We all have rough days. Car troubles, arguments with those we love, parenting struggles, unending demands from work…and sometimes all of those in 24 hours!

No matter what happens, you have a choice. You can make the most of what you’ve been dealt. Or you can sink down into the muck.

I’ve always been a fighter and a problem solver. As soon as I’ve given myself some time to vent, cry, or scream, I look for the positive. Life tries to knock us down over and over again and this is the only way to keep moving forward.

If you want to lift yourself up, start with a change in your attitude and look at how you react to what happened.

Then try these ideas to turn around your day:

  1. Laugh. Try to find a little humor in your bad luck. Sometimes, things go so badly, it’s almost funny. Laugh at your misfortune and give yourself a little mental break. You can always find a reason to laugh if you look hard enough.

If you can’t find a way to laugh about your situation, watch a funny video on YouTube and make yourself laugh. Call a friend and ask him or her to tell you their best joke. Laughter can help you salvage your day.

2. Shift gears and recalibrate. Do you expectations for the day need to be adjusted. Maybe everything you wanted to get done for the day need to lighten up. Maybe you ask someone for help. If just getting through the day is the best you can do, IT IS OK!!

3. Create a new “To-Do” List.  That’s the next step in your recalibration. Ditch your original “To-Do” list for the day and start over. Make a new list! Even if you feel as if you’ve accomplishing nothing (which probably isn’t true), look at what you can do for the rest of the day. What is ONE thing you can do yet in the day? Stop beating yourself up over not getting everything done. Shift. Be positive, but reasonable.

4. Look at your day as a challenge. OK, yep, s**t happened.  Talk to your yourself and give yourself a pep talk. “I am smart enough and tough enough to work through this. I’m turning around my day right now. This is just a bump in the road and I will find ways to be of service. Let’s go!”

5. Don’t make a bad day into a doomed life! Sometimes we feel something is much bigger than it really is. Maybe what happened feels like your life has taken a totally different turn. Stop and ask yourself, “Is that true? Or is it my fear or sadness talking?” List a few things in your life that are going well. Maybe your child is doing well in school, or your basketball team won last night. Anything positive will do.

6. Take a break. Get into a new environment for a few minutes. Go outside or head to the coffee shop. Get a little fresh air and a change of scenery.

Sometimes it’s easier to get your head on straight if you can get away for 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s helpful to be with a friend and sometimes it helps more to just be by yourself and crank up some upbeat music. Remember that no matter how much work or tasks are piling up, everything will still be there when you get back.

 7. Talk to a friend. A chat with a good friend can do wonders for you and your day. Which friend would you call to talk you down off a ledge? Give them a call and tell them about your horrible day. A good friend is priceless.

8. Take a walk. This goes along with #6. A walk gives you a break, fresh air, a change in scenery, and a little exercise. A walk is a great time to unwind or to plot and scheme your great afternoon comeback. Breathing in more oxygen is always an excellent way to recharge. If you can, take your shoes off and get “grounded” – literally — by letting your bare feet touch Mother Earth.

Things go wrong and some bad days are inevitable. It’s what you do next that matters most. You can choose to run away and hide, or you can face the day with a renewed sense of purpose and make the best of a bad situation.

Most people fail to look at everything good that happens. Don’t classify your day as “bad” when something happens. Do something helpful, even if it seems like a small step. If you can accomplish something worthwhile with a bad day, you’re a force to be reckoned with!

Search for the humor in the situation and make a new plan for the day. See the joy in being able to roll with the punches and land on top!

Join the Conversation