11 Ways To Recover After A Really Bad Day, Because It Can Be More Draining Than You Might Think
It's not uncommon for a bad day to leave you feeling drained — as well as stuck, hopeless, sad, and unmotivated. Maybe you argued with your partner, or nothing went right at work. Or, maybe you simply experienced a series of annoying events.
By day's end (or, let's be honest, sometimes even as early as 10 a.m.) you've absolutely had it and seriously want to throw in the proverbial towel. While I totally understand the feeling, trust me when I say giving into it all and labeling it "a bad day' only makes things worse.
As psychologist Dr. Nikki Martinez says, "Often people are unable to see any positives in the day that have happened as well. They [just] want to go home, 'tune out,' and not do anything that could help restore the day or turn that mood around." (Raise your hand if this is also your go-to reaction.)
Again, it's totally understandable. And of course OK to do occasionally. But giving into your bad day — or sitting around feeling defeated — isn't the only course of action. It is possible to feel better after a bad day, and maybe even turn things around in the moment. Read on for some ways to reset, feel better, and ensure that tomorrow will be so much better.
1. Tap It Away With This Technique
Have you ever tried tapping? It's a relaxation technique that can calm you down and help you reset — which of course comes in handy after a totally crap day. As holistic wellness coach Leah Lesesne tells me, all you do is tap on your collarbones and repeat a positive mantra, such as "there are better days ahead." Seriously, give it a try.
2. Wash Away The Stench Of The Day
Whenever I'm having a bad day, I suddenly feel the need to take a quick shower (or two). Afterward, it's as if the entire day has been set. This might be thanks to the relaxing powers of hot water. But it also might be due to increased circulation "pushing" away negative energy, according to health expert Sirena Bernal on TinyBuddha.com. (A relaxing bath can't hurt, either.)
3. Try A Change Of Scenery
If you feel the need to trudge home and face plant into your couch, do yourself a favor and don't. "Change your environment," says leadership coach Lizabeth Czepiel, in an email to Bustle. "Stop replaying the day and focus on something new." Make a pitstop somewhere interesting, go see a friend, or walk your dog in a different park. It truly can help you reset.
4. Get Your Exercise On
Do you need to strap on sneakers and run a marathon to feel better? Of course not. But you should shake things up and move a little. "It is good to get your blood flowing and clear out that fog that seems to take hours to clear," says licensed professional counselor Tammer Malaty. "It can be as little as 15 minutes." Try a quick jog or ride your bike, and you'll feel better in no time.
5. Let Yourself Feel The Feelings
Pent up emotions have to go somewhere, so it's best to let 'em out if you want to feel refreshed. "Allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling is very powerful and will help you move through the 'bad day slump' much quicker," says licensed psychotherapist Julie Smith, LMFT, in an email to Bustle.
6. Focus On What You Can Learn
While it may be annoying in the moment, figuring out what you can learn from your bad day can be mighty helpful in moving past it. As certified professional coach Lori Scherwin says, "Literally ask yourself 'What good is coming out of this?' or 'What will I do differently next time?'" It'll also help you gain some much-needed perspective.
7. Plan Out Tomorrow
Today may have sucked, but that doesn't mean tomorrow has to be a total wash, too. So take back some control by planing it out in advance. "Actively plan your next day so that it includes really easy, manageable, achievable goals," says psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell. "This will reinforce and remind you that you are not defeated." And it'll help you get stuff done.
8. Make A List Of Good Things
In order to see that you life isn't one big mess, go ahead and make a list of all the good things that have happened in the past month. Yes, even if you can only think of tiny things, like that day you hit all green lights on the freeway. As Bartell says, this will "remind you that one bad day does not represent your whole life."
9. Meet Up With Some Friends
If you really need to snap out of it, go ahead and plan a fun night out with friends. Just make sure you avoid the ones who like to kick back and vent. "It may feel good for a short while to have someone agree with you or take your side, but it's a short-lived solution," Dr. Vivian Sierra, LMFT tells Bustle. "It perpetuates the 'bad' of the bad day."
10. Treat Yourself To Something Nice
While you shouldn't make a habit of shopping or ordering takeout every time you feel bad (because that would cost a fortune), it is OK to occasionally treat yourself after a particularly trying day. So go ahead and do something nice, then "make yourself a promise to put your troubles aside, and enjoy the rest of your day," Sierra says.
11. Do That Relaxing Thing You Love
Once you (finally) return home again, go into full relaxation mode ASAP. Knit, take a bath, drink some wine, pull out that dusty cardio kickboxing DVD. As wellness coach Jaya Jaya Myra tells me, it really doesn't matter what you do. As long as your brain recognizes the activity as "relaxing," it'll help overwrite the negativity of your day.
And that, my friends, is how you reset, recover, and get motivated to try again tomorrow.
Images: Pexels (11), Unsplash, Naomi August