As I write this, I’m having a pretty crappy Monday. I’ve had a huge fight with my husband, and work is piling up.
Now, I don’t claim to be the smartest woman out there – I make my fair share of mistakes like everyone else. I’m prone to wallowing. I can be a bit dramatic and make things seem worse than they are.
But I, like you, want to do better.
And that includes turning bad days into good ones, learning to be more resilient, and taking control of my emotions.
So, drawing upon the strength of smart women who have mastered the above, let’s have a look at how to turn a bad day around (for both our sakes).
1) Deep breathing
Now you know a bit about my bad day, what about yours?
If you were late to work, missed an important meeting, or had a fallout with a friend, you’re likely feeling stressed and frustrated.
That’s what smart women do in this situation. By doing this, they regain control of their emotions and calm down their nervous system at the same time.
In fact, I’m going to do the same thing, so let’s do it together…
Inhale down into your stomach for 4 seconds. Hold it for 2. Then slowly exhale (about 6 seconds). Repeat a couple of times until you feel a bit calmer.
Now we can move on to the next step:
2) Accept all the feelings
Often, it’s a mix of little things that contribute to a bad day overall. So you’ve probably got a few different emotions swirling around right now.
Smart women know that it’s pointless to suppress or ignore their emotions. It’s more effective and productive to acknowledge and accept them…
For example, right now I’m feeling hurt about my argument. I’m also feeling bad for my role in it. At the same time, I’m stressed because I’m now trying to work whilst feeling upset and guilty.
A smart woman would tell herself that this is a part of life, the feelings aren’t going to stick around forever, and it’s normal to feel this way after a day like this.
Just doing this act makes me feel more human and less of a failure.
So, what feelings do you need to acknowledge and accept?
3) Physical activity
If you haven’t tried it before, I highly recommend doing something physical if you’re having a bad day.
I’ve learned this from smart women in my life who don’t accept staying in a funk all day.
For example, my friend Claudia will go for a hike whenever she’s stressed out. Even if it’s just for an hour.
My other friend Sophie swears by doing a quick yoga session in her living room.
And it makes sense – physical activity is a mood booster. It’s also a good way to distract yourself and feel a sense of accomplishment in what would otherwise be a miserable day.
In fact, after I finish this article, I think I’ll clear my head by going for a long, evening walk.
4) Change in routine/environment
Leading on from the previous point, getting some exercise is great for turning around a bad day because you’re also changing your daily routine and environment.
And sometimes, that’s all it takes to shift your mood.
I’ve often seen smart women do this. They go out and grab a coffee. Or maybe they take their book and sit in the park for a while.
Whatever they do, they don’t stay in the same environment that made them unhappy.
So, give it a go. Do one little thing outside of your normal routine, and see how it makes you feel.
5) Limit technology use
I’ll admit, straight after my big argument this morning, I spiraled down an Instagram black hole of videos.
I watched other couples looking perfectly happy, and even though I knew most of it was fake and not representative of reality, it made my mood worse.
So, this is a reminder for us both to get off social media.
You see, smart women limit how much they use it anyway, and that’s why when they’re having a bad day, they know to avoid checking their socials completely.
Instead, they get out into the real world. They don’t make themselves feel worse by looking at “perfect” lifestyles online.
6) Practice gratitude
Another thing smart women do to turn around a bad day is practice gratitude.
And this can be done really quickly and simply:
On your phone or a notepad, jot down three things you’re grateful for in life.
It might be a good friend, witnessing a beautiful sunset the other night, or even just having a safe, comfortable house to live in.
The point of doing this is to remind yourself that in the big scheme of things, life isn’t so bad.
7) Engage in a fun activity
Once you’ve practiced gratitude, it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Remember my friend Sophie? She’s one of the smartest women I know. She told me that when she’s having a crappy day, she always does one thing she loves.
For her, that’ll either be painting or going out and grabbing some Kinder Bueno gelato.
I’ve been thinking about one fun thing I could do to turn around this miserable Monday, and I’ve decided to make my favorite meal tonight.
Cooking and the act of eating are both fun for me.
Smart women do this purely to inject a bit of joy into their day. And hey, I’m not going to argue with them, some comfort food sounds great right now.
8) Listen to music
Music is an awesome way to change your mood around and improve a bad day.
Whether it’s hardcore rock and roll, a little bit of R&B, or Taylor Swift…whatever takes your fancy, go for it.
Dance around your living room. Go for a drive and blast your favorite songs.
Take this time to forget about your bad day and just release your emotions, have fun, and sing til you can’t sing anymore.
Any smart woman out there will tell you that music is powerful. It’s healing.
And the best part is, you can incorporate it with some of the points above…for example, playing music while you exercise or engage in your fun activity.
9) Reframe perspective
Another thing smart women do to turn around a bad day is reframe their perspective on things.
I’ve been trying to do that all day, to be honest, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty hard.
But it’s worth giving it a shot.
Let’s say you had a really rude barista this morning, and their attitude put a dampener on your entire day.
Rather than obsessing over the fact a stranger was so mean to you, you could reframe it by wondering what made the barista so upset.
Maybe their dog died, or they just got given an eviction notice. Maybe their coldness wasn’t a personal attack on you, but a reflection of how they feel inside.
Smart women do this to put things into perspective. But that’s not all…
They’ll also question themselves and reflect. For example, I plan on sitting quietly for a while and thinking about whether I was being defensive, or taking things too sensitively earlier.
I’ll question whether my husband was actually being unreasonable or if I’m just taking it that way.
It might be worth doing too, so you can get a grasp of whether your bad day is actually as bad as you think it is.
10) Talk it out
But alongside reflecting and reframing by yourself, it never hurts to talk to someone else.
A close friend or a trusted family member can help lighten your mood and work through whatever has happened.
I have already voicenoted my mom (multiple times today) and just hearing her voice had a calming effect on me.
So, remember, you don’t have to suffer alone. Smart women don’t. They share their burdens because as the old saying goes…
A problem shared is a problem halved.
11) Plan for tomorrow
Today was a bad day. Perhaps you’ll turn it around, perhaps you won’t.
But one thing is for sure – tomorrow doesn’t have to be a repeat.
Think about what went wrong today and plan for it to not happen tomorrow. I’ve seen smart women do this regardless of whether they had a good day or not.
They just tend to plan things out anyway. This gives them a chance to identify potential issues that may crop up. They wake up prepared and knowing what’s on their agenda.
And they’re usually more efficient and productive as a result.
And finally, smart women know when to rest. Especially when they’ve had a bad day.
A long, relaxing bath with a glass of vino or perhaps your favorite smoothie. An early night in bed to watch your favorite film on Netflix. A massage to relax and unwind.
Whatever helps you feel rested, you should do it.
Because let’s not kid ourselves – a bad day can be extremely taxing. Emotionally and physically.
And we’d be reckless to think we can just power through without the effects of a day like this rolling over onto tomorrow and the rest of the week.
So, if you don’t want the bad day to continue, take a breather. Have a nice, calm evening, and start tomorrow afresh.
I hope the tips in this article have helped you.
Just writing about it has improved my mood slightly. But I’m now going to head out for a walk, come home and cook a delicious meal, and then hop into bed with a feel-good film to cheer me up.