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26 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

26 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

This post originally appeared on my mental health blog Resilient.


Sometimes we have bad days.  In that case, just whip out this handy list of things to do when you’re having a bad day or feeling meh!  It’s like a bad day toolbox.

26 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

1. Hug a cat

Cats are the best.  A little furry input makes everything better. 🙂  Here’s a picture of me snuggling with my kitty (long time ago when I had a pixie cut):
Cuddling with kitty
2. Talk to yourself like a bestie
If your head is full of negative self-talk right now, stop and ask yourself, “How would I treat my best friend in this situation?”  Would you tell her she’s a loser and she’s going to fail at life and everyone hates her?  I don’t think so!  Like it or not, you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so you might as well make friends with yourself.
3. Call someone
Or text someone if you don’t like phone calls (uhhh is that just me?).
4. Read
Something happy or fun like Harry Potter (just not the fifth book!  Or the end of the 6th or 7th.. -tears-  Ok maybe just read The Poky Little Puppy).
5. Listen to music
But not emo screamo music.  And nothing depressing.  Or breakup music.  Ok you can listen to it for 15 minutes and then you have to listen to some happy Pitbull song about ladiezz.  It will make you feel better!
6. Walk / run
Exercising gets your endorphins going which makes you happy!  Yay!
7. Meditate
Meditation is proven to reduce your stress and make you happier and calmer.  Just sit there and don’t think. 🙂  Or if your brain is going in all sorts of directions, think about a single word like om.
8. Deep breathing
Just a few deep breaths in and out.  If you’re REALLY stressed out, commit to doing 100 breaths right now (just don’t start hyperventilating).  Nice and slow, taking time to pause in between.  This calms down your nervous system.
9. Photography
Take a picture of something!  I always find it calming to do macro photography with my Nikon camera because there are a lot of settings to mess with and adjust, but you could also just use your phone in a pinch.
10. Look at cat pictures
Cat pictures are the best!  The very best 🙂
11. Sing
In the shower, into a hairbrush, doesn’t matter – just sing your heart out! #Bieberlicious?
12. Funny videos
Watch something funny on Youtube!  Like this video:

13. Read inspirational quotes
Here are some of our recovery tips to get you started.  They’re full of tips, advice, and of course, inspirational quotes. 🙂
14. Pray
Whether you believe in God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (R’amen!), sometimes believing in something greater than this world can give you a lot of comfort.
15. Organize something
Maybe I’m just weird but organizing always makes me feel better.
16. Clean something
Same as organizing.  It just makes me feel empowered and in control of my own life. 🙂
17. Plan something
Similar to the previous two, you can either plan out something like your day or week or plan something exciting to look forward to in the future.  Maybe you’ll get ice cream or watch that new movie on Netflix after you survive this week.
18. Read a spiritual book
Some of my favorite spiritual books are Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.
19. Have a solo dance party
20. Read about role models
Sometimes when I feel discouraged, I like to read about positive role models and historical figures who overcame something in their own life, like Oprah and JK Rowling.  It’s inspirational and comforting.
21. Positive affirmations
Repeat positive affirmations regularly to yourself until you start to believe them.  Here are some ideas:
– I am happy and healthy.
– I am getting better every day.
– I am in control of my destiny.
– I can do this.
– I am kind. I am smart. I am important.  (From The Help! :)).
22. Journal
What’s on your mind?  Write it down and get it all out on paper (or pixels).
23. Watch a movie
Some of my favorite feel-good movies are Forrest Gump, Sex and the City, and any romantic comedy.
24. Gratitude list
What are you grateful for?  Write a list of 10 things right now!
25. Read a magazine
Sometimes reading trashy fashion and entertainment magazines is fun when you’re having a bad day.  I like looking at all the makeup looks and clothes even though I normally don’t care about that stuff much.  It’s just a nice break from the day to day.
26. Sit outside
Whenever I’m stressed out or anxious I like to sit outside in nature and just watch the birds or other wildlife and admire the flowers and greenery.

Well, that’s it!  If you’re having a bad day, try a handful of the things on this list.  Feel free to print it out for future reference.  You can do this.


If you’d like some encouragement as an entrepreneur for those days when you feel like giving up, check out our ebook Encouragement for Entrepreneurs.  It’s a collection of inspirational posts from our blog to get you motivated and inspired in your business. 🙂

Encouragement for Entrepreneurs

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