October 3, 2023

Having a Bad Day? Tips to Turn It Around.
By Jayne Warwicker

We all have bad days; they are an inevitability, but we can mitigate some of the reasons that your day, mood or general well-being that day is less than optimal. Have a read through the tips below and see if there is anything that you can make use of when you need a lift to get you through.


I usually start turning my day around by shaking things up by using my body somehow.

The first thing I almost always do is to just breathe (I can hear you thinking – ‘yeah well that’s pretty standard for life right?!). What I mean is, I breathe deeply through my nose by using my belly. I focus only on the air going in and out for 1-2 minutes.

You will instantly, physically feel this calming your body and mind (can be used at any moment of stress throughout the day also.

Do a power pose.

Yep, just like Madonna! The simplest way to strike a power pose is to stand up confidently like Wonder Woman or Superman with your legs apart, head up and your hands on your hips. It might sound odd but it can change how you feel in a quick and positive way. Just thrusting your shoulders back can make you feel (and appear) more confident and present.

Work out.

This doesn’t mean head to the gym (although if that’s your thing, knock yourself out 😊), but just get yourself moving. Things such as getting stuck into the housework with your favourite music on, dancing like no one is watching (maybe close the curtains if you don’t want an audience), taking the dog out or just going for a walk (non-dog owners) making sure you get slightly out of breath or just do your favourite workout/peloton routine. After you are done you should feel more powerful, focused and energetic.


Just by hugging someone quickly, you can feel safer and more optimistic again.

An embrace that lasts 30 seconds or a minute or more can recharge your batteries and release an unexpectedly large amount of stress and tension. Who the huggee is, is down to you! If you don’t have anyone close by to hug during a bad day then pet your cat, dog, bird etc. It has a very similar calming and stress-relieving effect.

And it makes your animal companion happy and that in turn will boost your mood too.

Find a new viewpoint.

The tips above often work well to change my perspective by altering my emotional state and energy level.

However, sometimes something more is needed.

If I face a situation that is starting to make me feel anxious about how the day is going to go or I am worrying about an upcoming event; I look more actively for a more helpful viewpoint on the situation at hand by asking myself a couple of questions.

Three of the most commonly used questions that help me with that are:

  • Will this matter 5 years from now?
  • Who cares (often you will realise that it is ONLY you)
  • What is one small action, one small and practical step I can take to start turning this day or situation around?

Go out into nature.

Leave your couch or workspace for a little while and take a walk. Whether you are in a nice, green, leafy environment or inner city; find something to focus on that brings a smile to your face or a bit of joy to your heart and concentrate on only that. This can be the tops of the trees waving in the wind, a magpie hunting worms, autumn leaves swirling around the car park, the sound of kids playing somewhere. These things seem innocuous, but if you really concentrate on these things; listening, looking and blocking everything else out it will calm your mind.

Just being out in nature tends to make it easier to think optimistically again and to start looking for practical solutions or upsides.

Accept that sometimes, ‘it is what it is’

One thing that sometimes works better than just about anything. is simply to accept whatever it is at this moment.

Don’t deny or try to push away negative feelings or thoughts that show up. Even though you may feel an impulse to do so. Instead, just accept the situation and your thoughts and feelings as they are right now. Just fully observe them flowing through you.

By doing so you are not giving up, you are just accepting these thoughts and feelings, which in turn weakens them and you can then start to feel them drop away so that you can think more clearly again. Try to remember these thoughts and feelings are natural but they feed negativity so let them flow through you and leave.

If you made a mistake then don’t let your inner critic take over.

If you’re having a bad day because of a mistake you’ve made or a failure you’ve had then don’t let your inner critic take over. This used to be a major issue with me and my life is much calmer and more positive now I have addressed this.

Instead, as soon as you hear it start berating you with negative thoughts about you and your worth do this:

  1. Say a stop In your mind, say or shout, something like: Stop!
  2. How would my friends/parents support me and help me in this situation?
  3. Then simply do things and talk to yourself like he or she would.

This will help you to feel better again and to move forward to solve the situation. And it’s a much better use of your time and energy than beating yourself up.

Get outside of your own head by adding positivity to someone else’s life.

One of the simplest ways to get outside of your own head and out of sinking deeper and deeper into your own negative thoughts about your day is to add positivity to someone else’s life.

This will mean that you will focus outward and on someone else and this can drastically shift your perspective around for the better.

For example:

  • Help someone out – with planning for an upcoming job interview or by offering some advice that has helped you in a similar situation that your friend is in now.
  • Just listen – sometimes people just want someone to truly listen for a little while as they work out their own situation and possible solutions.
  • Be kind –give a genuine compliment to someone you appreciate or acknowledge something they do that is often taken for granted.


Take 5-15 minutes to read some motivational quotes.

This is something I quite often do to change my mood and viewpoint and to find some new motivation. For example:

“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.”

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

These can seem a bit ‘twee’ at times, but others can really make you think and reassess the things that are causing stress and bringing negativity to your life.


Writing down your thoughts and feelings about your day can help you to mentally step back a step or two from what is happening and to see things with more clarity.

Doing this has helped me many times to not catastrophise and to start finding solutions to my current situation and or at least a small step or two that I can take to begin moving in the right direction. When you are actually in the situation it is difficult to have this clear perspective.

Talk it over with someone to find that new perspective.

This is a bit similar to journaling, and it’s in my experience one of the best ways to find a new perspective on a negative situation.

Just letting your thoughts and feelings about your bad day bounce around in your head tends to exaggerate things and can make you feel more and more powerless. As a coach I hear this from my clients all the time; they tell me about their day and how bad it has been but by the time they have offloaded and I have asked some relevant questions and asked for some clarity, they start to realise that things are actually not that bad and there are many options available to them to solve the situation.

Have a laugh!

Few things can so easily relieve stress and inner tensions and allow you to see things from a lighter perspective as laughing and having fun. Take a few minutes to watch a funny YouTube clip or short that makes you laugh, and share it with someone else (making the laugh contagious is even better).

Find something to look forward to.

Find something to look forward to; for example, watching that movie you’ve been looking forward to that evening or treating yourself to a takeaway or a night out at the weekend (if it’s the whole week that is taxing!)

Tap into gratitude.

When you’re having a bad day or you’re in some kind of bad situation then you may get lost in only seeing the negative things in your life.

A way to counter that and to break out the pessimism that can suck out so much of your energy and trap you in inaction is to ask yourself a few questions that help you to tap into gratitude.

So ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • What are 3 things I can be thankful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people I can be thankful to have in my life and why?
  • What are 3 things I can be thankful for about myself?

These things don’t have to be big things. They could just be the nice weather, that you have access to clean drinking water and a comfy home, or that your friend made you laugh yesterday.

Look back and celebrate how far you’ve come.

Another thing that is easy to lose sight of when you’re down and you’re having a bad day is what you have actually accomplished so far.

When I first talk to my clients, they often have very poor self-esteem and self-worth. They state that they are ‘stuck’ and have ‘achieved nothing’. It is not until I start to challenge this and ask simple questions that they start to see that just because they haven’t yet reached their ‘perfect life’ as yet, they are growing every day. Perfection should never be your daily goal; just that you strive to be a little further on down your path towards living your perfect life every day.

Most are quite surprised when I describe their decision to pick up the phone to talk to me is a massive step forward, one that took courage and can change their life experience in many ways. There has always got to be that initial first step, however small.

Also, be aware that we have a perfect experience every day we wouldn’t experience mistakes and failures – the two things we need to learn and grow

Remember: sometimes a bad day will just be a bad day.

Now, from time to time, even if you use several of the techniques above – one after the other – you won’t be able to turn a bad day around. Because no matter what habits you adopt, life will never be perfect, positive or awesome all the time – that’s not life!

It is about how you can handle things in a better way, in your regular, everyday life.

But the interesting thing is this: if you accept that life is like this sometimes – and let go of the dream of perfection as mentioned above – then you’ll create less suffering for yourself and life will become lighter, simpler and happier.

So, in the long run there is an upside even to a bad day that you may not be able to turn around.

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