6 Steps to Get You Through a Bad Day

by Jeff Cao 

I had a bad day recently.

It threw me off my groove so much that I got nothing accomplished that I wanted to accomplish for the day.


I have a deep dislike for days like that. Chances are you do too. But they’re inevitable. You have a conflict with a co-worker, unexpected bad news comes knocking, you get a text or an email that really gets your blood boiling, maybe a crisis takes over the day that you were going to spend to get something significant done (like a project). It happens.

When these things to get to me, I experience a bad day, and not knowing what to do in those circumstances really affected more than just me. I would sometimes say things I regretted, occasionally took my frustrations out on people around me by being really short and cold. It showed up at home too when the atmosphere gets brought down by the scowl on my face.

Funny things about bad days like that, they don’t stay within the day! It’s not all sunshine and daisies the next morning. The consequences of what we do during our bad days runs into the next day, sometimes turning bad days into bad weeks, bad months, so on and so forth.

So how do you handle a bad day so that you can start the next day on a good note?

Here are six steps that I use to get through a bad day:

1: Ask yourself: What would an emotionally intelligent person do? Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Emotionally intelligent people rarely let their state of mind bring others down. They’ve developed behaviors and habits that compensate for their emotional state so they do not drag others down with them. So imagine what an emotionally intelligent person would do, then do it. It works for me.

slow_signs2: Don’t act on your emotions or make any significant decisions. Emotionally intelligent people do not act upon their negative emotions. Imagine yourself being around an angry person. It’s not very pleasant is it? Ever make a decision when you’re upset? The results are, more often than not, not good. They lead to regret. And regret leads to another bad day later on.

3: Shift your focus to accomplish a short-term win. Look at your task list and pick out the easiest one to accomplish and then do it. Even doing something as routine as cleaning out your inbox helps. You probably won’t accomplish any big projects on a bad day, but if you find yourself at work on a bad day (86% chance you will), you still need to earn your paycheck.

prayer-on-my-knees424: Confess and pray. Tell (not yell at) a close friend or your spouse about it and pray. Sometimes the prayer is as simple as: “God, you put me here for a reason. Help me get through this. Remind me of my part in the middle of all this.”

freshair-225x3005: Get some fresh air. Go outside for a few minutes, walk around and just enjoy the scenery. I personally like to get my fresh air through exercise. Getting out your frustrations while keeping in shape and releasing some endorphins all at the same time? Win. Times three!

good-sleep6: Get a good nights’ rest. Go to bed early and aim for a full 8 hours. If you didn’t act upon your negative emotions or make any bad decisions throughout your bad day you will feel great in the morning. Chances are the issues that gave you a bad day will still be there, but you will be in a much better position to deal with them when you are well-rested.

What helps you get through a bad day? Let us know in the comments section!

…You just heard a Cao go moo…


cropped-2013-10-27-10-47-26Jeff Cao is in a young man in his 20′s, living on the west coast of the U.S, just trying to experience life to the fullest while attempting to help others along the way. He offers up some advice on getting through your 20′s alive, passes around some hope while doing so, and throws in a few “life hacks” here and there which will, he’s sure, be entertaining to us all. Everything from finances, to family, to spirituality; you suggest it, he’ll blog about it.

Check out Jeff’s blog at: seecao.wordpress.com


9 thoughts on “6 Steps to Get You Through a Bad Day

  1. It really helps me to go out for a run (#5) and going to bed when I’m starting to obsess on negativity (#6) is crucial.
    I would add, for my own list:
    #7: Talking it out with someone I trust.
    #8: And, you know me, a cold beer or a well-made gin&tonic tends to make even the worst day a little less bad. 😉

    • Hah, great ideas. I probably should have made #4 more clear to confess to someone and talk it out with them. I’ll try and be more clear next time. I love your additions though. Funny how the number 8 looks like a sake bottle eh? xD

  2. Pingback: 6 Steps to Get You Through a Bad Day | SeeCao

  3. Aw yeah!!! Great blog to spur God’s people toward self-discipline and wise foresight in Christ! On bad days,
    #2 I avoid rash decisions and turn most of my energy toward what comes out of my mouth [Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”], choosing either to stay silent or speak (paying particular attention to tone)/pray/think words that build up,
    #3 do something to distract my attention (according to Raising Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, French parents teach their kids they can’t always have immediate gratification, that they must learn to occupy themselves with other shenanigans in the mean time),
    #4&6 go off somewhere, reflect and (now) pray.

    • This is great! I used to catch myself sometimes self-medicating my bad days with depressing music. This of course just leads me to continue spiraling down on my bad day, instead of improving it. Good stuff!

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