How to Survive a Bad Day


Some days suck. Some days really fucking suck. Most healthy people have an occasional bad but if you suffer from a disability, mental illness, or anxiety, bad days may come by more often.

My first suggestion to getting through a shit day is to get in your comfiest clothes, lay under your best blanket, eat all the snack you want, and dive into a favorite show, movie, or book. Also, naps. Naps are magic.

For the vast majority of us, though, lying around isn’t always an option. Self care is hard enough on our best days. When things get tough, self care usually goes out the window.

So, if you're having a shitty day and aren’t able to rest your stress away here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Hydrate:

Check in on yourself.

Have you had, like, any water today at all? Every cell, muscle, tissue and function in your body needs water to operate. Water has been shown in some studies to improve mood, brain power, and physical performance. Low H2O can cause issues like fatigue, headaches and constipation.

Few things will make a bad day worse than not being able to shit.  

Take a few minutes to drink a glass of water. If you’re able, make sure you have some on hand to sip throughout the day. I’m able to drink more when I have a straw so give that a try if you’re having a hard time.

2. Sleep:

How long did you sleep last night? Was it restful or did you toss and turn?

Just like your body can’t function without water, it can’t function without sleep. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can change brain activity, cause a loss of emotional control, and can increase depression and anxiety.

If you’re able, take a nap, even 15 minutes can help improve brain function and overall mood. If not, try to get in bed early tonight.

This might sound odd but when I’m stressed and find it impossible to fall asleep, I concentrate on a “calm” place. Lay in bed, eyes closed, and focus on something you find super relaxing. For me, I imagine a forest with a creek running through. I try to picture every detail from the bark on the trees, the sounds of the creek flowing, animals rustling in the distance. Giving your mind something to focus on other than your stress should allow you to relax into sleep within a few minutes. 

3. Medicate:

Have you taken your medicine as prescribed?

It's super easy to forget your meds when you're stressed out and focused on other things but doing so could make your day go from bad to worse, especially if they are for mental health, anxiety, or disability. If you're having a hard time remembering, set a reminder on your phone, put a sticky on your mirror, put your pills next to an item you use daily (like a toothbrush or your keys, etc).

If you don't have a prescription but have a headache, can't get to sleep, or an upset stomach, don't be afraid to grab something to assist. There is no shame in aspirin, melatonin or any other OTC's despite the stigma in our society that wants to pressure us to "suck it up".

4. Get Your Micros:

Micro-nutrients are vitamins and minerals essential for our bodies to function properly. Each one serves a different purpose but together they help maintain our brain, bones, muscles, tissues, and immune system performance. So, basically, some really important shit.

If you're having a hard time eating or finding comfort in foods that aren't produce (because, obvs), chances are high you aren't getting the micros your body needs. Though it's preferable you get your vitamins and minerals from whole foods, that just isn't always possible for everyone.

If you can, try to take a multivitamin as a backup plan or insurance policy.

5. Write:

Writing is a super helpful tool for getting out emotions that are too hard to say. When I'm feeling bad, I like to open a notebook or a blank doc on my computer and word vomit all over the place. Most of the time, what I write isn't coherent, but I damn sure feel better when I do. There is something so satisfying about moving stressful thoughts from my brain onto paper where I can address them when I'm better off.

Science can back me up, too. Studies show that writing improved mood, can reduce stress, and improves our general well being.

6. Ride it Out:

When all else fails and you just can't seem to kick a bad day in the ass, ride the storm out. It's nice to know tomorrow is a new day. Looking on the bright side is great. Sometimes that is just totally unrealistic.

Reach out for support when you are really struggling and do the best you can. It's all we can ever do.