We all go through bad days from time to time: for some people, having a bad day means feeling anxious, lacking energy or motivation, having trouble to focus on work or any other tasks, for some others, it can mean feeling sad or overwhelmed with thoughts or emotions. Or just feeling sick. And maybe you’re feeling a mix of all this.

How to deal with bad days and feel a bit better when you started your day in a gloomy mood?

Well, I can’t promise to give you a magic answer that will turn your bad days into bright ones, but here are some tips on how you can go through bad days a little bit easier!

How to go through a bad day
1. Journal your feelings

The first step to go through a bad day is to acknowledge your feelings.
One of the best way to do that is to journal: take a loose sheet or your planner, a pen, your favourite hot drink and start writing. 

The blank page in front of you is a safe space. You can drop everything you need to on it. No filters. Don’t overthink it, just write down everything that comes to your mind: 

  • What are you feeling? Do you feel anxious, angry, stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, nervous, resentful, tired, jealous…? Name the feeling(s) you have at the moment.
  • Can you point the cause of this (or these) feeling(s)?

I used to have a lot of trouble to identify my feelings and give them space a few years ago. And that lead me to stretch my limits beyond what I should have. 

But journaling is a super simple way to start externalizing your feelings.

When I’m going through a bad day, I would usually take some time to journal: I give myself a goal (like filling at least on page with my thoughts) and then start writing. In the end, I always feel a bit better and lighter, with all that feelings down on the paper.

How to go through a bad day
2. Cut your to-do list down to the minimum

When I have a bad day, I usually lack motivation, energy and the will to do anything. But like anyone else, I also have responsibilities and things to do most of the time: it can be work related, or just things you need to do around the house for instance.

Take a look at what you have on your to-do list for the day, and cut it down to the very minimum. No need to push yourself when you’re not feeling well.

For every single thing you’ve planned to do for the day, ask yourself:

  • What would happen if I would do this tomorrow? 
  • Is this task vital? Do I really need to do this today, or could this wait a bit longer?

Cut all the tasks / appointments that can be postponed from your list.

The goal here is to lower the pressure of being “productive” as much as possible. If you’re having a bad day, productivity should not be a priority.

Cutting down my list to only 3 tasks in my PROJO planner. The rest of it is just bonus.

As a business owner, I always have a lot to do. But I also know that I can’t perform at my best when I’m feeling super down and lacking energy. When my day is not starting very well or if I’m especially tired or anxious, I would cut my to-do list to the 3 most important things that I need to do. It doesn’t matter what time I complete the last task on my list. Then I dedicate the rest of the day to things that bring me joy and help me relax.

How to go through a bad day
3. Sleep

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep or a long nap to go through a bad day.
Sleep is SO important! It helps us recharge energy for both our bodies and minds.

Being tired just amplify any difficult emotions and feelings. That’s why sleeping and getting some rest generally speaking should be one of your top priorities.

If you’re in a gloomy mood and the end of the day is close enough, you can definitely watch a short feel-good movie and go to bed early to give yourself a good night’s sleep.

That’s one of my top strategy to deal with bad days anyway: the shorter the better!

How to go through a bad day
4. Do something that makes you happy

Doing the things you enjoy the most is a great way to go through a bad day and make it a bit brighter: think of your favourite hobby, or a pastime that you love.

It can be crafting something (drawing, sewing, knitting, writing, cooking…), or relax through series, video games, music or anything that you enjoy and that gives your mind some extra peace.

Just go with the flow.

The goal here is to go through your day with some extra self care and kindness to yourself and to bring you some simple joys even though you’re not feeling well.

Creating a list of the things I did that weren’t on my list but made me extra happy during the month in my PROJO planner.

I usually spend more time on creative (personal) projects when I have to deal with a bad day. I turn my apartment into a giant mess full of paint tubes, pencils, yards of fabric… Let my hands and brain focus on something that I enjoy doing (combined with a feel-good playlist, never fails).

How to go through a bad day
5. Practice gratitude

I know that practicing gratitude is not easy. It won’t turn your bad days into awesome ones thanks to a magic trick of some kind. But practicing gratitude is a great way to live more in the moment, to develop a sense of optimism and to develop your resilience.

Practicing gratitude takes some efforts, but when the habit’s here, it becomes a bit easier to deal with a bad day.

You can turn the weekly “highlights” section of your PROJO planner into a gratitude log.

The practice of gratitude starts by noticing the small things that brought you joy in your day: the bed you get to sleep in, the smell of your first coffee, the ray of sun through the window or that is warming up your face on your way to work, a song you heard, the snuggles of your pet… Be as specific as possible with your gratitude. Make the memory of that moment and the emotions that came with it as vivid as possible for you to remember. 

Gratitude is all about paying attention to the small (and great) things that bring light in our days.

At the end of the day, we’re all human. We all have to deal with a bad day from time to time.
Slow down, pay attention to your feelings, and connect with your body to make sure you don’t stretch your limits any further. Sometimes, it’s just one bad day before you get better. Sometimes you’ll need bit more time. 

In any case, make sure to give yourself some extra love, and some extra rest whenever you’re feeling down.

I hope tomorrow is a bit better!