So put on your walking shoes and explore the area you live in or get yourself to a park with a good book and a blanket to sprawl out on. You are sure to feel rejuvenated and in a better state of mind.
3. Spend time with a Quiet Activity
This is particularly beneficial for my fellow introverts – we need quiet time away from people and chaos to re-energize and recharge our batteries.
One of my personal favourites is adult colouring books. It was all the rage a few years ago and for good reason – there are a slew of benefits! Colouring helps to put your brain into a meditative state, helps us focus on being in the present and is also a great creative outlet for people who aren’t great at other forms of visual arts such as myself (stick figures still aren’t considered fine art, apparently).
Some other great quiet activities to help alleviate stress while keeping our brains engaged include working on a challenging puzzle, starting a new DIY project around the house (Pinterest has some amazing ideas), reading a good book with a nice cup of tea and even cleaning!
4. Have yourself a little dance party
Picture Cristina and Meredith’s 30-second dance parties on Grey’s Anatomy. And let’s not forget Callie Torres whose definition of being happy in her life was when she randomly danced around in her underwear!
The therapeutic effects of putting on some good tunes and dancing it out are ah-mazing! Both the songs you love combined with the pick-me-up benefits of dancing are guaranteed to put you in a better mood.
Whenever I was studying for midterms and finals during the school year, I often added little dance sessions to my study breaks. They improved my mood, woke me up mentally and got my blood pumping to help wake me up physically as well.
So pick your tunes and bust out your best moves, the sprinkler, running man, even the Macarena – nothing is off limits!! And don’t worry if you feel silly, go with it and have a giggle at yourself, we’re not Dancing With The Stars here!
5. Go to your happy place
Where’s your happy place?
Is it a cute café with quirky artwork all over the walls? A sweet little park with pretty flowers? A high-energy spinning class? Perhaps it’s wandering the aisles of your favourite book store or window-shopping at the mall.
Wherever it is, go there.
It’s your happy place for a reason. These places often evoke feelings of happy memories and nostalgia or maybe it’s creativity and motivation. Don’t laugh at me, but my happy place is Costco (I said don’t laugh!!). I can’t explain it fully, but I just love wondering the aisles and seeing what’s new. They have a great book section, surprising clothing finds and let’s not pretend we don’t all love the little samples you get to try.
6. Have an at-home spa session
Treating yourself to various at-home spa treatments will do wonders for your mood, as well as being easy on the bank account.
Start off with lighting your favourite scented candles and having a nice relaxing bath with your favourite bath bomb or a few drops of essential oils. Play some relaxing tunes or just soak in silence, whatever calms you more.
I absolutely love to do face masks and follow-up with a great skincare regime to maintain my new, fresh-face glow. Once you get your favourite mask on, go ahead and give those toes some love with two fresh coats of your favourite nail polish (’tis the season for those bright colours!). If you’re coordinated enough to do both hands, go on and give those nails a pop of colour too!
For those of you who prefer more natural beauty treatments that you can make yourself, this website has a great list of treatments like scrubs, foot soaks, moisturizers and more!
7. Treat yourself
Every now and then, we need to indulge. Maybe it’s that piece of cake for dessert or splurging on that luxe new lipstick shade you’ve been wanting for a month now. How about a fresh bouquet of flowers to bring some colour into your space? My personal fave is ordering delicious Thai takeout or a trip to Sephora.
The benefits of these once-in-awhile splurges can have a great impact on our mental state. When I buy a new product or stop off for a cup of cheesecake ice cream I get the perfect little boost that reminds me that it’s the small things in life that can bring us joy.
The key here is to let it be a treat that won’t have you feeling guilty about the calories or worrying about your bank balance. If you have room in your life for this treat, go ahead and indulge! After all, everything in moderation!
8. Write it down
Journalling has some pretty powerful benefits on our mental well-being. It helps to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of the thing we’re writing about, as well as helping us work through the issue that may be causing our stress by getting it down on paper.
By allowing us some perspective, journalling can also help us see the problem from a different angle. Try to use this opportunity to reflect on the bad day you’ve just had. What did you learn from it? Is there anything you could have done differently to help improve the day or to help others improve theirs? By trying to problem-solve an issue, we take steps to prevent this from being a recurring problem that will plague us again in the future.
There you have it, eight sure-fire ways to save your day and remind yourself that life is still pretty damn good. Take your pick of one (or several) of these tips and watch your stress melt away as you return to a more positive state of mind.
I’d love to hear how you rescue your own bad days, leave a comment below and share some tips!