Sometimes, you just have a total shit day. And it’s nobody’s fault — not even yours. But, that doesn’t mean you need to accept your crappy day as a given.
Here are some handy tricks for overcoming the blues when you find yourself drifting listlessly through the day, or obsessing over all of your life’s shortcomings. Try out some of these techniques when you just need to cheer yourself up or feel a little less pessimistic about the state of things:
1. Remove social media apps from your phone.
It’s no secret that constantly comparing your life to other people’s lives is a sure fire way to breed dissatisfaction. The thing is, comparing lives is basically the crux of social media. It would perhaps be unrealistic to cut yourself off entirely, but deleting Facebook and Instagram apps from your phone is a helpful way to put your mind at ease during the day.
2. Wake up early enough so you have time to to slowly prepare for your day.
Rushing to work will put you in a crabby mood — period. Lessen the probability of hauling ass to the office by getting in the habit of giving yourself some breathing room in the mornings. Drink some coffee, eat breakfast, read a book. Just having a peaceful moment at the start of your day will counteract the possibility of starting your day in a crappy mood.
3. Take time to unwind at the end of the day.
Just as it’s important to give yourself time in the mornings, it’s equally important to give yourself time to wind down in the evenings. And no, that doesn’t mean watching TV — it means taking a bath, reading a book or meditating. Having this time at the end of the day will allow you to get better sleep, which will improve your mood overall.
4. Take a walk down Nostalgia Lane.
Looking at old photos or reading old diaries can be embarrassing, but it can also give you a much-needed dose of warm fuzzies to counteract your sour mood. Allow yourself to reminisce about positive memories just a bit, and you’ll find yourself smiling a tad more about your present, too.
5. Unfollow, block or unfriend THOSE people.
You know who I’m talking about. Those people on your newsfeed who clog your brain with anger, frustration or jealousy? The people whose status updates tend to rile you up more than they should? If you can, you should unfriend them — if you can’t unfriend them, then at least unfollow them, so you can avoid their annoying updates.
6. Watch some standup.
Durr — it’s no great secret that laughing puts you in a better mood. So why not cut to the chase and watch one of your favorite standup comedians do some material? Both Netflix and HBO Now have some great options.
7. Accomplish one thing that you’ve been meaning to do.
Even if it’s as simple as “Buy a new area rug for the reading corner,” or “Organize the vinyl collection,” completing a task will help you to feel a sense of positive accomplishment, regardless of how large or small the deed.
8. Talk to someone you love/ catch up with your nearest and dearest.
After a hard day, sometimes you just need to have a heart-to-heart with someone you trust — whether it’s a family member, friend, or significant other. Take some time to confide in your special someone, and the woes of the day will melt away before you know it.
9. Start a journal.
It may sound corny to keep a diary, but writing out your feelings and experiences at the end of the day can make it easier to process your emotions. As a result, you will likely become more in tune with how to control your inner turmoils, and will develop a generally more even-keeled disposition. Bonus: your memory will improve drastically!
10. Buy yourself some flowers.
It’s not complicated: if you see something cheerful in your living space, you’re more likely to feel cheerful yourself. Plus, you deserve to get flowers on the regular, dammit!
11. Limit the amount of work you do at home.
Having a work-life balance is essential to shaking off any bad vibes you may experience during the day. If you’re constantly bringing work home with you, stress will begin to permeate your personal life. It’s important to set boundaries in terms of certain work-related tasks, such as checking emails or Slack messages.
12. Plan a trip.
Even if it’s six months down the line, planning an upcoming trip or vacation can be the perfect way to give yourself a brief mental respite from the stress of the day. Peruse Airbnb, research cute towns to visit, or look into the possibilities of more exotic locales — regardless, allowing your mind to travel in spirit will lift your poor spirits immeasurably.
13. Go someplace where you can pet a dog or cat. (Or pet your dog or cat.)
Sometimes, at the end of a shitty day, you just need to snuggle with a pet. If you’re lucky enough to have one, pull ’em in for a cuddle-fest. If not, hit up your friend or the local animal shelter — trust me, it’ll be worth it.
14. Do exercise that’s actually enjoyable.
Okay, running is terrible and makes me want to die — so, as a result, I usually do yoga. But, if you’re one of the rarifying few who enjoys running, then go for it. Or, try out a dance class, or go to a rock-climbing gym. There are fitness methods that can actually be fun, so don’t assume that all exercise is a pain. And best of all, the endorphins will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Research some meditation podcasts to help you get centered and alleviate stress. Sometimes shutting out the noise of the world can make a huge difference in your overall emotional well-being.
16. Go to bed early.
Again, this is a no-brainer — but it’s important to get into healthy habits, even if they seemed forced at first. You may find yourself laying awake in bed for a few nights, but eventually, you’ll become accustomed to going to sleep at a reasonable hour. As a result, you’ll be better prepared to deal with any crappy days when they come along — and you’ll be less likely to wake up in a sour mood.
17. Discover some new music.
The sense of discovery is intoxicating and exciting, particularly when it comes to stumbling upon new music. Use Spotify, or iTunes, or even blogs to amble around music catalogues until you find something that tickles your fancy. Not only will the music itself set your mind at ease, but the freshness and newness will give you an incomparable sense of elation.
18. Do something nice for your friends.
Being a good friend is an important and often overlooked facet of life. It’s something that we don’t think about often enough, and, as a result, we often neglect those who are closest to us. However, when you take the time to send a friend a message, ask about their day, or invite them out to drinks, you revive a portion of your emotional life that is integral to your overall well-being.