Usually, when something bad happens at work, it’s almost impossible to keep working. You just want to go home and forget that anything happened.
The thought of interacting with your coworkers or boss is dreadful, and you can’t help beat yourself up mentally about how big of a failure you are.
Does that sound familiar?
If it does, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
We all have bad days. I know that I’m overly sensitive and I’m very hard on myself, so the amount of times I have a bad day is higher than it probably should be.
I love my job, and the truth is I really have no reason why my days should ever be bad, but I can’t help it.
I get into this thought pattern where I spiral out of control, and it goes from a simple mistake to me thinking I’m the dumbest person alive.
But the truth is, and this is really important for anyone that’s ever had a bad day, is that you’re the one making it worse.
You’re playing tricks on yourself.
You’re causing yourself to have an even worse day than you really are.
We all make mistakes. We all have things happen to us like our cars breaking down. It’s how we handle those situations that make us who we are.
It’s quite easy to get yourself into a bad mood to have a bad day. One study by Shawn Achor showed that just a few minutes of consuming negative news can cause a bad day.
Remember that perception is reality. And if you perceive that you’re having a bad day and it can’t get any better, then you’ll have a bad day that won’t get any better.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You end up convincing yourself that your day is terrible, you’re terrible, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The trick is to just move on. Of course this is easier said than done, but you need to learn how to get over it quickly so that you can bounce back. Look at how pro athletes do it.
Imagine as a hockey player scoring on your own net in front of 20,000 people. How do you get on the ice after that?
You need to build up that resiliency. There are a few ways that you can do that, but first, let’s look at a few helpful ways you can recover from a bad day at work.
Tips To Handle A Bad Day At Work
The most important thing you need to remember when you’re having a bad day is that you need to recover quickly, otherwise you’ll just go deeper into a funk.
Here are a few things you can do when you’re having a bad day at work.
Go For A Walk
As soon as possible, get out of the office and go for a nice walk to clear your mind. It’s amazing how good this will make you feel.
If you can, go for a walk outside, if by some chance you can find an area near you with trees/nature, even better.
This will calm you down and help nip this problem in the bud.
I know that this personally has helped me many times when I was in a bad mood.
Many companies have a gym nearby or even in the same building. If you’re able to, go exercise right away. If not, then a workout at the end of the day is a great idea.
When you’re in a bad mood it’s easy to skip a workout, especially if you get into a thought spiral about how bad life is, it’s easy to say it’s not worth it. Trust me though, exercising when you’re in a bad mood is a great way to make yourself feel better.
According to one study, just 20 minutes of exercise can lead to an increase in your mood that can last for up to 12 hours.
Write It Down
It’s very therapeutic to write out your problems.
If you’re going through a rough day and you have a lot of thoughts on your mind, you can do something as simple as send an email to yourself or just open a blank Google doc and start jotting down your thoughts.
I’ve used this trick many times before and I can guarantee that it will instantly make you feel better.
Call Someone To Vent
A nice way to get all that negativity off of your mind fast is to call someone you care about to talk it through.
By talking about it, you might realize that it wasn’t such a big deal after all.
It will allow you to take a breather and get back to work quickly.
Do Tasks That Don’t Require Much Effort
When you’re in a bad mood and have a lot on your mind, a good idea might be to do tasks that don’t require much effort like answering emails or anything that doesn’t require a lot of brainpower.
You want to be doing some type of repetitive task where you can listen to music and just let the day go by.
Listen To Music
There is a lot of research about how music affects our moods and can bring us from a bad mood to a good mood pretty easily.
Music will help you relax and unwind, making you get into a better mood.
Try listening to happy music to cheer you up.
Think About How You’ll Improve
When you make a mistake or something goes wrong and you’re having a bad day, don’t just sulk and feel sorry for yourself.
Do everything you can to make sure it never happens again.
Think of three different ways you can improve for next time and write them down.
Watch A Funny Video
They say laughter is the best medicine, and it’s true. Laughing produces endorphins, making you feel better very quickly.
It’s much better to take 10-15 minutes to laugh at funny videos and get back to work then to sit and sulk for the rest of the day.
The benefits of meditation are unbelievable.
If you’re having a bad day, even 10-15 minutes of meditation can make a huge difference for you.
Not only will mediation help you get in a better mood today, but research has shown that mediation can help you better manage bad days in the future.
Turn Off Social Networks
When you’re having a bad day at work and maybe don’t feel like doing any actual work, an easy thing to help you pass the time could be to check Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t do that.
Lots of research has shown that consuming content on social networking sites can lead to depression and make you in a worse mood, so if you’re already in a bad mood, stay away from those sites.
If your bad mood is from a coworker or boss that was rude to you, remember that they might be dealing with stuff in their personal life. Try to empathize and not take it too personally.
If you can build up that empathy maybe you won’t get into as bad of a mood because you’ll be more understanding.
Count Your Blessings
It’s normal to feel like everything sucks on those bad days, so it’s important to remember all the good things you have in your life. Be positive and be grateful for all you have.
Develop A Growth Mindset
It’s all about building up that resiliency and not being so sensitive. The best way to do this is to build a growth mindset.
In my post called Why You Need To Develop A Growth Mindset I go through the ways that you can develop a tougher mindset.
Make Positivity A Habit
Everyone has bad days at work, that’s something that you most likely won’t be able to avoid, but if you can build positivity as a habit you’ll be much less likely to have bad days.
You can work on creating a more positive life for yourself and build up resiliency to stop spiraling out of control. You can turn bad days into bad moments and learn how to move on relatively quickly.
Here are three simple things I’d recommend doing to make positivity a habit in your life.
Surround Yourself With Positivity
The key to building positivity as a habit into your life is to surround yourself with positivity.
That means hanging out with positive people (and getting rid of negative ones), read blogs about positivity, be grateful, etc.
As you continue to create a life of positivity, everything in your life will be positive. When you start to have those bad days, they won’t seem so bad because they’ll be offset by how positive you are.
Do The “Three Good Things” Exercise
The exercise is simple. Each day for one week, write down three things you’re grateful for and why. This will make you more appreciative of what you have and will help increase your overall happiness.
As you continue to build this as a habit, you’ll start to look at your life in a much more positive light, making those bad days seem not so bad afterall.
Practice Regular Meditation
If you can build meditation as a habit into your life, your overall happiness will skyrocket.
You’ll be less stressed, happier, more appreciative, and more resilient to bad days.
You can start small, with two minutes of meditation and then work your way up to 10. It’s only 10 minutes of your day and the effects are huge.
How Do You Handle Bad Days At Work?
What’s your number one tip for dealing with a bad day at work? Let me know in the comments below.