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Hey you. You’re a go-getter, a motivated mover-and-shaker, a brilliant busybody. You’ve got a positive attitude and a killer, color-coded planner that would inspire Piera Gelardi herself.

But in spite of your kick-ass mentality, you’re still subject to the occasional bad days.

Maybe you spilled your lunch on the front of your white shirt. Your boss slammed you with another project at work. All of your bills snuck up on you at once. To top it all off, it’s raining like mad and you don’t know where your umbrella is, but you know where it isn’t and that’s in your hand.

We all have days where it seems like the world is conspiring against us and you find yourself asking, "is Mercury in Retrograde?".  Where we might get the sudden urge to drop to our knees dramatically and shout, “Why me?!” into the abyss. 

But before you get your knees all dirty and frighten innocent bystanders, here are some tips to turn those teeth-clenching, gut-wrenching days around. Or at least give you a little peace of mind when it seems like the day just couldn’t. get. any. worse.

Move your body

Take a break from your stressful day to go to the gym, get outside, or even just crank up the Beyoncé and shimmy around your apartment. Exercising is a great way to clear your mind, and get positive energy flowing through your body. Endorphins aren’t a myth, but they are most definitely a mood booster. Whether you’re a walk-in-the-park kind of girl, an avid runner or a seasoned hula-hooper, taking time to get some physical activity is a shortcut to a mental makeover.

Laugh at something (yourself, cat videos, whatever)

As the wise Frank A. Clark aptly put it, “I think the next best thing to solving any problem is finding some humor in it.” Have you ever noticed that after a hearty belly laugh, your problems don’t seem so scary anymore? Sometimes we take our issues and ourselves so seriously we forget that life is supposed to be fun. Take a time out to watch a funny show or to talk to someone who has a wicked sense of humor. When it seems like everything is going wrong and you can still conjure up a chuckle, you’ll remember that bad days are temporary and there are always reasons to smile. 

Phone a friend

Friends are human reinforcements. They can somehow manage to make you smile in the dreariest of situations, whether you’re determined to stay mad or when tears are spilling down your cheeks. Sometimes the pick me up you need is just a chat on the phone with one of your best buds. If you have more time, schedule a coffee date so you can catch up in person. Talking to a friend will remind you that you have a support system and in spite of yourself, you’ll probably end up smiling.

Get some rest

Sometimes the best thing to do is, well, nothing. Guess what? Naps aren’t reserved exclusively for kindergarteners. Flop onto your bed, put on your favorite eye mask, and let yourself snooze for a little while. Even just shutting your eyes for a bit or laying down to listen to music can leave you feeling rejuvenated. Make your bed into a sanctuary and get horizontal, girl. 

Zone out

When stress has your mind racing a mile a minute, sometimes what you need is a little time to step away from your thoughts. Doing a mindless activity that doesn’t require neurosurgeon-level concentration can be just what you need. Put on some Dean Martin and cook yourself a nice meal. Watch an episode of your favorite show. Whip out an adult coloring book (there’s a reason they’re everywhere!) and color for a little while. Give yourself permission to do something that isn’t on your to-do list, so that you can slow down and breathe.

Break tasks into bite-sized chunks

When you feel like you have oh-so-much-to-do, it can be tempting to lace up your sneakers and make like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. Many people try to work, work, work, work, work until a task is totally complete. But for your sanity’s sake, try splitting up your obligations into smaller, doable chunks. Prioritize based on what really needs to get done and what can wait. Then work for an hour on number one, and take a break to stretch your legs. Work smart, not hard.

Make a gratitude list

Nothing puts your problems into perspective quite like a hearty dose of gratitude. On a bad day, take a minute to jot down three things you’re thankful for, and you’ll remember that there is good in your life. Even better, ransack your brain for the best three aspects of your less-than-glamorous day. It can be as simple as a chat with a coworker or the fact that you’re healthy. Gratitude can take you from a Negative Nancy to a Positive Penelope.

Pamper yourself

Let yourself indulge in something out of the ordinary. Get a pedicure. Take a bubble bath. Buy yourself an ice cream cone (with rainbow sprinkles, of course). Don’t punish yourself for the events of the day. Take a beat to do something that makes you really freakin’ happy and then keep those good vibes flowing. Because hey, you don’t deserve any less self-love even on the worst of bad days.

No matter how proactive and on top of things you are, rough days will inevitably occur. But never fear, oh dear reader. Tossing a few of these activities into your day can get you back into a sunny state of mind.


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