We’ve all had them – those days when nothing seems to go right and it feels like the world is against you…
But instead of replaying that negative voice in your head, you must take back control of the crappy situation so it doesn’t repeat itself.
Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but with these 15 tips, you’ll know what to do after having a bad day so you can make tomorrow a better one.
This blog offers ways to:
- Reframe your mindset
- Feel supported and empowered
- Let go of the past
- Prepare for tomorrow
Throughout the blog, you can download various FREE printables and reusable PDFs that are tools to help you practice the tips!
WHAT TO DO AFTER HAVING A BAD DAY
We all have days that don’t go as planned, leaving us frustrated, stressed, or upset. However, it’s crucial to remember that a bad day doesn’t have to define tomorrow, your entire week, or your month.
With a few simple steps, you can move on from the bad and get motivated to make tomorrow and every day one to celebrate.
No matter how challenging the day has been, the first step is to reframe your mindset. To do that, though, you have to see that the voice crying victim in your head – aka those complaints about things out of your control and blame on outside forces – is:
- Not your identity / not your voice.
- Able to be reasoned with.
- A big reason why today sucked.
This not to shame you – I and every human have a victim in our heads, too! – but just to bring a more empowering perspective to your awareness.
When you realize that you no longer have to give your power to / think like the victim, you can effectively take the steps to reframe your mindset and stop feeling victimized.
6 TIPS TO REFRAME YOUR MINDSET
Now that you’ve acknowledged that negative voice in your head doesn’t have to take over, your mind will be more receptive of the tips you employ.
After having a bad day, shifting your mindset can be tough, but once open-mindedness clicks you’ll feel much more optimistic than you did before.
Here are 6 tips to reframe your mindset after a bad day so you can have a better headspace tomorrow:
- Allow yourself to feel.
- Write down how you feel.
- Practice gratitude.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Move your body.
- Practice self-care.
→ ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL
When the day was rough, it’s important to acknowledge the emotions you’re experiencing.
Don’t try to suppress or ignore them – I promise bottling it up will inevitably lead to an explosion.
Instead, give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. This can help you process your emotions and move forward in a healthier way.
Need to calm down your mind first? Read the steps for calming down overwhelm in this blog!
→ WRITE DOWN HOW YOU FEEL
Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a helpful way to process them and gain clarity. Take some time to journal about what happened during your bad day and how it made you feel. Ask yourself:
- What went wrong?
- How did I react?
- How could I have reacted better?
- What can I learn from the experience?
Write down any insights you gained from the day, and reflect on what you can personally do differently next time. Brainstorming solutions or actions to take to improve the situation gives you your power back and reduces overwhelm, while reassessing how you reacted versus how you could have reacted is the most effective way to develop as a person.
Noting your thoughts actually also serves as a valuable motivational tool! You can look back on your journal entries and see how far you’ve come in handling difficult situations, which is really inspiring when you need a boost.
→ PRACTICE GRATITUDE
Gratitude is a powerful tool for shifting your mindset and focusing on the positive amidst all the negative. Take a few minutes to write down things that you’re thankful for, even if they seem small or insignificant.
For example: Some common, daily things that I’m always grateful for are my morning chai, my walks with my dog, my home office setup, and my chats with my boyfriend. When I dig a bit deeper, I think about how lucky I am to even taste that chai, use my two legs, have an apartment where I can separate space, and have such a supportive significant other.
Even when your day goes awry, there is always something or someone who brings a smile to your face.
When you can cultivate this sense of appreciation for the little things and whatever you take for granted, you begin to develop a new perspective that remembers just how many gifts you have among the challenges.
To continue practicing gratitude every day, write one line a day noting what you’re thankful for using my Daily Gratitude List! Download for FREE now by inputting your number below or texting GRATEFUL to (205) 964-2122.
→ PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment – without judgement – to help your mind and body work as one.
When you’re going through a tough time, being in the moment can help you stay centered and calm. By letting go of any worries about the past or future, you allow your thoughts to reorient back to the present, which is what matters most.
I love using the Headspace app throughout the day, but particularly when I really need to realign my thought process and/or overcome mental struggles like anxiety and overwhelm.
If you haven’t heard of it, Headspace is a meditation app that teaches you how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. They have tons of videos walking you through breathing techniques and how to boost emotional awareness, the majority of which are under 10 minutes.
You can start your FREE 30-Day Headspace Guest Pass by clicking this link!
→ MOVE YOUR BODY
Exercise is a great way to release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters our body creates.
Even if you don’t feel like it, try to do some form of physical activity such as going for a walk, doing some yoga, or hitting the treadmill. Just a simple workout will make you feel better after a bad day.
Not only will moving your body literally improve your mood, energy, and focus, but it can also help you sleep better at night – which is obviously important to have a better tomorrow!
→ PRACTICE SELF-CARE
Especially after a rough day, it’s very important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This can include taking a relaxing bath, going for a walk, practicing yoga, or simply taking the time to do something you enjoy.
Self-care is how you stay relaxed and refreshed, which can improve your mindset and help you tackle the next day with a more positive attitude. I personally like to either do my nails with my DIY kit, stretch with a YouTube video, bake a dessert or talk to a friend/family member.
Remember: taking care of yourself is not selfish, but absolutely necessary for your overall well-being. There’s a reason flight attendants tell you to put your air mask on first…
3 TIPS TO FEEL EMPOWERED
Once you have reframed your mindset and are in a more positive headspace, it’s time to utilize the support others have to offer.
Here are 3 specific ways you can feel more empowered after having a bad day:
- Connect with a mentor.
- Connect with family/friends.
- Do an act of kindness.
→ CONNECT WITH A MENTOR
Talking things through with someone who cares about you but also has been in your shoes / understands your particular circumstance can be incredibly uplifting after having a bad day.
Reach out to your mentor or someone you look up to and share how your day went. They may be able to offer support and a different perspective that can help you feel better and move forward!
Also, the actual act of getting what happened off your chest can often lift that heavy feeling off of your shoulders.
→ CONNECT WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS
It never hurts to have someone to talk to after a really long day. Reach out to a supportive friend or family member who can listen to you without judgement.
They may offer an alternative approach to looking at your situation or simply provide a listening ear. Either way, talking your feelings out helps you process them and feel less alone. Plus, knowing that someone cares about you always boosts your mood and helps you feel more empowered to carry on.
Point is: don’t be afraid to ask for a lending hand or shoulder to lean on when you need it!
→ DO AN ACT OF KINDNESS
Do a small act of kindness for others is a wonderful way to shift your focus away from your own problems and make a positive impact on someone else’s life.
Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, give up your parking space, donate to a charity, or offer to help a family member out with something.
When you feel good about who you are, you feel empowered to tackle just about anything!
4 TIPS TO LET GO OF A BAD DAY
To be able to have a better tomorrow, you must first let go of what happened today. FYI – this process is much easier when you’ve already done at least one tip to reframe your mindset.
Here’s 4 tips for letting go of a bad day:
- Take a break.
- Accept your feelings.
- Challenge your thoughts.
- Plan something to look forward to.
→ TAKE A BREAK
If you’ve tried to reframe your mindset but today just is not it, that’s okay! Sometimes, the best thing you can do after a tough day is to take a break from it all.
This could mean stepping away from work, turning off your phone, or avoiding social media. Do something that brings you joy instead, like reading a book, watching a funny episode of a show, or going to the gym.
Whatever you do, be sure to recharge your batteries and clear your mind. Obviously, your brain needs it.
→ ACCEPT YOUR FEELINGS
The first step to letting something go is to acknowledge your feelings, which I suggested doing in the above section. The second step, then, is to accept what you’re feeling.
Once you’ve realized that you are angry, upset, sad, or any other emotion, do not ignore it but tell yourself that it is okay to feel it. By giving yourself permission to be human, you make room in your brain to think more critically just like humans are meant to do.
Give yourself grace and space, and you really will start to feel more free.
→ CHALLENGE YOUR THOUGHTS
Often, our thoughts can keep us stuck in a negative cycle. When a self-limiting belief – or destructive self-talk – pops into your head, stop yourself and reframe it in a more positive light.
For instance, whenever I think, “No one would ever want to hire me as their coach,” I pause and say out loud, with umph, “I’m a creative, intelligent woman with a lot to offer any client.” Or when I say in my head, “I’ll never finish this / get this right,” I reframe my thought and declare, “It’s going to take time, but I will get there.”
Enter your number below or text SAYTHIS to (205) 964-2122 to download my FREE Don’t Say That – Say This! chart.
Then write or type the limiting self-beliefs you say the most on the left, and a phrase that reframes the belief on the right. When you catch yourself saying anything in the left columns, stop yourself and say your phrase in the right column to negate that negative voice.
It doesn’t do you any good to dwell on the past or worry about the future, nor to tear yourself down. So be intentional with how you think and talk to yourself, and make sure you’re your number one supporter.
→ PLAN SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
The promise of something fun or exciting can often help you move on from a tough day by giving you something happier to think about.
Schedule something you’d really look forward to within the next week, such as dinner with friends, a movie night, or maybe a day trip. Having an event you can’t wait to get to is an effective way to boost motivation and forget about the past.
4 TIPS TO PLAN A BETTER TOMORROW
Now that you’ve let go of the past, you’re ready to prepare for tomorrow so it’s a day to celebrate.
I personally follow these steps during my Workday Shutdown Ritual, which is just a workflow of things I do after my workdays to get ready for the next one. I strongly suggest implementing a Workday Shutdown Ritual into your after-work transition so you can routinize these tips.
Here’s 4 tips to plan for a better tomorrow after a bad day:
- Do a Start/Stop/Continue chart.
- Outline tomorrow’s goals.
- Define tomorrow’s mindset intention.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
→ DO A START/STOP/CONTINUE CHART
It’s hard to admit your part in your bad day, but developing this awareness is the most effective way to prevent the bad day from repeating.
Grab a piece of paper or open a document and create a 3-columned chart with the headings: Start; Stop; Continue. Reflect on the day and fill in the chart accordingly, noting actions and reactions you did or had that you know impacted the day, positively or negatively.
Here’s what a typical Start/Stop/Continue chart looks like for me:
Keep this chart nearby tomorrow so it reminds you to focus on the things you can control.
→ OUTLINE TOMORROW’S GOALS
Having a plan helps you feel more organized and in control, but the key is to make the plan realistic.
End the bad day by deciding on 3 doable, simpler goals that you know you can achieve tomorrow. These goals should not have a ton of steps to them – at max I suggest 2 – and, when completed, should inspire greater self-confidence and worth.
Use my daily time blocking planner to outline your day! When you start the day with a sense of direction, you can flow through the day with a sense of purpose.
→ DEFINE TOMORROW’S MINDSET INTENTION
Often times, a bad day gets worse thanks to that negative voice in your head. That’s why it’s super useful to set a mindset intention, which is a statement that defines how you will be intentional with your thinking moving forward.
Whatever negativity has been stirring in your head, make the commitment to switch it up and talk to yourself more positively. For example, I often put myself down using my perfectionist tendencies, so I write down, “Don’t overthink, just do,” and “Tell empowering stories to myself,” as my two daily the mindset intentions.
Improving your mindset is a constant work-in-progress, so I’ve held these intentions for many months now and have noticed I get better each and every day. It takes patience, but start now – it’s worth it.
→ GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Sleep is absolutely essential for your physical and mental health, yet many adults do not have a set cycle.
To function at its best, your brain needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep – I personally need at least 7.5 hours to feel rested. Listen to your internal clock and go to bed when you should to you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
If you have trouble sleeping, try watching the Netflix show created by Headspace A Guide to Sleep to learn about relaxation techniques like deep breathing and mindfulness exercises. This show is what led me to download their app, so I think it’s a great introduction to meditation, too!
It’s inevitable that we all have bad days, but it’s important to know how to get back on the horse and have a better tomorrow.
As we’ve seen, these 15 tips – from reframing your mindset to letting the day go and planning for tomorrow – can help you move past the crap and readjust to succeed.
So remember: take care of yourself, don’t be too hard on yourself, express yourself, establish a routine, and put things into perspective.
As Confucius once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.”