How to handle a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

By October 24, 2018Happiness

bad day

As a psychologist, I see people when they are at their worst point in life. I help guide them to evolve with the challenges in their lives and it’s so wonderful to see people get back on their feet.

As they continue with therapy, they begin to feel more content, at peace, happy and there are fewer “bad days.”

For better or for worse though, at some point, a bad day comes. And it tends to feel really, really bad. It’s hard to have a good day, good day, great day, fabulous day…then a bad day.

It feels even worse because it’s being contrasted with all of those wonderful days. It’s also shifting the momentum in the opposite direction, which feels jarring and difficult. You’re not used to those bad days anymore and forgot how awful they feel.

The most important thing to do is to recognize that no matter who you are or where you are in life…bad days happen. Accept it. Don’t fight it. Just take it as a bad day.

The worst thing you can do is fight against a bad day.

What does fighting it feel like? Thinking thoughts like, “I’m never going to feel better” or “I’ve made no progress.” It might be giving up and going back to old, unhealthy coping habits like drinking, overeating or binge watching TV. Another sign would be isolating yourself or skipping out on your commitments.

The best thing to do is to amp up your coping methods. Book in a massage, dinner with friends or acupuncture appointment. Add in an extra workout. Take a bath. Splurge on a healthy lunch. Call your closest friend and talk it out. Get outside and go for a walk. Journal your thoughts and feelings out. Maybe treat yourself to a date night with your partner.

Tell yourself thoughts like, “tomorrow is a new day” and “this too shall pass.”

Take it easy on yourself.

You’ll likely notice that if you don’t fight it, the bad day will be just a bad day. When you fight it, it can turn into a bad day snowball rolling down a hill, gaining momentum and turning into a bad month.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite healthy coping strategy for dealing with a bad day? Leave a comment below and remember, we read every one!



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  • Corey says:

    If it works out, seeing my therapist would be a great one. But on bad days I like to talk myself into having a nap ( It can be difficult to have a nap if you are not used to choosing that but it does get easier with practice) . And while I am trying to nap, I listen to meditation music or a guided meditation. It can help me have a second start to my day. And if that doesn’t work then I got to kill a few hours just relaxing and it brought me closer to bedtime.

  • Kris says:

    I also find sleep to be a great fix for those days.. if time permits my favorite way to change up an off day is to go to Hot yoga.. and if that can’t work I will find a quiet space to meditate. (and perhaps nap). And for those really off days…where it doesn’t seem to matter what you do… I will try to find humor.. just something or someone to make me laugh!

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