Coping With Bad Days
No matter how successful, confident, and happy you are, there are still those days where life feels like a punishment and getting out of bed is the last thing we want to do. What typically follows is a series of unfortunate events: You spill hot coffee on your clothes right before you leave, you realize your gas tank is empty, and the neighbor across the street sends you an unpleasant look on your way out. By the end of it, you’re in tears and wondering why the world is against you.
When you’re already down in the dumps, it’s not uncommon to have days where the non-issues flare up symptoms of anxiety and depression. Regardless of the reason for your bad mood, the main one is that you’re human. The good news is, there are ways to cope with negative emotions and make the most out of them or simply minimize the damage. At the very least, you can set yourself up for a better day tomorrow.
Below are different ways to neutralize a negative day, or better yet, turn it around. If you happen to be struggling with severe and longer-term symptoms of anxiety and depression, our psychologists and counselors are here to help you address what might be happening under the surface.
Tune in to Your Emotions
It’s okay to not be okay. Stop to acknowledge and accept that you’re having a bad day. A lot of times when we’re feeling irritable and caught up in negative emotions, our mind immediately starts thinking of ways to “fix” it. That’s because we instinctually try to avoid uncomfortable emotions. The thing is, you can’t think your way out of your emotions. If you could, we would all just think our way out of anxiety and depression. Ever notice that the more you try not to suppress a thought, the more it almost amplifies its’ presence in your mind? Instead of exhausting yourself by thinking your way out of a bad day, allow yourself to be upset. Your emotions are valid.
Find Time to Rest and Relax
No amount of being on the go and staying productive will break us out of a funk. In fact, it can do even more damage. If you’re your schedule allows it, take a day off to recharge. If you can’t manage a full day off, prioritize small, frequent breaks. 5 minutes of deep breathing or 10 minutes of meditation are productive ways to relax in the middle of a busy day. Rest is a valuable yet underused tool. You could even say it’s productive. You are worthy of rest. Make it a priority.
Manage Your Expectations
Expectations are powerful. We often make plans under the expectation that we’ll be able to fulfill those plans in the future. When our expectations aren’t met, we can be overcome with negative thoughts and emotions. If you’re someone who follows a long, extravagant daily routine and has a mile long to-do list for the moment you open your eyes, it will be especially hard to manage a bad mood. This is your reminder that it’s okay to adjust your expectations. Take a deep breath and reconsider what you want to get done today. Make it a point to simplify your day the best you can. Focus on smaller tasks and stick to the basics.
Put Yourself First
Perhaps you’re someone who is always considering everyone else’s emotions. Thinking of everyone else and their needs can add fuel to a particularly bad day. On days like this, it’s especially important to prioritize your needs. It’s a lot harder to take care of the people around us if we aren’t first taking care of ourselves. Be kind to yourself and say no to the people and things that don’t bring you joy.
Change Up Your Routine
Monotony can have a negative impact on our mental health. Try to add some novelty to your day. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It could be taking a walk in a new place or driving a different route to work. Our routines are incredibly helpful for reaching goals, but they can also become a prison if we don’t change it up sometimes. Balance is important. Challenge your brain by doing something new.
Things to Reflect on When You’re Having a Bad Day
You’ve made it through 100% of your bad days so far
Failure makes you human
We all fall short
You can’t pour from an empty cup
You don’t have to move the world. You just have to get through the day.
You’re doing enough
It will pass
Progress isn’t linear
Bad days are the reason why good days exist
Looking For Support?
Sometimes what we’re dealing with is more than just a bad day. Maybe it goes on for days, weeks, or even months. If you experience frequent low moods or prolonged symptoms of depression and anxiety, it could be time to reach out for guidance. Having a professional to support your journey towards wellness can save valuable time.
Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you at our Flower Mound, Texas, and Southlake, Texas, offices. Our Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counselors specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychological testing, and medication management for a variety of emotional and behavioral health needs. All services are available in-person and online (telehealth). If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are here to help.