We’ve all had them — one of those days where nothing goes your way, or maybe you just aren’t feeling quite like yourself. No matter what’s going on, there’s always something that can pull us out of a “slump” or rectify our bad days.
Here are 11 small things you can do to pick yourself up and get back on track after a bad day.
1. Get Outside
A little bit of time in nature may be just what you need to restore the balance in your mind — especially if it’s warm outside. Whether you’re hiking, walking, biking or just sitting outside enjoying a good book, being out in the sunshine will do wonders for your mental health. In addition to fighting depression, getting outside more often can improve your memory, lower your blood pressure and contribute to an improved overall well-being.
2. Make a List
There’s nothing a good list can’t solve, right? Whether you’re making a list of to-dos, goals, frustrations or everything you’re grateful for, it’s sure to lift your spirits a bit and help you address the cause of your bad day. For to-do lists, be sure to draw boxes you can check off once you complete each task — it’s one of the most satisfying feelings ever.
3. Clean Your House
If your house or apartment is dirty and cluttered, it could be part of what’s making you feel so “blah.” Pick up and put away all your clothes and other random belongings. If something doesn’t have a place, find one for it. It’s amazing what a clean, organized living environment can do for your state of mind and happiness.
Everyone knows exercise is one of the most tried and true ways to boost your mood and improve your mental health. However, working out doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym for an hour every day. It could be something as simple as walking your dog around the block or doing some light stretches in your living room. If you’re lucky enough to live within biking distance of stores, restaurants or your place of work, take advantage of that and avoid driving as much as possible.
5. Talk to Someone
It could be your significant other, your dog, a close friend, your pastor, a parent or really anyone you feel comfortable enough talking to about how you’re feeling. The important thing is that it’s someone who will be supportive by listening, then offering advice if you ask for it.
6. Write in a Journal
Or, maybe you’re not ready to talk to someone else about what you’re dealing with. That’s OK, too. Writing in a journal is an excellent way to get your thoughts and feelings down on paper. Then, you can try to start understanding and addressing them in a more calm, clear way.
Curl up in bed with some popcorn and watch a funny movie, a comedy special or maybe even some of your goofiest home movies or videos from an old phone or camera — whatever is going to make you belly laugh like your bad day never even happened.
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes you just need to have a good cry. Swap the popcorn for some chocolate and put on the sappiest or most tear-jerking movie you can think of — we suggest Marley and Me, Titanic or Up.
9. Listen to Music
Music has a wonderful way of making us forget about whatever it is we’re dealing with and just listen. Put on one of your favorite albums and allow yourself the time just to sit and appreciate the music without other distractions.
10. Bake Something
Imagine the smell of warm chocolate chip cookies filling your house or apartment. You don’t have to make them from scratch to get this delicious scent or amazing taste. Tollhouse cookie dough is a wonderful thing, as you can get all the good stuff without putting in the work of making the dough yourself — which is probably the last thing many of us would want to do after a bad day.
Meditation is the practice of becoming more aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It focuses on simply noticing these things as they occur, rather than judging yourself for them or interpreting their meaning. While most people picture meditation as only sitting cross-legged and making the stereotypical humming sound, you can actually meditate at any time — for example, when you’re sitting in traffic, waiting for a meeting to start or getting ready for bed at night. Try using meditation to get back to basics and clear your mind of any negativity or stress.
Make Moves to Feel Better
By recognizing you’re having a bad day, you’ve already taken the first step toward feeling better. The next one is to develop an actionable game plan to prevent “one of those days” from turning into a weekly occurrence. Try out these 11 suggestions, then branch out to whatever activities feel right for you.