Bad days. We’ve all had them. Sometimes it’s a combination of little things going wrong, sometimes it’s something major that really upsets us or pisses us off. Sometimes we wake up in a shitty mood and have absolutely no idea why. Most of the time I’m in a great mood, yet there are those days where I just can’t get on board with the whole happiness thing. Small things set me off, anything from stepping in a puddle and getting soaked to being extremely decaffeinated can really affect my mood on any given day.
Lets face it. Bad days are shit. They makes us feel crappy and our self esteem momentarily plummets. They’re hard to deal with if you suddenly have one and mind-numbingly painful if you have a constant string of them. We could really do without them, but unfortunately they’re inevitable. But we can try and make them a bit less crappy. Here’s some advice on what to do the next time your day isn’t going great.
Acknowledging and accepting your mood helps make you more mindful of what triggers you feeling low. Whenever I’m not feeling great I simply say to myself, either out loud or in my head if in public, “This happened and it made me feel sad/hurt/stressed/anxious etc. and that’s OK.” Accepting that you feel a bit rubbish instead of repressing it and trying to carry on as if everything is coming up roses will actually make you feel ten times better.
Another great way is to write your thoughts down in a journal. Putting your thoughts and feelings into words and getting them out of your head is a huge release and will feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Next time you’re not feeling great spend ten minutes writing down what happened and how it made you feel. You can bullet point it, write it like a diary entry or a full on rant. Whatever works for you. Try it and see how it makes you feel.
Treating yourself to a little something, be it chocolate, takeaway coffee, a night watching Netflix and eating ice cream in bed or even an impulse purchase , can help turn a crappy day around. Now I’m not saying you should buy a new dress or make your way through a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s ( they’re going to start doing dairy free flavours how exciting! Sorry lactose intolerant here, anyway I digress) whenever you’re not feeling your best, but doing something you’d like to do rather than should do can really have a positive impact on your overall mood and well being. It tells your mind that you’re worth the indulgence. Hey if calorie consumption is a form of self love I’m all for it. Next time you’re feeling low ask yourself “What little thing would make my day a bit better?” and do it.
Exercise is one of the best mood boosters around. I find that in weeks when I get round to exercising everyday my mood fluctuates a lot less. It’s when I don’t always have time to let off steam that I’m more likely to get irritated and impatient which can trigger a crappy mood. Don’t feel you have to bust your gut for an hour at the gym though. Just 10-15 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to release endorphins and boost your mood. Choose something you enjoy, like a jog or brisk walk around the block or a dance or Zumba video on YouTube. I find that 20 minutes of yoga at the end of the day can take me from the foulest of moods to feeling like an angel. There are plenty of great exercise videos on YouTube that you can do at home with little or no equipment, most of which are only 10-20 minutes long. Choose something you like the look of and master it or mix it up everyday.
Music can have an enormous affect on our mood. It can clear away the cobwebs, inspire us or take us back to a fond memory. Make yourself a playlist of your favourite songs and listen to it whenever you feel low. When I was having a bad day my sister made me a Spotify playlist called “songs to cheer Stella up”, filled with songs from our childhood, private joke songs and ones full of inspiring lyrics and upbeat tempos. It’s one of the nicest things someone has ever done for me and I was so touched. I live away from home for uni and miss her terribly, so having something like that full of songs we share together keeps me going through the hard times. I’ve found that different genres are great for when you need different things:
Cheering up: Soul/ motown, pop
Calming down from anger or tears: angry rock/ pop punk/ screamo (yes really! I find the volume and aggression takes it out of me and calms me down)
Getting over rejection/heartache/ a nasty comment/situation: ballads/ musical soundtracks ( you need lyrics that sum up how you feel – ABBA’s heartbreak ballads and Les Miserables are great for this)
Getting pumped up and re-motivated after a setback: 00’s pop punk and RnB (you need that sass)
Soothing/ comfort: songs from your childhood ( I’m a nineties girl so any S Club 7, Steps etc. always does the trick)
Probably one of the most important things we should do for our well-being, yet a lot of us wouldn’t know where to start. We expect so much of ourselves on a daily basis; we should be productive, we should eat healthily, we should exercise, should, should, should. But when you’re not feeling great pushing yourself to do all this “should” stuff can be dangerous. It will make you feel ten times worse and then you’ll be less productive and be even harsher on yourself. It’s a vicious circle.
When a mood low strikes, take a step back and soothe yourself. Get into some jimmys, get into bed with a hot drink and read or watch a sitcom. If you’re out of the house go for a walk around the park/ block for ten minutes and make a note to yourself that you will go easy on yourself that evening. Make yourself get through the work day and then do you the minute you get through that door. Cook your favourite food, put on some lounge wear and just relax.
Whenever I’ve had a rough day I watch “Red Dwarf”, a hit 90s sci-fi comedy, as it I find it immensely comforting. It was the first comedy I really got into and whenever I watch it it takes me back to my former thirteen year old self, who was relatively happy in her own nerdy bubble. Do something you adore and that makes your heart glow; watch your favourite film, read a book or poem that inspires you, draw, write, whatever, even if you can only spare yourself thirty minutes. Taking comfort in something you love will make you feel better, after all these are the things that make our life more fulfilling. Cram them in whenever you can.
Water is extremely soothing, so having a bath or shower at the end of a long day can seriously help. I always feel a lot calmer and lighter after showering when I’m in a bad mood, it’s almost as if I’ve managed to wash off all the rubbish thoughts of the day and let them go down the drain. Add a little bit of mindfulness into the mix and you’ve got yourself some serious water therapy. Notice the warmth of the water on your skin, the smell of your shampoo, the feeling of steam on your face. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the tub or shower to make it more relaxing. A good sing song is also extremely therapeutic. The shower doesn’t care if you’re tone deaf.
When we’re feeling down we can feel very disconnected and alone. Simple contact such as a hug can do wonders for our mood. Especially if the other person smells good.
This is something me and my mum came up with. Pollyanna is the main character of Eleanor H. Porter’s best-selling novel of the same name, who always aims to find at least one positive thing in a situation or day (then she gets run over and can’t walk and can’t think of anything positive which is so heartbreaking, but again I digress). This is a great thing to do daily and helps you readjust your outlook and challenge negative thoughts. So maybe you were stuck inside all day doing uni work/ working and it bored your head off. But maybe you had a really nice conversation with someone or you had a really nice lunch or cup of coffee ( I mean when has coffee been anything but positive seriously). Make a habit to practise this daily and you’ll soon find yourself looking for the positive in situations that you’re not a huge fan of.
Don’t bottle it up and feel rubbish on your lonesome. If some thing particular has bothered you then talk it through with someone. Not only does it help you let go, but it will help you get a different perspective. Whenever I feel low I ring a close friend or my parents; people I can be truly honest with. I know I don’t have to hold back and just say what I feel, which is extremely refreshing. You’re always welcome to hit me up on social media or on here if you want someone to talk about it with.
What makes you feel better after a bad day? Comment below with your feel good tips, I’d love to hear what you have to say. In the meantime check me out on pinterest, where I’ve made a “mood booster”board for you, full of everything you need to help you feel a bit better, from feel good playlists to pictures of cute otters. What more could you want?!
Until next time lovelies