50 Things to Try When You’re Having a Bad Day

We all have bad days.

And not all bad days are made equal. Sometimes, actions you’ve taken in the past that have gotten you through a bad day just aren’t working anymore.

And when you’re in the thick of it, it can be difficult to come up with ideas for how to get through it.

Here are 50 ideas for things you can do when you’re having a bad day. Skim through the list for something that resonates with you in this moment and give it a try.

  1. Take a shower.
  2. Go for a walk — without headphones. Be present in the world around you.
  3. Call a close friend.
  4. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  5. Listen to music.
  6. Write down 5 things you are grateful happened.
  7. Spend time in nature/fresh air.
  8. Take a mental health day.
  9. Talk to someone about how you feel or write it down.
  10. Unplug from social media for the day.
  11. Do something nice for someone else — a stranger, or someone in your life.
  12. Go for a drive somewhere on an open road and listen to music.
  13. Give someone a hug — pull them close and hold it for at least 8 seconds.
  14. Treat yourself to your favorite dinner.
  15. Play with a pet.
  16. Practice deep breathing. Check out these breathing exercises.
  17. Try out an adult coloring book (coloring is so relaxing!).
  18. Take yourself on a date to a museum.
  19. Try a guided meditation.
  20. Try Yoga.
  21. Write a list of 10 things you are excited for within the next week/months/year.
  22. Keep yourself hydrated. I personally enjoy lemon water with stevia.
  23. Light some candles and read a physical book (or kindle–something that isn’t a bright screen).
  24. Go to a park and run some sprint intervals.
  25. Look up videos of somewhere in the world that you have always wanted to visit.
  26. Declutter your living space.
  27. Clean out your closet — separate out some clothes you haven’t worn in a while that you can donate or sell.
  28. Try cooking a new recipe. Look up a recipe, go to the store, prepare it and enjoy nourishing yourself.
  29. Write down a list of everything that feels wrong right now. This might help you gain clarity on the root of the problem you’re struggling with.
  30. Resist the urge to self-isolate. Reach out to someone who puts a smile on your face.
  31. Start a list of affirmations.
  32. Ask a friend/family member/significant other to repeat some affirmations to you or provide you with words of positivity and encouragement.
  33. Watch a funny movie.
  34. Watch the sunset.
  35. Grab a blanket, go to the park, lay down and stare at the sky/clouds/stars etc.
  36. Try essential oils – certain scents can be very soothing and help us calm down.
  37. Wash your face with cold water, then moisturize. Feeling clean, fresh, and pampered can help you feel better.
  38. Sit outside in the sunshine (if possible).
  39. Dress up so that you feel sharp — whatever this means to you.
  40. Call or meet up with a friend and talk about them. Focus on giving them advice, on hearing about their life and what they’re going through rather than being stuck in your own head. It can give you strength to face your own battles.
  41. Use your words. Verbalize or write down how you’re feeling. It’s bigger in your mind. Once you say it, it gets smaller.
  42. Hold a plank for as long as you can to work on engaging and strengthening your core.
  43. Make yourself your favorite beverage. Do it with love.
  44. Gain some perspective. Reflect on a few questions…
  45. Make yourself a “Read me on a bad day…” folder/box/list etc. Fill it with positive quotes, affirmations, things to remember, favorite activities. Keep adding to it, even when you’re having a good day. It’s a way to take action towards beating bad days.
  46. Pick up some of your favorite snacks and re-watch a few episodes of your favorite show or movie.
  47. Remember that bad days are normal. How you’re feeling is valid, and you’ll get through this.
  48. Remember that you’ve gotten through 100% of your bad days. You will get through this one too.
  49. Follow a stretching routine to loosen up your muscles and relax.
  50. Go to bed early and get some extra sleep. Tomorrow is a new day to try again.

No matter how you might feel right now, remember that things will get better. Bad days won’t last forever. And the more you fight back, the stronger and smarter you get at finding ways to handle them when they come. What are some ways you cope with a bad day?

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