5 ways to make a bad day better

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It’s one of those days..

You know the kind of day I mean, one of those shitty days when you don’t feel good. Nothing feels right. You don’t feel right and you’re in danger of spiralling, you might already be spiralling and the waves of despair are beginning to crash over your beleaguered head. It could be something big that caused it, some event or circumstance that has pushed you over the edge – losing your job, a financial issue, some bad news; it could be a collection of smaller things – such as your day not starting right, getting an ornery message from a loved one, being late for work; it could be how you’re feeling about yourself, your body, how you look or a perceived character flaw you think you have; you might not even know where these feelings are coming from, you might not be able to associate them with anything that’s going on for you – in that case, like me, you may be an empath. (https://jonathanvitalliving.com/12-signs-you-are-an-empath/).

You’re feeling bad and maybe you want to run screaming for the hills or maybe you just want to hide away. But you can’t. At least, you feel as if you can’t. Maybe you’ve got a day of work to get through, or a very long to do list that needs to get done (which you’ve had for so long you can’t possibly wait one more day to complete it!). Pressure. You feel this overwhelming pressure. Pressure to feel better and get over whatever made you feel bad in the first place; pressure to complete all the work you have to do; pressure to still be functioning and productive. Where is all of this pressure coming from – sure it maybe coming from a boss who expects you in work; from a spouse that needs you to support them; children that need attending to – but mostly that pressure is coming from you and what you demand of yourself based on your own, or what you perceive to be others’ expectations of you.

So what should you do? Are you going to power through like a Trojan horse and ignore your mental and emotional (even possibly physical) well-being? According to a lot of people, well yes, you should. Our modern-day society not only expects that, but actually demands it of us. We are bombarded with all of these messages, sometimes overt, sometimes entirely subliminal, telling us how we should be ball-breaking, go-getting, super-productive, multi-tasking heroes and if at any point we fall below these standards of perfection, or we need a break, or fall a little and need help, we are worthless and not good enough. No time for rest, certainly no time for failure! We must be productive and ring out every second of life with a day’s worth of living! Lord knows, it’s a short life and if you’re not making the most out of every single little second living your best most fantastic joyful life, then you are not truly living!!

Even in the holistic and New Age communities there is a pressure to be productive and think positively under any and all circumstances which really is impossible for any human being to do always and consistently. (https://jonathanvitalliving.com/when-positive-thinking-isnt-possible/) So what can you do? Before I share a list below of things you can do that I find help me in this situation, I’d like to share a quote:

“When I wake up, I expect things to be good. If they’re not, then I try to set about trying to make them as good as I can ‘cause I know I’m gonna have to live that day anyway. So why not try to make the most of it if you can? Some days, they pan out a little better than others, but you still gotta always just try.”

– Dolly Parton

I love the above quote by Dolly Parton as I think it sums this kind of feeling up perfectly; we still have to live the day we find ourselves in, whether we feel like it or not; so we may as well make the most of it. Sometimes making the most of it might be to carry on with the things we have to do but trying to find the positive aspects of that we’re doing; however sometimes, making the most of it might be giving up on the things we have to do right now in order to relieve some pressure – not necessarily to feel good, but to feel easier. Below, is a list of ways you might find that relief you’re looking for when faced with a day you don’t feel like facing:

  1. Work. Maybe you have to work, you have no choice. If that’s the case, rather than rail against it mentally and feel resistance, accept that you have to work. By facing a situation or something we don’t like head on and accepting that that’s just the way things are right now and we can’t change it – no matter what internal dialogue we have going on, we begin to feel some relief. In acceptance of something it no longer has that mental hold of us and we can feel easier. I’m lucky in that I love the work I do, even when I’m feeling pretty bad (and that happens from time to time) and not wanting to work, as soon as I start to work I begin to feel better. I takes me out of myself and gives me something to focus on. If you don’t love your work, find some aspect of it you do enjoy – there will be something if you look hard enough. It could be a colleague you enjoy talking to, it could be a particular task you like doing – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the aspect you enjoy, hold on to that and let that be your focus.
  2. Have an eventful ‘non-day’. If it’s a day when I’m not scheduled to do any work (client or student facing) I decide to have a ‘non-day’. I find that what works best for me on those days is to not fight the feelings or the situation and simply let it be. I decide to do absolutely nothing. Those phone calls I wanted to make, I don’t make them. Any appointments I may have, where possible, I cancel them. My to do list? Rolled over to another day (it’s been rolling on for weeks anyway!). The sense of relief I feel when I commit to my non-day is immediate and the pressure starts to fall away. On my non-day I decide to do one or more things that I love to do and that bring me comfort – see the next point.
  3. Do something you love. If you still have to get through a busy day, doing something you love could be reading part of a book or magazine that you enjoy, listening to a favourite song, eating something comforting and nourishing, drinking tea or wearing an item of clothing that you really like. If you’ve been able to commit to a ‘non-day’ (see point 2) you may be able to do several things you love. I’ll watch a film – usually a film I already know and love, or a film I’ve been wanting to see for a while, drink my favourite tea, have something sweet as a treat, wear some really comfortable clothes and take a nap under my favourite blanket. Will I be bouncing off the walls in sheer joy? No I won’t, but I will feel comforted and soothed, giving my head and soul some space to feel relief and heal.
  4. Make contact. Call – or message if you don’t feel up to talking – someone that you love and who cares about you. That contact will connect you to another human being emotionally and will automatically leave you feeling more supported, even if you’re not explicit about what’s troubling you. You don’t have to talk about what’s troubling you, or if you do, you may find it helpful and possibly even arrive at a solution. But at the very least, you’ll feel relief and more hopeful just by the simple act of contacting and connecting.
  5. Move your body. At some point in your day, include some movement. It doesn’t have to be a full work out at the gym or a long run, or something intense, it could be just having a stretch, doing a couple of yoga postures or having a walk in the fresh air. Our bodies are designed to move and even a little movement on a bad day can help to make you feel better as this will shift the energy and prevents it from becoming heavy and stagnant. It may also clear a little space in your head, leaving your thoughts less tumultuous and burdensome which will eventually allow you to think more clearly and peacefully at some point.

These are my five points on how to make a bad day a little better. I hope you find them useful, and if you have any other additional points that you use to make your day a little better, please feel free to share with me . Don’t forget to subscribe so you can be notified of my latest posts.

Much love –

Jonathan