If you’re following me over on Instagram stories you know that I had a rough day the other day. The stress from my breakup and issues with my business finally got to me and I found myself in the worst mood I’ve been in for a while. Here’s my advice for when you’re having a rough day.
Sometimes you need to wallow in your stupid bad mood. Allowing yourself to feel your feelings can help you process them and move onto the other side quickly. I decided to just let myself feel really crappy for a while and I parked myself in front of the TV with a cup of tea. I really leaned into the sadness and had a good cry and then I took a bath and had another cry (I wish I was being dramatic). I’m a huge fan of shifting your thought process, living in the present moment and focusing on gratitude but there’s a time and place for sadness. We are human beings and we have a wide range of emotions and there is something special about honoring and embracing our feelings. Just remember, this sadness is temporary and you are healing. I always have to remind myself there are better days ahead because my brain loves to tell me that I am going to be sad forever.
Give Your Sadness a Purpose
Giving my sadness a purpose has really helped me shift my mindset around feeling bad. I decided that sadness exists to make the bright times even brighter. Without struggle, the good times don’t mean as much. In that way, I believe that bad days serve me and make my life more vibrant and give more meaning to my accomplishments. This mindset shift has helped me believe that bad days are ultimately happening for me. Sadness might have a different meaning or role in your life. Try journaling on these questions and see if you can figure out what the meaning is for your sadness and struggle. Our experiences don’t have any meaning on their own. They only have meaning when we give them meaning and start telling stories based on those meanings. I have a whole podcast episode you can listen to on shifting beliefs and telling empowering stories you can listen to here.
How has sadness served me in the past?
If I were a life coach/therapist what would I tell myself about this situation?
If everything happened for my highest good why would this be happening?
If you’re looking for more journal prompts I have a whole post you can check out here.
Here are some of the affirmations I use to give my bad days meaning.
- Everything is happening for my good
- I am strong and becoming stronger
- This experience is working in my favor
- Sadness expands my love and compassion
- Hard times always serve me
At a certain point, I have to decide to shift my energy. I spent over ten years of my life with untreated clinical depression and I can very easily let a bad day spiral into a depressive episode. Once I’ve felt my feelings I have to decide to do something to make myself feel better. If I just wait around for a good mood to come to me it could take a really long time. Once I realized I could take action to make myself feel better in the moment I felt a lot more empowered. I used to think my moods just happened based on external circumstances that I had no control over. Now I believe I am in charge of how I feel and I practice mindfulness to help me call positive emotions into my body. Once I decide I want to feel better I focus on generating moments of happiness and holding that feeling in my body for 10-20 seconds at a time. Doing this over and over helps me raise my mood. There are a ton of ways to do this. You could try watching standup comedy, thinking about your favorite memories or having a dance party. When you notice your mood start to shift for a few seconds notice it and feel thankful for those few seconds of happiness. What you focus on expands so by focusing on the moments of happiness you will make it easier to create more of them. The more often you intentionally call happiness into your body the easier it will get. I do this all day when I’m not having a bad day that way when I feel like crap it’s easier to call happiness into my body. It’s OK if you can only hold positive emotions for a couple seconds at first. Just focus on those couple seconds and how amazing it is that you were able to do it. It will get easier over time the more you practice it.
I often feel inspired when I’m sad and I’ve found that creating things is a really healing practice for me. I wrote a depression manifesto when I felt like crap yesterday and I’m planning on making it into a printable and giving it away for free. Writing, painting or making something can feel really healing and help you process your feelings. Starting this blog has been such a huge blessing in my life and it’s given me a creative outlet that I feel passionate about (if you’re interested in blogging check out my other site). Give yourself permission to create freely and without judgment. Most of the stuff I write is never seen by anyone but me. There is something really liberating about just creating for the process and not the end result. Give yourself a judgment-free zone to create art and see what comes through.
Make a Plan
If you’re having more bad days than good it might be time to change your life. Identify what is causing you to have bad days and how you can handle it better next time. It’s always important to acknowledge what role we play in a situation and take responsibility for our own feelings. If your heart is telling you to change something in your life it’s time to listen. Sit down and figure out what changes you need to take your life to the next level and make a plan to get there. Do you need to go to therapy? Find a new job? Move to a different town? This is your life and you are capable of changing the aspects of it that are no longer serving you. When I was depressed I felt trapped and like I couldn’t make changes to my own life. Once I took responsibility for my situation I was able to move forward and into a better phase of my life. I have learned the hard way not to make impulsive decisions out of sadness or unhappiness. Start planning out what you want to change about your life and sit with it for a while. Take small steps towards your goal. If you want a new job update your resume, if you want to move start looking at places to live and if you want new friends look into meetups in your area. Most things about our lives are temporary. If something is really getting you down make a plan to change it. I just started using The High-Performance Planner which has really good journaling questions you fill out in the morning and at night. It helps me make sure I am focusing on my goals every day and I am really enjoying it so far. I use the High-Performance Planner to do self-reflection and my Happy Planner to plan out my day and keep notes.
If you’ve been following my mental health journey you know that I am a big fan of therapy. If you just had one bad day then this might not apply to you. I know there was a point in my life where every day was a bad day. I thought that was just how life was and I accepted my depression as my normal. It wasn’t until I talked to a therapist and a doctor that I was able to get the help I needed to start getting better. This is your one precious life and if you’ve had the idea to go to therapy in the back of your head for awhile I hope you get motivated to finally just go. It really was a game-changer for me and it resulted in an intense personal development journey that I am so thankful for.
Exercise is one of the main ways I elevate my mood. I actually hate exercising but the benefits are so massive that I force myself to workout every single day. When you exercise your brain gets a dose of feel-good chemicals that can help you counteract your bad day. Working out is also a big stress reliever so if your bad day is caused by stress exercise is a great outlet. Life is going to happen and we can’t control when things start to totally suck. We can control how we walk through hard times though. Whenever I start to struggle with my mental health or stress I up my regular workouts. There have been times when I worked out twice a day because I needed a healthy way to cope with the difficulties I was experiencing in my life. If you’re like me and hate exercising sign up for some classes and try some new activities to see if that helps you. When I’m in a bad mood I find that my energy levels drop. I used to think that exercise made you more tired but now I know that regular exercise will give you way more energy overall. It can also help you sleep if you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night.
If you want to learn how I make myself exercise regularly check out my YouTube video below.
Change Your Environment
Usually, if I’ve been wallowing and I’m in a funky mood I have to change my environment to start feeling better. If I stay in my house it is more difficult to shift into a positive mood. Being outside usually helps me change my mood so I will take my dog for a walk or go for a walk. Often times being around other people will cheer me up and make me feel better. Call up your friends and see if you can meet them somewhere for coffee or ice cream. Sometimes I will even just go work at the library so I can be in a new environment. Get out of your house and set the intention of raising your energy. Listen to a playlist of all your favorite songs. I always find that listening to upbeat music can help me change my state and mood. Go on an adventure and check out somewhere you’ve never been before. Sometimes I’ll just go work in a different coffee shop or restaurant just to be somewhere new and fresh.
Listening to personal development has really changed my outlook on my life overall. There are so many great podcasts available to stream for free and I’ve found listening to them really helpful to my moods overall. I think it’s so important to feed your brain positive messages especially if you’re around negative people. If you want some recommendations you can find all my favorite podcasts here. It’s so amazing to me that you can listen to the best coaches, authors and motivators in the world for free on your phone. When I’m having a hard day I will listen to something inspiring to help me shift my energy. I really like listening to podcasts about women running their own business. Hearing other peoples success stories makes me excited for the future and really inspires me to keep going when I’ve had a rough day.
I hope this blog post helps you if you’re having a bad day. I have lots of posts on managing depression and anxiety plus I also have a podcast and a new YouTube channel all about mental health. Talking about mental health is my passion and I’ve made it my mission to share everything I’ve learned so far with others. I hope your rough day gets better and you have a better day soon.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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