We can build great habits, take the time to plan ahead, practice yoga and take good care of ourselves — but bad days will still always come and go. Even the happiest, most optimistic people have bad days every now and then.
Of course, a bad day can seem a lot worse when the timing is unfavorable. When you’ve got things to do and goals to accomplish for the day, getting your mojo back can feel nearly impossible.
Throwing in the towel for the rest of the day may seem like the only option, but believe it or not, you can still close out the day with victory. When it’s already mid-afternoon and you find yourself wishing you could hit the reset button on your day so you can get everything else done, follow these three simple steps.
1. Gather Yourself
In other words, take a break so you can reboot. This means getting out of your current environment, ideally outside in a natural setting, so you can go for a brief 20-minute walk. Scientific research has proven that this is one of the fastest and most effective ways to soothe the mind and regulate emotions.
If you can’t do that, walking around your home, your building, or just down the street is better than nothing, and it’s still very beneficial get the blood pumping just through simple movement. Grab a pair of headphones and your mobile device to listen to some calming music while you’re walking.
Be sure to extend your walk if you think you need it, or even meditate afterward. Remember that if you can clear all the cruddy thoughts, emotions, and tension flowing through your mind and body, you’ll be in a much better state to tackle everything you have left to do for the day.
2. Reestablish Intention
Once you’ve taken the time to refresh your mind and body, you can go back to your previous environment and prepare yourself to tackle the rest of the day’s tasks. But rather than just starting where you left off, take a few minutes to get clear about your intentions by journaling a bit.
While journaling, focus on these three things:
- What you’re truly grateful for today
- 1 to 3 of the most important things that must be accomplished today
- How you’ll reward yourself at the end of the day for accomplishing those 1 to 3 things
Setting a simple reward like a relaxing bubble bath or a couple squares of dark chocolate will help motivate you to get through the rest of your tasks before you call it a day.
3. Maintain Presence
Even after gathering yourself and getting back in touch with your intentions for the day, old thoughts and feelings from earlier may pop up again and threaten to throw you back off track. Aim to focus on just one thing at a time, and if you feel yourself getting derailed, try doing the following:
- Remove or disconnect from any distractions
- Take a few long, deep breaths while relaxing your muscles
- Engage in some positive self-talk by telling yourself what matters right now
When a bad day hits, the idea is to simplify everything as much as possible so you don’t end up aggregating your thoughts and emotions more. These three steps can be done in as little as a few minutes practically anywhere, but it’s up to you to make them happen.