7 Simple Ways to Make a Bad Day Better

Is your day already spinning out of control? Here's how to stop it.

Posted Jun 14, 2016

Daniel M Ernst/Shutterstock
Source: Daniel M Ernst/Shutterstock

We all have bad days, and some are much worse than others. A really bad day can be unsettling and cause you to feel very low and obsess over what has gone wrong. Here are seven tips to help you get through the day, whether it's good or bad:

1. Don’t be hard on yourself. 

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you’ve just found out that you made a mistake. But we all make mistakes, and making them is the one way to really learn about life and what works for you. If you learn from a mistake and embrace it, your day will be better—and so will your life.

2. Get some fresh air. 

If you can take a walk or just sit in the sun, go for it. A breath of fresh air can help reduce your anxiety or depression. Sometimes when we are upset, we hold our breath longer than we should, so remember to breathe in and out. Relaxing and centering yourself can only help the situation.

3. Look for beauty right where you are.

Sometimes it can be hard to take in the golden light of a sunset or a spectacular view if you feel overwhelmed. If nature isn’t readily accessible, go to a museum or art gallery, or for that matter, the mall or even a parking lot—just to look—to bring a little light into your life.

4. Accept that the day is challenging. 

Get some perspective on what’s happening by telling yourself that you’ve had days like this before, and things usually get better. Knowing that the situation is temporary will help you cope with whatever is going on.

5. Call a friend who might need a little cheering up. 

Thinking about someone else helps to take your thoughts away from your own troubles, and helping a friend will make you feel better about yourself. I have a couple of friends who are dealing with terminal illnesses. Reaching out to them always puts my own troubles into perspective.

6. Make one improvement to your home.

Move a picture (or hang one up), pull some weeds, or just fix something. If you can’t do the task alone, ask someone for help. This will make you feel better and give you someone to talk with for a bit.

7. Find a movie you want to see—and watch it that night. 

It doesn’t matter if you go out or stay in. The idea is to give yourself something to look forward to. It helps to have something to help you pass the time, get you out of your own head, and away from your troubles, at least for a little while. Hopefully when you wake up, you'll see things in a more positive light.

These are just a few ways to try to keep perspective and go easy on yourself. If you feel like you are really struggling, it may be wise to find someone to talk with about your life.