The car that cuts you off, the unsolicited advice from a colleague, the empty milk carton in the fridge, the rain that ruins your morning walk… All signs point to this being a bad day. The causes can be many and varied, but there’s no doubt we all have them. The real test is in showing enough resilience to shake off a bad day and get on with the good stuff.

So we’ve pinpointed five common types of bad day – find the type that best fits your funk, and we’ll give you a practical fix.

1. You’re having people problems

People, as Jerry Seinfeld once observed, are “the worst.” Whether it’s your partner, family or coworkers, people can be annoying, frustrating, confusing, demanding… the list goes on. And sometimes, it can all be too much.

What to do:
Deep breath. Now, it’s time to apply a little thing called perspective. There’s a teaching in yoga that says the entire world is whatever we project it to be – external things can’t impact us, only our attitudes towards them can.

So next time your boss asks how you’re tracking with a project for the hundredth time that day, or your partner stacks the dishwasher wrong, remember that you’re in control of your reaction – how big is this issue? Will you remember it tomorrow? Is it worth having a bad day?

2. You’re doubting yourself

You’re questioning your abilities, feeling insecure and starting to think that if you can’t do anything right, maybe you should just give up.

What to do: First things first, don’t give up! You could benefit from the serotonin boost and sense of accomplishment that a challenging workout can bring.

You’ve probably heard about the mood-boosting power of exercise, but the even better news is that it’s not just a one-off: a Harvard study found that “any kind of movement can add up to keep depression at bay”.


3. You’re so busy it’s overwhelming

Can’t talk. Too much to do. Schedule hectic. Being pulled in a million different directions. Aaargh!

What to do: We’ll make this snappy so you can get on with it. If a multitude of tasks is making you feel flustered and unfocused, take 10 minutes to go over everything you actually need to do. Make a list ordered by priority – only do the stuff you have to, and reschedule the rest. By the way, have you tried relinquishing control lately? We should all be capable of delegating responsibilities, not just at work but at home, too.

And when you really need to step away, a short burst of physical activity – like walking around the block – can help you come back to a task with renewed focus and clarity.

4. You’re convinced that the apocalypse is nigh

The news has officially been too much lately, so it’s no surprise you might find yourself feeling looming anxiety about the world at large.

What to do: It’s time for a news detox. Turn off notifications on your device, stop scrolling social media and look up… and out. Take a tip from the Japanese and head outside for some shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing – the act of getting out into nature to wash away stress. Can’t get outside? Even looking at pictures of favorite places or listening to nature sounds can help move your mind away from negative thinking.

5. You’re just feeling a bit flat

Some days you just wake up with a black cloud over your head – you know that some uncomfortable, awkward, upsetting or irritating moment is lurking in the back of your mind, you just can’t put your finger on exactly what it is.

What to do: Ignoring or pushing down negative feelings will only make things worse in the long run. So give yourself a break. Clear your schedule, avoid any big decisions and indulge in something that you know will reignite your spark. A little self-care can go a long way, so don’t let one bad day turn into two bad days turn into three…

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