6 Ways to Deal with a Horrible, No-Good, Really Bad Day
Bad days are a fact of life. Everyone has them – no matter who you are, or what you do. From small things like missing the bus to bigger issues like being overlooked for a promotion or encountering financial set backs, there are days when dreams and goals feel like they are completely out of reach.
When days (or sometimes even weeks!) like that occur, it is important to remember our commitment to our goals will be challenged time and again – it’s all just part of the growth cycle.
With that in mind, there are a few key things that you can do to help deal with the inevitable bad days.
For most of us, a situation is only negative or bad because we perceive it to be; our reality is different from what we had envisaged. When that happens, accepting how things are and facing up to the challenge can help you to let go of how things ‘should’ be, refocus on the present, and get on with achieving (even if achieving simply means getting to the end of the day!).
Bad days and challenges will come and go, but you will always retain the capacity to keep working toward your dreams and your goals. Accept the bad day as a challenge, and keep your focus on your mission and on the future.
Don’t play the blame game
When we’re running late or miss out on that great business opportunity, it is common to blame other people, or even ourselves.
It is normal to start running through all of the things that could have been done differently (why did I hit snooze again? … I should have stayed back those extra few hours…If only I hadn’t spent that money on those new shoes…). Other times it is easy put the responsibility on others for our bad day.
Acknowledging what can be done differently next time is important, but once we’ve accepted that things are how they are in the present moment, it is much harder – or nearly impossible! – to come up with reasons to blame ourselves or others for why things aren’t going well.
Plus, when we’re not blaming and focused on the past, it is also much easier to start focusing on moving forward toward our dreams.
Ask better questions
Instead of asking yourself ‘why is this happening to me’, a far better question is ‘what is the best way I can deal with this?’. If we focus on trying to work out why something bad is happening, then the search engine in our brain is going to focus on finding the answers for us and it is easy to fall into the trap of thoughts like ‘because I’m not good enough’ or ‘because I’m not smart enough’ and other self-limiting beliefs.
We go where our thoughts are focused – if we are focused on the bad feelings we get when we are having a bad day, then we’ll just keep getting more of that. Focus the search engine in your brain on how to find a solution. Ask positive, helpful questions which will direct your brain to find constructive answers.
Stop thinking about it!
That sounds like a contradiction to the last point, right? However, how many times have you shut down the conscious brain and stopped thinking ‘where did I put my keys?’, only to find that in the middle of cooking dinner you suddenly remember where they are?
This principle works the same way for any other problem in life, including bad days. Formulate a question, and the subconscious brain will set to work to find the answer for you. Even if you think your brain isn’t working on the solution, it usually is.
So when you’re having a bad day, ask yourself a better question to direct your brain toward solutions, then go and do something else.
One of the best ways to nourish yourself after a bad day is to just relax: accept that you’ve had a bad day, and instead do something you love. Switching off from the problem and engaging in something that we love helps put us in a more creative mindset and refreshes our thoughts.
If reading a book relaxes you, then do that! Maybe going for a run, playing with your kids or doing some cooking will help clear out the cobwebs of a bad day. For some, eating a pizza or just listening to a favourite song will help. Remember what your values are and find an activity that is in alignment, where you can get into a relaxed state and interrupt the thought patterns associated with your bad day.
If you don’t have much time available, or your bad day isn’t over yet, just closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths is great. If you can get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air, then that’s even better.
Everything in life is in balance. Good and bad. Positive and negative. There can’t be good days without the bad and there can’t be growth without challenge. If every day was a good day, then that would be ‘normal’ and there’d actually be no good days! We’d also lose the opportunity to grow. Remember that achieving your dreams takes commitment and the only way that commitment can be tested is through challenge.
Around the corner from a bad day and on the other side of the challenge, is a good day, a great day or even the most awesome day you’ve ever had.