A Checklist for Restarting a Bad Day

Checklist for having a bad day blog

Having a bad day doesn't have to last. You can fix it!

Maybe you didn't sleep well and you're feeling irritable. Or, something happened during the day to make you react and throw you off balance. Sometimes, all it takes is having a weird, random thought that bums you out. So many things can impact your day in an instant. This blog will show how to reverse a bad day quickly.  

Here are several options to help re-start your day!

1. Move Your Body!

Getting some form of exercise has been shown to improve mood and release stress. Grab a workout, watch an exercise video, or dance it out! Even a brisk 15 minutes walk - preferably outside in the fresh air - can reset your mood. There is nothing more grounding to the psyche than being in nature.

2. Listen to Your Favorite Song

Have you ever noticed how quickly music can change your mood? Most of us have a few songs that really serve to pump us up. Music is great for this. It's so easy now with ear buds - you can do it anywhere. Create a playlist for when you need a boost. 

3. Be of Service to Someone in Need

When you're having a bad day, it's tempting to fall into a little self-pity. Getting out of your own head by helping someone can be the perfect distraction. By the time you do a good deed, you'll likely feel better for having been of service. Think of someone that needs support. Sometimes helping others is the best way to help yourself.  

Checklist for restarting a bad day blog

4. Give or Get Some Affection

Physical affection releases Oxytocin, the feel good hormone, that calms the body down. Petting an animal has the same effect. When you get or give affection it promotes a sense of well-being and creates a deeper connection with the people in your life. Touch can be especially comforting during times of stress. Don't be afraid to ask for it!

5. Check Your Self-talk

Sometimes, your mood changes quickly without warning. When that happens, check your thinking. Identify your thoughts right before your mood changed. Whenever I do this I catch a negative thought that scared me. Bring yourself back to the present moment and think back to when your mood changed. Fear is usually the culprit. In 12 step programs FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. What you fear rarely happens.

Tips for restarting a bad day blog

6. Acknowledge Something You Did Well

Another tip is to give yourself a pat on the back by acknowledging something you did well. Being able to see the good in yourself is not arrogant or self-centered, it's self-love. Everyone needs acknowledgement but waiting for someone else to do it gives them all the power. It's really okay to give it to yourself.

7. Connect with a Loved One

When you're having a bad day, you might want to avoid being around people, but isolation is the worst thing you could do. Isolation breeds depression and negative thoughts. Grab a cup of coffee with a friend and swap stories about your day. Hearing what someone else is going through can help you get out of yourself and focus on something more positive.  

Final Thoughts

Having a bad day is normal every now and then but you don't have to let it linger. Shifting your mood doesn't have to take hours. Use these tips the next time you need a boost. Share it with a friend who is struggling. Even giving someone a smile can make you feel better. You can fake a smile but your heart usually follows. Try it, and see.


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