We all have those days. The ones that leave us desperate to burrow under the bed covers, close our eyes and sleep. They’re draining, stressful and can really bring out the worst in us. Not fun at all. However, after experiencing a few too many of these kinds of days, I’ve learned more about what helps me get through. The things that bring back the sunshine and lessen the need to go burrow away.
Talking it out
To me, there’s nothing worse than suffering in silence. If I’m left to stew, things usually just get worse until I snap. To avoid this, whenever I’m having a tough day, I always tell someone and talk it out. I usually go to someone who I know empathises and listens well, which is usually my partner, my Mum or one of my best friends. I rant for a few minutes, get it all out, and it makes me feel better. Plus I’ll usually then gain some really good advice. I really believe in the saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Tuning the world out
Usually, when I’m really stressed and tired, I just need to block the world out for a while and focus on myself. I mute my phone and do an activity that guides me away from negative thinking and anger or sadness. This can be a peaceful walk, watching a film under a blanket or a big long bath with a good book. Anything that relaxes me, stops me from overthinking and makes me forget my problems.
I really do find that working out usually makes me feel a lot better. Sometimes I really do just need Ben and Jerry’s on the sofa, but whenever I do a workout it tends to eliminate catastrophising and overthinking. Plus, sweating out the stress and angst really works. I find that it’s also another way of tuning the world out, giving myself that space to just focus on myself and my needs. It doesn’t have to be torturous, I honestly only ever do exercise that I actually enjoy nowadays, so you can usually spy me through the living room window attempting Zumba. That’s enough to cheer anyone up!
Food is just the best. It rocks my world. Coming home from a rubbish day and enjoying something yummy really comforts me. I enjoy cooking anyway — it’s something I find soothing and guides me away from overthinking. Making something warming and comforting soothes my soul. Don’t even get me started on dessert… The right dessert can turn any day around for me.
Call me cheesy, call me corny, roll your eyes, whatever, but positive affirmations help me. I close my eyes and I repeat a favourite saying a few times, accompanied by some deep breaths and it can really help me in tricky moments. You don’t need to look far to find something that may resonate with you, Pinterest is great, as are some of the amazing and inspirational women on Instagram.
This is something you do at the end of a draining day to help you process and reflect. Whilst it obviously isn’t something you can always do in the moment, it’ll help you learn your thought processes and think up ways of approaching situations differently so that you can attempt to avoid more negative situations in the future. Again, there are so many journal prompts on Pinterest for all kinds of topics, so I’d really encourage you to head there. Journaling has honestly changed my mindset so much, I’d love to go a little more in-depth on a future blog post about the benefits.
Finding something to laugh at
We all need something a little more light-hearted at times. Whilst I’m a huge lover of the super-serious emotional films and programmes, sometimes when I’ve had a tricky, draining day, then I just need to laugh. I’m lucky because I appreciate different kinds of humour, which opens up my options. I find that heading onto Prime or Netflix and putting on one of my favourite comedies relaxes me and helps my mind become more positive and peaceful.
Having things to look forward to
Life is obviously for the living, and I want to fill it with as much fun as possible. Making regular plans so that I always have something to look forward to is really important. When I’m having a tough day, reminding myself that pretty soon I’ll be enjoying a takeaway movie night with my partner, lunch with my Mum or a night out with my friends helps me get through.
Consider whether you’re in the right place
It’s absolutely fine and normal for us all to have the occasional rough day, but if you notice them happening frequently, consider what will help you. I was in a job that I’d worked really hard for, and thought it would be the be-all and end-all for me. Over time I started having more bad days than good, I felt very negatively, and stopped looking forward to work. I knew it was time to make a change. Luckily, that led me to think about my passion for reading, and I discovered proofreading and copy editing. I’ve been able to leave that position and really focus on making a career that brings me huge amounts of joy and satisfaction, which in turn has led me to having far fewer draining days.
Hopefully, this post has allowed you to think about what might help lessen a draining day. Hopefully they are few and far between. Let me know if there’s anything you do differently.