Even the most positive of us get knocked around by a bad day occasionally. It might be just “one of those days”, or a particularly hard day with some ongoing challenges in your life.
Whatever the situation, we’ve all been there.
A bad day can give you one nasty spiritual hangover! If not nipped in the bud, that hangover can make your bad day bleed into a bad week.
Particularly when dealing with something heavy, it’s important to check in and show yourself a little (or a lot) of loving compassion, tenderness and self care, so you can be your freshest, most rejuvenated and highest energy self tomorrow.
Here’s how I take good self care after a bad day to recharge my batteries and get a good night’s sleep, ready to start the day fresh tomorrow (a system reset, if you will).
#1: CLEAR today’s calendar and be selfish. There are times to give and times to pull in. This is one of the latter times.
A bad day is draining. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Pulling back now enables you to give more later. Switch off your phone, consider a social media blockout, and set aside the night to indulge yourself however you need.
#2 – MOVE: Movement is fantastic for pushing negative energy out of your body and replacing it with nourishing, fresh energy. Choose whatever feels good to you right now.
Personally, nothing cures my ills like a Yoga With Adriene video – she has a yoga practice for almost every situation and her calming voice, offbeat humour and the poetic twist to her instructions are amazing therapy for a bad day. I also find yoga connects me to my breath and gets me out of my head.
If yoga’s not your thing, just put on your favourite music and dance around your living room. It's enough to flush your skin, make you sweat and connect you to your breath.
#3 – BREATHE: Put on your favourite relaxing music and take deep breaths for five minutes. This will relax you and get you out of your head.
Don’t try to control your breath or your thoughts at first. Just notice what comes up and let it go.
When thoughts come up – and they will – observe them without judging, labelling or fighting them. Just visualise them drifting past you.
If you're a seasoned meditator then no time to waste – get on your meditation pillow, girl! Focusing on your breath brings you back to your centre. It's an instant system reset.
#4 – INDULGE: Nothing makes me feel good better like a long bath, whether I've had a bad day, an injury or am illness. I light candles, watch a Disney movie, and chill out.
I might give myself a facial, do a hair treatment, or go over my body with a delicious body scrub. Then I’ll get out and slather my body with a thick, yummy smelling lotion, spritz on my favourite perfume, put a face mask on and treat myself to a little foot massage, pedicure or mani. Bliss in your own bathroom!
You could also type if you feel you can't handwrite fast enough. Vent to your journal, write until you have nothing more to say.
Don’t worry about censoring it, judging it, it being neat or making sense – you’re the only one who will read it. Now go back over it and ask yourself:
What am I feeling right now? What's really causing me to feel this way? How am I choosing to make [what happened] mean that [how you feel]? How else COULD I feel about the situation?
What CAN I be responsible for?
What have I learned today? What could the lesson be if I wanted there to be one?
If the other person was me, how would I want to be treated in this moment?
End your journaling by making a list of all the things you’re thankful for, even if you have to start basic (“I’m grateful there’s food in my fridge” or “I’m grateful I have access to clean running water”).
#6 – HIBERNATE by building yourself the most amazing pillow fort. Hide in there with your favourite book, your favourite music (on loud), a cuppa, a glass of wine, some popcorn, some chocolate, a cheese platter, a green smoothie or the hell with it, all of the above. Ahhhh... what bad day?
#7 – HAPPY SNAPS: Funny faces are my favourite thing. I crack up hysterically at them no matter what mood I’m in. Take some ridiculous Snapchat selfies. Send them to your bestie and have a silly selfie face-off.
#8 – GET NEAR A NATURAL WATER SOURCE: The negative ions in the water restores your energy – bonus points if you can get to a beach and listen to the crashing waves.
#9 – STARGAZE: Look up at the night sky and count the stars. There is infinite beauty and wonder in contemplating the cosmos and the exquisite and glorious fact that you are impossible and yet here you stand a part of this endless, vast and miraculous Universe, breathing the cool night air and basking in the moon and starlight.
#10 – DRINK GREEN TEA: Green tea is love in a mug. I feel happy when I drink it, even during or after a bad day. Brew a big batch, pour it into a cute teapot and drink from your favourite mug.
#11 – EXPLORE somewhere you’ve never been. Visit that new, quirky café you’ve been meaning to try, take yourself out to dinner to a fancy restaurant or go on a solo date to the movies.
#12 – WATCH random things on Youtube. Hilarious commercials, cute animal fails, or inspiring videos from thought leaders like Marie Forleo, Gabby Bernstein, or Tony Robbins will set you back on track after a bad day.
#13 – SMELL FLOWERS: A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Go out and explore your garden – if you don’t have one, visit the park in your local town. Absorb the bright colours, the scents, shapes and textures of each one. Pick a few (only from your own garden though) and pop them in a vase.
#14 – READ a spiritual or self development book. My faves are Radical Self Love by Gala Darling, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein or The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Alternatively, you can relish in the comfort of childhood and read one of the classics: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It’s a classic! When I was little and I had One of Those Days, I would read it and it always made me smile … and it still does!
#15 – PLAN your next overseas holiday, big party, or what your dream home will look like on Pinterest. Get excited and daydream about something positive that you’re looking forward to.
#16 – BAKE cookies, brownies or cupcakes. I don’t know about you but I find it difficult to be gloomy when I can smell cookies baking. It’s even more difficult to be gloomy when you’re eating them.
#17 – LAUGH at your favourite funny movie or …
#18 – REGRESS back to childhood by putting on your favourite Disney movie. Either way, watch something that makes you laugh or feel good. It gets you out of your funk fast.
#19 – WEAR your comfiest clothes, something that makes you feel good (and also a little sexy) – even if that’s just your favourite pair of undies – and your favourite crystal.
#20 – WRITE LOVE LETTERS to someone special in your life – your husband, your lover, your best friend, your mama, your sister, your favourite place, your dog, pizza... it doesn’t matter. Tell them all the reasons you love them, what they mean to you, the warm fuzzy feelings you feel around them and what you’re grateful for.
Sprinkle them with glitter, spritz them with your signature scent and seal them with a kiss. Send them or don’t. This takes you into appreciation frame - and you can't feel grumpy and thankful at the same time!
#21 – GET SOME SUNSHINE: If the sun hasn’t gone down yet, spend time in the sunshine. The warm sun on your skin provides mood boosting vitamin D. Bonus points if you walk barefoot in the grass. Getting your bare feet onto the earth helps to ground you, connecting you to Mama Earth.
#22 – DECLUTTER: This is a little Jedi mind trick of mine that works wonders. They say a cluttered house is a sign of a cluttered mind. Set a timer for 5 minutes and declutter, clean and organise a little space in your home. It brings a sense of order and accomplishment to your day. It also enhances the energy of your home.
#23 – ASK your angels, the Universe, God for clarity, comfort, or guidance. Pray for inner peace and guidance, or how to let go of today and start again.
#25 – SING your favourite, happiest song really, really loudly and obnoxiously. I like to do this in the shower or in my car, putting on a killer concert for myself. Keep a Spotify playlist for just such an occasion, calling it something like “Happy Songs” or “Feel Good Songs”.
#26 – ANIMAL THERAPY: Cuddle your furbaby. If you don't have one, go to a pet shop or animal shelter and schnuggle the kitties, or look up funny and cute animal videos or photos.
#27 – CALL SOMEONE WHO CAN REMIND YOU HOW MAGNIFICENT YOU ARE: I’m talking the leader of your fan club, the person who’s always in your corner. Even if you don’t want to talk about it, ask them for a little pep talk or a funny, positive story from their day to lift your spirits.
#28 – COLOUR IN: Grab an adult colouring in book and some pretty pencils – or print some freebies from the web and colour in. It’s a form of active meditation, taking you out of your space and zoning out in your task.
#29 – CREATE something beautiful. Me, I like to paint galaxies when I need a little zen. I also enjoy scrapbooking, crocheting or doodling in my law of attraction journal.
#30 – ROAR lion, roar. Scream into a pillow, or practice lion’s breath to embrace the fierce fire of your emotion and express and lean into your frustration in a way that is non-harmful.
#31 – WRITE IT OFF: If all else fails, put on your comfiest jammies, crawl into bed beneath your fluffiest blanket and softest pillows, put on some chill night music and remember something my Mama always said to me: This too shall pass. Tomorrow is another day and every morning is an opportunity to start fresh.
She was never wrong, not once. Even after the worst days of my life, in the morning I always had fresh perspective.
If nothing else you do can reset your vibration, sleep is like that system reset to wake up tomorrow with a blank slate. So write today off. It was a bad day but it doesn't mean tomorrow has to be.
You got through today, you did the best you could, you made it through and now it’s time to relax and get some sleep. Tomorrow is a new day of potential, promise and hope.
If you're reading this on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I hope at least one thing on this list was helpful. Sending love, light and prayers that tomorrow will be better.
I would love to hear from you. Did this list help? What are your sure fire ways to lift your vibe after a difficult day? Let's make this list even bigger and lift each other higher.