I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, so I’m really happy I’m finally sitting down to do it. I would describe myself as a pretty happy and positive person, but I have bad days just like everyone else. Sometimes I think stress brings them on and I just want to scream at everyone and I get really anxious and jittery. Other times I get a flat, empty feeling for no reason and get very tearful. Every time I have a bad day and I do the things I do to try and overcome it, I think to myself – I need to write a blog post about this and share my tips with my followers incase I can help them in any way. I just want to quickly disclaim that none of these tips are guaranteed to make you feel better, but I truly believe at least one of my tips listed below will help, even if it’s just a little bit. I recommend you don’t try and do all these things on one day or else you will just feel overwhelmed, just pick which ones (or even just one) sound like they suit you the best and give them/it a try! Some of these ideas may seem really obvious, but I wanted to compile all my tips into a list here so you can look at them all together and pick which ones you think will work best for you.
Go outside and run
I used to HATE running, but my friend Dan and I went on a run together towards the end of last year and he made me realise that if you push through those first torturous 15 minutes where everything hurts, you find your flow and you can just keep going. For me, the feeling I get when I burst through the door after a 5k run (which takes me about 30 minutes) is such a happy feeling of accomplishment and also running (outside in particular) just makes your brain happy. I love to do this if I’m having a bad day as then you can spend the rest of the day relaxing and watching Netflix without having that awful ‘oh god, I’ve not left the house or done anything today, my life is over’ feeling.
Run yourself a bubble bath and light all of the candles
As you can see in the photo above, I have made my bathroom my happy little sanctuary with bubbles, books, candles and my puppy. A long soak in a hot bubble bath (preferably with a Lush product popped in) makes me feel so good. I like to put on a face mask, shave my legs, put coconut oil in my hair – really pamper myself. I use Lush King Of Skin to moisturise myself in the bath so I don’t have to do it when I get out. I find I can really overthink when I’m having a bad day, so I would recommend distracting yourself whilst in the bath – pop your favourite TV show on your laptop and balance it on the toilet seat or read a book. Don’t let your mind wander, because chances are it’ll just find something to worry about or create a problem that doesn’t exist.
I’ve been meditating on and off for a few years now. I wish I was dedicated enough to do it daily as I know it would probably help keep the bad days at bay and make me feel more balanced in general, but for now, I just tend to meditate when I am actually in the bad day. I use a website called calm.com and I love it, because it’s guided meditation (a nice lady tells you what to do). I like that you can do it for as little as 2 minutes, so if you have somewhere to be and you’re rushing out of the door, you can quickly take 2 minutes and find some peace. I always come away from meditating feeling like I can cope with life much better.
Meet up with a friend
I know it’s tempting to stay inside all day under a blanket when you’re feeling bad instead of going out, but from many bad day’s experience, I have found it’s best to do a bit of both. Rushing around and having loads of plans is just going to stress you out, but at the same time, isolating yourself and not moving from one spot all day will not feel good either. I suggest you make a simple plan, that’s not too far from home, to just go out and meet a friend for a pot of tea (there’s a cafe nearby me that I love to go to for tea and cake with my friends). My biggest tip when spending time with a friend on a bad day, is to not dwell on your bad day. If you chat about things your excited about, ask your friend what they’re up to and what good stuff is going on in their life, you will probably find you start to feel better. Also, it sounds really superficial, but I find putting on my makeup nicely and wearing an outfit I feel comfortable, but good in can make me feel much more confident and happy, so maybe spend some time getting ready before you go and meet your friend.
Learn something new
This is something I have only realised quite recently that makes me feel happier. I find this really works if I have that flat, empty feeling kind of bad day, not so much with the stressed out bad day. At the moment, I’m learning lots for a project I am working on (which will be revealed to you all in March) as my role as Ambassador for Global Goals and I always come away from my research feeling excited, motivated and inspired. I think it’s a combination of learning and also the feeling of having a purpose and doing good. So when I titled this one ‘learn something new’, I don’t mean learn who Justin Beiber is dating, I mean learn something that will make you feel excited and inspired. For some of you, it may be downloading an app that teaches you another language and getting really stuck into it or it could be as simple as watching a documentary, or educating yourself on current affairs. Sometimes I just like to read a book that will teach me something, like a history or science book (actually, I’d be lying if I said I ever read science books – that’s more Jim’s kind of thing! I like history). I think as humans we have this enormous desire to learn and we crave knowledge – this one is a bit hard to explain and I’m not sure if I have explained it well or just confused you, but fingers crossed what I’ve said makes some kind of sense!
Listen to your favourite music to sing along to
Music is so unbelievably powerful. If I’m having a bad day and I listen to my favourite Radiohead songs, there’s no way I’ll be turning my day around anytime soon. Put on your favourite upbeat song to sing along to, sometimes mine is a Disney soundtrack (either Beauty & The Beast or The Little Mermaid), sometimes it’s Taylor Swift and more recently it’s been Zayn’s song Pillow Talk (is that not just the best song ever?!) I think I have confessed this to you guys before, but one of my favourite things to do is get the lyrics up on my computer so I can sing along and read the lyrics at the same time – yes, I’m a loser, but it feels so good to not miss a word!
Write a to-do list
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, writing a to-do list can be really helpful. Write is in a real-life notebook with a real-life pen. Not on your phone. Something about putting pen to paper is very therapeutic and feels good and organised. Write everything that’s flying around in your head that you’re worrying about getting done, then star the things that are the most urgent and just focus on those. Everything else can wait.
Get some perspective and be thankful
This one is so simple, yet so effective. When I’m having a bad day, I find it helps me so much to think about 3 things I am grateful for and also look at the bigger picture. Realise how this day is one in thousands and the bad feeling will pass.
Bake something and share it with your friends and family
You guys know how much I love baking, being in the kitchen with a wooden spoon in my hand and flour on my nose is my happy place. I love the whole process of baking from the choosing what to bake, the mixing of the ingredients, the smell from the oven and finally the decorating of my creation. I don’t know how many of you this one will apply to as I’m not sure how many of you love to bake, but if you do, pick something easy and fun like cookies so you don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t go perfectly and enjoy the thanks you will get from the people you share your bakes with.
Have a long, good nights sleep
We all find day to day life a lot harder if we haven’t had our 8 hours. Really make an effort to not go on social media or look at any screens at least an hour before you go to sleep (I say whilst typing up this blog post at 9pm on a Monday evening!) The light from your phone or computer screen tells your brain to stay awake and whatever you are doing on your phone or computer is just over-stimulating your brain making it impossible for it to wind down and have a peaceful nights sleep. Spray your pillow with a lovely deep sleep spray, pop on your some relaxing music or your audiobook or read your book and just chill out for a while before drifting off.
I hope this post helps some of you and if you are having a bad day today, just remember, it’s completely normal and okay to be feeling the way you are, life isn’t perfect, but it will have some perfect moments.