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How to Bounce Back from a Bad Day

One of my favorite books growing up was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. The story revolves around this poor boy, Alexander, who spends his day encountering terrible circumstances around every turn, resulting in one totally crappy day. I feel like I can relate to Alexander on a deep, spiritual level. I’ve had my fair share of days where nothing seems to go right and by 10:00 AM, I already wish I could go to bed and start over.

When I do finally return home, my first instinct is to sulk around in all my emotions and feel bad for myself. However, if I do, I run the risk of experiencing a crappy day hangover full of anxious thoughts, loneliness and a fair share of gloom. After plenty of awful days, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me bounce back. Below I’m sharing some of my favorites tips that may help you recover from your own terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

Take a moment to be sad.

It’s hard to recover from a miserable day if we try and pretend the day never even happened. I’m all for some wallowing and even a little self-pity, but here’s the trick- set a time limit. When I finally make it back home, I’m usually beat. I like to give myself 20 to 30 minutes to just lay around and feel sorry about all the mishaps I encountered. Sometimes I cry, other times I scream, but ultimately I give myself a little space to recognize how unfortunate the day was. The set time means I don’t stay in the self-pity mode all evening, but it allows me a few minutes to feel gloomy about everything.

Hop into a hot shower.

A hot shower is a powerful tool in the lousy day recovery kit. It's ones of first things I do when I get back home, no matter how early it is. Something about the combination of steam and metaphorically washing the day down the drain can leave you feeling refreshed. A shower also provides a chance to process some of the emotions you are feeling without the distraction of the outside world. Post-shower I feel a little better about my bad day and to top it all off, I get to slide into comfy PJs (which makes anything better).

Indulge in a treat (but don’t overdo it).

I’m all for the “treat yo self” motto following a crappy day. A small indulgence, like a glass of wine or a chocolate chip cookie, has the power to put a little smile on your face after spending all day getting your ass kicked. The key is to practice some self-restraint and not overdo the treat, because let’s face it, three glasses of wine or a whole baking sheet of cookies will only leave you feeling gross and guilty. A small indulgence is the perfect treat following a bad day, but by practicing some self-control, you won’t start tomorrow off on the wrong foot too.

Talk it out with a loved one.

A bad day has the potential to make us feel extra lonely, so to combat it, I encourage you to reach to someone you trust. But, before picking up the phone, consider what you need out of the conversation and don’t be afraid to express it. You run the risk of the phone call making your bad day even worse. It’s no fun when you reach out to someone for a vent session, and they make the conversation about themselves or spend the whole call lecturing you and sharing useless advice. By verbalizing what you need at the beginning, you can better ensure that the call will leave you feeling supported and less alone.

Bad days have the potential to knock us flat on our backs. They are exhausting, depleting and if we don’t handle these days with extra love, they can leave us with a bad day hangover. I’ve learned from my own mistakes regarding bouncing back from a crappy day. I use to go home and wallow in my sadness, drink too much wine and end the evening feeling extra depressed. With small tweaks, I learned to embrace my day and treat myself with a little bit of kindness so I could go to bed with a clean slate ready to take on tomorrow. I hope the tips above will allow you to do just the same. Here’s to better days on the horizon!


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