A Bad Day Is Not A Bad Life: 7 Ways To Get Over Bad Days And Be Happier12 min read

Share With Friends On:

My mailbox was filled with too many rejection letters, discombobulating me. How can such cataclysms befall me? How am I going to keep on with all these? Why am I having a bad day? These were the questions running through my mind. 

I completed my NYSC program last year and that was the last time I felt carefree and relaxed.  Aside from the day my friend got me a pair of jeans I had wanted for a long time, it’s been me miserable as I dealt with one hair-splitting issue or the other. I felt like I was drowning in responsibilities, and the dread of being a failure plagued me. Every waking hour I was thinking, “I need money”, “I need to start saving”, and “I need to leave this country”, but how can I do any of that if I have no good job?!

You either need strong connections or a very good grade (or both) to land a decent job, and I have neither of those. Even when I asked a family member for a referral, she couldn’t be of much help because of my poor grades. I blamed the University which offered me admission into a different course than I applied for, and kicked myself for not putting in more effort while in school. I felt caged.

Anyway, I didn’t give up, but kept applying for jobs. I applied for a particular international job for the fourth time. I didn’t get a response from them the last three times I did. But this time, I got a congratulatory mail. I was so happy. Now, all I needed to do was pass the final assessments.

But, little did I know it was setting the stage for what would be one of the worst days of my life, so far.

What Does Having a Bad Day Feel Like?

After completing 8 hours of gruelling assessment, and waiting for almost a week, I found myself staring at yet another rejection mail. Even though I found the assessment ridiculous and unrelated to the role I was applying for, I still thought I was going to pass. I couldn’t understand why they said I failed. 

But it didn’t end there. I got another rejection mail that same day. And what seemed like a cage began to feel like a death trap closing in on me. I felt life was trying to screw me over. Ugh! The day just started and I was already feeling like Cain when he was cursed by God for killing his brother (it’s just in my case, I didn’t know what I did wrong). 

To uplift my mood, I went to the market to buy some food items. When I got home, I noticed that the pepper looked really dark, but I thought, “Eh, let’s cook it anyway, what could possibly go wrong?.” 

So, I prepared everything and sat down to eat. But when I took a bite, it felt like I was munching on coal, sand, or even wood! I couldn’t even figure out what it was. Life wasn’t just giving me lemons, it was feeding me sand for breakfast.

At that point, I couldn’t help but feel like my day had taken a Kafkaesque turn, and that I was definitely cursed.

A bad day feels tough, indifferent and cruel. It is the feeling that everything is working against you like a dark spell after your fortune. You may experience a mix of emotions like sadness, anger, confusion, shame, anxiety, hopelessness and stress. And even the smallest things can seem like big obstacles. Sometimes, It’s those little things that can really throw off your day. 

It’s like Murphy’s Law on overdrive, where anything that can go wrong, does go wrong.

On a bad day, you might feel like there won’t ever be good days.

After my ordeal that very day, I felt like I had nothing else to lose. And, maybe that was all I needed. Maybe I needed a new perspective, a fresh look at things, or maybe I needed to be more grateful.

Ultimately, I learned to be more grateful and appreciate the things that were going right in my life. For a start, I was healthy, pretty, and wasn’t starving. As the days went by, and I kept cultivating the habit of gratitude, I noticed that the pain began to fade, and I began to feel much better. 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

– Maya Angelou

Things I Do To Feel Better Whenever I’m Having A Bad Day?

Dita Von Tesse once said, “We have to experience sadness to know happiness” and I totally agree. Not every day is going to be a good day. 

“Some days are just bad, that’s all”

– Dita Von Tesse

However, It helps to have some tricks up your sleeves for getting over those bad days. Here are some of the things I do whenever I’m having a bad day: 

Practice Gratitude 

Every cloud has a silver lining, and gratitude is what makes it glitter

Some days, life is as pleasant as eating a chocolate bar and other times, it’s like getting knocked over by a train, and that’s okay. It is those tough moments that make us appreciate the good ones even more

In the midst of life’s challenges and setbacks, practising gratitude can be a powerful tool to uplift your spirits and find solace. 

So, even on those bad days when the world feels heavy, embracing gratitude can bring a glimmer of hope and help you find a sense of peace.

These challenges don’t stop coming at us. So why should we stop living? You had a bad day, so what? Do not give up on yourself 

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions. Once expressed, it changes attitude, brightens outlook and broadens our perspective.”

― Germany Kent

Engage In Activities That Bring Joy

It’s a busy or overwhelming world, and most times we may neglect the activities we are truly passionate about. 

When you’re having a bad day, it can be an opportune time to revisit and reconnect with your passions. Allocate dedicated time in your schedule to engage in activities that bring you joy. 

The other day when I was having a bad day where  I turned to playing my favorite rap songs and indulged in a dance session. It’s a therapeutic solution that never fails to lift my spirits. With each lyric and beat, I found myself immersed in the music, gradually shedding the weight of frustration that had burdened me earlier. I felt so much better. 

For me, it was music and dancing, but it could also be setting aside an hour in the evening to read a book, swim, or visit your favourite restaurant. Do whatever works for you! Just don’t engage in maladaptive behaviours like smoking or drinking.

“Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.”

– Dale Carnegie.

Get Some Exercise 

Whenever you find yourself in situations that make you question your existence, know that a simple physical activity can make your day less unpleasant. It’s like a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room, you know?

Research shows that exercising can help boost your mood by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. 

Exercise can distract you from negative thoughts and make you feel calmer. 

It even has some great health benefits like improving your brain health,  managing weight, reducing the risk of disease, strengthening bones and muscles, and improving your ability to do everyday activities. 

So, consider going for a walk, doing some yoga, or participating in any form of exercise that you enjoy whenever you’re having a bad day.

Exercise is like a one-stop shop for all the good stuff!

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

– Gautama Buddha

Embrace Patience 

According to Sarah Schnitker, Ph.D. , patience is a character strength that involves the ability to remain calm when facing adversity, frustration, or suffering. 

Patience is like a soothing balm for your soul, and it’s a vital ingredient in the recipe for self-care and self-compassion. It’s like waiting for a pot of water to boil or watching paint dry.

When you’re having a bad day, remember to be as patient as a monk and as sweet as a cupcake with yourself – you are already having a bad day and a bad attitude or being bitter is only going to make things worse.

So, avoid beating yourself up or filling your mind with negative self-talk. 

When you practice patience with yourself on a bad day, you allow space for self-compassion and understanding. 

Instead of being harshly self-critical, you cultivate a more nurturing and supportive inner dialogue and you begin to feel better.

“To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.”

– Seneca

Practice Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can provide a healthy outlet for emotional release. 

Research shows that it helps recognize triggers and also helps learn ways to better control them.

When you put your emotions into words, you start to experience a sense of relief, transforming the weight of a bad day into something more manageable and less burdensome.

The most amazing part of journaling is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it – it’s all about finding your own groove and making it a personal practice.

It’s like having a BFF in the form of a diary where you can spill all your thoughts without any judgment or rules. 

“All the noise in my brain. I clamp it to the page so it will be still.”

– Barbara Kingsolver

Connect With Friends and Family

Bad days cannot be avoided and one of the remedies is connecting with friends and family – it can be very soothing. 

Studies have shown that connecting with friends and family isn’t just so fun, but it’s also super good for our overall health. It’s like a two-for-one deal, where we get to have an awesome time and reap long-term physical and emotional benefits. 

Just talking to them, sharing your feelings, and hearing their supportive words can lift your spirits and make you feel understood. 

They can also offer a fresh perspective or make you laugh with their silly jokes. 

A medical doctor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City once said he wished he could prescribe friendships for everyone. 

Connecting with family and friends is that important, you see?

“If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. And try to find somebody whose life gives them vodka, and have a party.”

– Ron White

Get Some Sleep

You know what’s one of the secrets I use in conquering a bad day? It’s getting quality sleep. It’s like giving my mind and body a much-needed spa day. 

A recent study also revealed that when we dream during REM sleep, our brain enters a stress-free zone. It’s like a vacation spot for our brain, where all those stress chemicals take a break. 

This dreamy state actually helps you deal with sad or hurtful memories and when you wake up, the mood changes, and it starts hurting less.

Quality sleep helps refresh your mind, allowing you to approach the day with a more positive outlook and better cope with challenges.

On a bad day, your emotions may be heightened, you may lose focus and your decision-making abilities may suffer. But when you get some sleep, you gain mental clarity and your mind gets cleared from negative thoughts.

So, when some days get tough, you may need to hit the hay and just relax. Better days lie ahead!

“Many bad days were preceded by a bad night’s sleep.”

– Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Get our free eBook on how to live a happy and meaningful life when you input your email now.

Conclusion: You Are Not Cursed, Bad Days Come and Go.

Sometimes it hurts, but it doesn’t hurt like hell anymore.

Just when I was about to finish this piece, I got another rejection letter but meh, I wasn’t moved. 

How did I become this person though? Well, it’s an ongoing practice of gratitude, and being self-compassionate, amongst other things.

Just like me, you need to know that you’re not burdened with a curse, the challenging times will fade away, making room for brighter and better days ahead.

Remember that bad days shape us and push us to grow.

“Breathe. It’s only a bad day, not a bad life.”

— Johnny Depp


Did you enjoy reading this or have some questions? Please let us know in the comments section.

Here are some other content you might find interesting:

I am an SEO content writer, social media manager, and elegy poet.

When I’m not floating in the pool of words or deep in thought, you’ll often find me engrossed in the gentle tunes of songs.

Get our free eBook on how to live a happy and meaningful life when you input your email now.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply