There’s nothing more frustrating than having a bad day. Especially if you were planning on getting a lot done. I was looking forward to this weekend so I could spend more time on my blogs and with my wife and dogs.
But I woke up Saturday morning at about 2:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. I normally get up at 4:30 but this was WAY too early. So I eventually got up and started my day. But MAN was I tired.
By the time I got my wife up (6:30am) I had already been up for four hours and my eyes were burning from being so dry. At this point I was SO frustrated because I felt like my day was shot. Heck, half my weekend was shot!
I was just too tired to do much of anything. But then I thought about my blog and my desire to help others keep striving for their goals and I decided to make the day an experiment to find out HOW TO SURVIVE A BAD DAY.
So this is what I found. I hope it’s as useful to you as it was for me.
1: Take a nap.
(This assumes that being tired is part of your bad day. If it’s not, just disregard it.)
The first thing I did was take a nap. I had just finished breakfast and I was good for nothing. So I plopped down on the bed and slept for about an hour. I woke up a little less tired but more than anything I just felt like I had given my mind some time to get itself together. That set the foundation for my “Bad Day” recovery.
2: Bite your tongue.
For the rest of the morning I was feeling easily frustrated and had a short fuse. But, in light of my experiment, I put forth the extra effort to just keep calm and try to be pleasant to my wife. One of the best ways to stay in a rut is to try to pull others down with you.
But if you hang on to their sanity you find will yourself coming up to their level. And that’s just what happened. The more I acted like things were going OK the more I felt that way.
Don’t expect to feel great when your struggling through the day. But make it a goal to be OK with things. You will find yourself making progress instead of falling into the trap of your own frustration.
3: Do what you had planned to do.
Often times we let a bad day change our plans for us. We decide that without our regular energy and enthusiasm we would just be wasting our time.
But this is the worst thing you can do. You may not be as efficient or even as effective as you would be otherwise but you will still get things done. And you will feel much better at the end of the day.
You will not only know that you made progress on a day that you thought you would not, but you would know that you are not at the mercy of your circumstances. This can be a great confidence builder.
Then, the next time you hit a bump in the road you will know that you can still make progress on an otherwise wash of a day.
Also, what I found to be a pleasant surprise was the fact that the more I acted like it was a good day the more it felt like one. As I forced myself to stay on task with my regular plans the less I needed to.
4: Don’t give into temptation.
It is often times on your bad days that you “fall of the wagon”, so to speak, with whatever disciplines you are working on. So if you are on a certain diet you may be tempted to give into your cravings and binge.
Or if you have been exercising every day you may feel that “today just is not a good day to…” Don’t listen to this voice in your head. This is the weak part of your mind trying to take over. Tell it where it can stick it’s whining self and stick to your guns.
This is SO important. Once again, at the end of the day you will be glad you didn’t give into your feelings but you instead pushed through it and stayed the course.
5: Stick to your routine.
This might sound redundant but I am particularly referring to those little details that make up your day. If you eat a certain thing for lunch everyday, make sure to do just that.
If you take your dogs for a walk at a particular time everyday, make sure it happens.
These are the little things in your day that make you feel that everything is going as planned. And if you change things up just because you are feeling off, you will just make things worse for yourself.
You want to do everything you can to keep your day feeling normal so you can more easily fight any of the negative emotions you may be struggling with.
6: Look forward to a new tomorrow.
Sometimes the only motivation you have on a bad day is the knowledge that it will eventually end.
This is not a bad thing; use it! Every time you start to feel like you just want to go crash somewhere, can push through it by focusing on the finish line. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and that this day will be over soon.
It’s like you’re at the end of a long race and getting tired. You see the finish line and you get a second wind. You know that if you can just push yourself a little longer you will finish the race in the way you had set out to.
7: Get a good night’s sleep.
I know this is a given but it’s still important to point out none the less. When your normal bed time approaches, get ready for bed and do some reading.
Find a book that is light and easy. I like reading Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. They carry no tension or stress and take me away from my situation for a few minutes. Now it’s just a matter of getting to bed on time.
Hopefully, you’ll wake up the next day refreshed and ready to go. But either way, you will have proved to yourself that you can not only survive a bad day but make progress as well.