How to Turn that Frown Upside Down
I don’t know what it is about February this year, but I feel like everyone is going through this kind of life-suck stage. We’re in that weird state of mind that comes around this time of year. We’re pretty much over the excitement and relaxation that winter break gave us. We’re far enough into the spring semester that our classes are no longer “new and exciting.” Now they all just suck. And Spring Break sure seems like a hell of a long way from here.
With this “suck stage” that February seems to bring, there are going to be a plethora of bad days. Sometimes, your days just suck. Maybe you know going into the day that it’s just going to be shitty or maybe you find yourself in the midst of hell unexpectedly. Whatever the case is, there are a couple of things you can do to help make your shitty day… well, less shitty.
Give Yourself a Breather
When I have a bad day, sometimes I just need to “take a chill pill,” as my mother always says. I retreat into my space for maybe just 15 minutes or half an hour. I turn on some music or turn on a completely mindless show on Hulu. And I literally just sit there. Sometimes just taking a short little break from life is what you really need to turn your day around.
On the other hand, sometimes you can use this breather to organize yourself. Today, I felt my academic workload crashing around me and felt completely overwhelmed. I spent a lot of time panicking until I finally just sat down with my computer and calendar and literally scheduled out everything that I needed to get done today. After I had organized my brain and thoughts, I felt immensely better. It helped me be in control of everything, even though just moments before it had felt absolutely out of my hands.
Distraction can take many shapes. On days when I’m ridiculously busy, I distract myself by just throwing myself into work. If you’re dealing with a bad day in your personal life, it gets your mind off of the drama and onto something productive. If you’re dealing with a bad day in terms of school, doing work will actually help you feel less stressed out because you’re actually doing work to limit your stress. If you don’t even know where to start with your work because you’re so stressed, see tip number one.
Avoid the False Start
The Lifehacker article “How to Beat a Bad Day Before it Starts” says that a false start is something like getting up later than you had wanted, forgetting to grab something and having to go back to your room, forgetting about an assignment, etc., etc. False starts will just start your day off in a bad mood, and everything will eventually go down from there. Avoid these false starts by planning ahead the night before. Make sure you’ve set your alarm at the right time. Set two alarms if you need to. Make sure you have double checked all your assignments. All of this should be second nature to you, but if it’s not, you should get into the habit of it and see how many fewer false starts you end up having.
Vent About It
The number one way I feel better about a bad day is to just rant to it about someone. It doesn’t matter who. Roommate, boyfriend/girlfriend, mother, brother, whoever. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone about it, just open up a blank document to type in and just rant. Just getting your feelings out there will help you understand what you’re so frustrated about so that you can get on with your day.
Sleep On It
Sometimes there’s nothing to be done about a shitty day. Sometimes day are just shitty. And, sure, it sucks, but tomorrow’s another day. Today may have been bad, but the world did not stop spinning. You’ve learned a little lesson and you’ve built character. Sleep takes your mind off the day you’ve just had so get a good night sleep and you should feel refreshed in the morning.
The Psychology Today article “13 Tips for Dealing With a Really Lousy Day” says in its first tip that you shouldn’t treat yourself. Well, guess what. I disagree. If you’re having a crappy day, why the hell shouldn’t you treat yourself to a little chocolate, guilty pleasure TV, or whatever little pleasure in life that makes you happy? There’s nothing wrong with giving yourself a break every once in awhile.
However, what I do think that the article was trying to stress was that you shouldn’t gorge yourself. Treat yourself, but don’t do anything that’s going to make yourself feel even more crappy after you’ve done it. Just because you think you deserve some ice cream doesn’t mean you should eat a whole gallon, spend money you don’t have on a new pair of heels (or some male equivalent of the awesomeness of heels), or sleep with your spring fling from last year. That’s not treating yourself. That’s being stupid.
Put Your Bad Day In Perspective
When they’re happening, it really does seem like nothing can be worse than what is happening to you right now. However, after you’ve given yourself a little time just to wallow in the shittiness of your day (which is part of the process), take a few steps back and just put your day in perspective. Is this the worse thing that could possibly happen? Is the world going to end? Is this really going to keep you from graduating college? Are your parents really going to disown you? The answer is usually going to be no. And while that might not fix your day right now, it’ll help you at least move on and make it to tomorrow.
Do you have any tips for dealing with bad days? Let us know in the comments!