5 No-Bullshit Ways To Make A Shitty Day Slightly Less Shitty

Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids

I’ve seen dozens of posts listing quick tips aimed at improving a person’s happiness. I’m all about sharing ways to turn some frowns upside down, but frankly, most of these “10 Tricks To Blossom Into The Butterfly Your Caterpillar-Self Always Knew You Could Be” posts are pretty unrealistic. They suggest things like, “Tip #1: Run for no less than five miles until you just lose yourself between strides.” Okay, no. This sounds miserable and also dangerous. While I can proudly inhale a Baconator in under a minute, I actually support a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is great. But if I’m pissed, or sad, or just had a sucky day, the last thing I want to do is lace up my running shoes and kick my sweaty legs around until I can’t breathe anymore.

These “37 Ways To Turn Your Face Hole Into A Glistening Smile” posts are also constantly asking you to handwrite lists of things you’re thankful for, short-term goals to achieve, or other vague, positive reflections. First of all, I don’t have a drawer full of untouched college-ruled notebooks to fill up with all these lists. Also, I’m probably out of pens. I think I have, like, 6 green highlighters in my junk drawer but I don’t want to use any of them.

In response to these inspirational, float-your-soul-to-happiness listicles that typically don’t cut it for me, I’ve created my own. I genuinely believe that if you participate in the following doable activities, you’ll probably add at least an ounce of joy to an otherwise shit-filled day:

1. Eat your favorite snack. 

Again, despite my previous Baconator-related confession and vocalized love of carbs, I am all about a (moderately) healthy diet. But if you’ve just had the shittiest of shitty days, you’re probably not going to be jazzed to head home and whip up a sensible salad. Just get over yourself and snag a McFlurry from McDonalds on your way home from work. Or, even better, buy a roll of pre-made cookie dough at the grocery store and bake some cookies to enjoy after you eat your sensible salad. The smell of fresh-baked cookies is an air freshener in Heaven’s bathroom and pre-packaged dough is no hassle to bake up real quick. Be bad and grab a snack (or go crazy with a whole meal!) that you can actually look forward to eating. Side note: If you are on a no-carb diet or are “really into being paleo,” I know why you’re having a shitty day.

2. Treat your$elf.

While this suggestion does somewhat depend on your budget, I’d highly recommend buying something for yourself to distract from the shit-clogged toilet that was your day. In our attempts to “adult” we are constantly spending our money on practical things like industrial sized hand-soap or reusable grocery bags. If you can, take a minute to buy something because you want it. Finally go get that haircut you’ve been saying “Maybe next week” to for the past three months. Buy that cute pair of boots you saw in a display window because you like them and you know they’ll get handfuls of compliments. Personally, I like to occasionally splurge on overpriced skincare products. Now, I know that my 25-dollar shot-glass-sized moisturizer won’t work any better than a $3.99 CVS-brand version. But, I get it because it makes me feel like a celebrity. Retail therapy isn’t just a phrase and it also doesn’t need to break the bank.

3. Watch and wine.

Self-medicating can be a dangerous thing. But, let’s be honest here: can you think of something that wouldn’t be made better with a few glasses of wine? I recently watched two episodes of The Walking Dead with the accompaniment of three generously poured glasses of Pinot Grigio. I’m happy to report that I felt slightly less afraid of the zombies, got a little teary-eyed during a romantic moment shared between two characters, and I was, overall, noticeably more enthralled. And I already love The Walking Dead, like, as a sober, naturally functioning human. Most people (myself included) prefer to drink socially with friends or out at a bar. But, if you just had a shitty Tuesday, it might be tough to assemble the troops and head out to the club. Grab a glass (or three) of wine, catch an episode (or two) of your favorite TV show and just enjoy. Another positive side effect: a few glasses of wine before bed will result in a solid night’s sleep.

4. Reconnect with your high school (or college) BFF.

I know, crazy! But seriously, we’ve all had that friend who was more like family that we somehow ended up losing touch with. Given that we have social media trends like #TBT and #FBF, we have very handy excuses to randomly contact that person we loved spending time with two, five, or even ten years ago. Reach out to that person! At the very least, you can have a quick catch-up convo and re-live some prized memories and inside jokes. At the very best, maybe you could even re-kindle an old friendship. And, really, reminiscing about happy times reminds us that we’ve loved our lives before and, in due time, we will be loving our lives again. If you didn’t have any friends in high school and/or college and this is all just brining up repressed memories of misery, oopsie poopsie! My bad. Maybe just repeat Suggestion #3.

5. Scream-sing in your car.

Aside from maybe “eating a fave snack,” this is the suggestion I utilize most often when I’m having a shitty day. Take anywhere from a realistic fifteen minutes to a lavish two hours to drive around and unabashedly sing along to whatever songs you love most. Put on a concert and belt out any or every song you might be too embarrassed to sing in front of others. For me, ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ from the Broadway Musical Rent usually does the trick. Late 90’s and Early 2000’s pop hits are also great go-to’s. Weather permitting, scream-singing in a music-up-windows-down fashion is ideal. And if someone catches you at a red light, own it and shamelessly continue. The show must go on! I guarantee this will also make their day exponentially better. If you’re carless, find a friend who 1) has a car and 2) won’t mind you singing like nobody’s listening or 3) is someone you’re comfortable enough to actually belt Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’ in front of. I suppose you could also try this in an Uber?

And there you go. No breathing, no cleaning, no exercising, no ‘soaking up the silence of an early morning wakeup.’ Just 5 things that I genuinely think can make a shitty day a little less shitty. I consider myself to be a typically happy person. But I also consider myself to have a typical amount of shit-tastic days. To get over those days, I’ll eat, shop, drink, talk, or sing to try and end the day on a high(er) note. Try one of these things or all of these things. Or try none of these things and make your own shit-less list. TC mark

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