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10 Ways to Take Care of Yourself After a Bad Day

Updated on October 10, 2016
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Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.

These tips on how to take care of yourself after a bad day will help you gently unwind and decompress so that you can get back on your feet tomorrow full of energy and hope.

A bubble bath isn't the only way to make yourself feel better after a bad day.
A bubble bath isn't the only way to make yourself feel better after a bad day.

After a bad day at work or an unpleasant argument at home with someone you love, your life may feel a bit upside down. You want to get things back on track, but you’re too distracted with pain and worry to figure out what to do next. These 10 ways to take care of yourself after a bad day can help uplift your mood so that you can face tomorrow full of hope and optimism.

1. Turn off cable TV, especially the news. First things first. Turn off the TV after a bad day. The loud commercials, the dreary news reports, the unnecessary drama and catfighting on toxic reality-TV shows—do you really need to fill your mind up with all that negative energy? Sure, many people like to unwind after a long day with mind-numbing mumbo-jumbo. And if you're tired, but not necessarily in a bad mood, that’s fine---zone out with useless TV entertainment. But if you're trying to help yourself feel better after a bad day, you need to be more selective about what you feed your brain.

Don’t worry that you're going to miss something important. Trust me, if there is bad news that needs to find you, it will. You don’t need to go looking for it. The news is all around us. If you can’t bring yourself to shut off the TV altogether, try watching some commercial-free television on Netflix or any of the other streaming services that allow you to watch a complete season of a TV show. In fact, watching a marathon of your favorite Old-Time sitcoms is a great way to help yourself feel better because it involves two popular remedies for a bad day: laughter and 'me time.'

TV is chewing gum for the eyes.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

2. Listen to music. Shut out the chaos with a pair of noise cancelling headphones and your favorites tunes on an MP3 player, iPod, or your smartphone. When it comes to making you feel better at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you like soft classical music or fast-paced techno music or stadium rock power ballads. As long as the music is pleasant and appealing to you, it can transform your state of mind and help wash away any distracting thoughts at the end of the day.

Coloring books for adults have recently exploded in popularity. They're a great way to relax and unwind after a bad day.
Coloring books for adults have recently exploded in popularity. They're a great way to relax and unwind after a bad day.

3. Keep boredom at bay after a long, stressful day. One of the reasons it's important to occupy your mind if you want to feel better after a lousy day is that mental and physical idleness can let your mind replay and rehash some of the worst parts of your day. And that's not a great way to feel better at all. For some creative ways to keep your mind busy, read 30 Things to Do When You Are Bored.

4. Do some coloring. One of my favorite boredom busters is settling down with a big pack of pencil crayons or markers and indulging in a childhood pastime: coloring. Coloring books have become so popular among adults that you can find hundreds of grown-up coloring books based on a variety of themes and styles: mandalas, animals, paisleys, stained glass windows, flowers and more!

5. Listen to some audiobooks while engaging in a simple activity. Reading is probably on most people's top ten lists of ways to help yourself feel better, but have you tried audiobooks? Ten years ago, buying audiobooks could be rather expensive, and most pubic libraries had only a limited selection of titles. Now, thanks to the explosion of digital music and audio consumption, many pubic libraries have thousands of audiobooks available for downloading. If you think borrowing e-books from the comfort of your couch is easy, choosing audiobooks is just as easy.

If sitting still while listening to an audiobook is challenging for you, add a light, mindless activity to the mix. Sewing, knitting, and coloring are soothing sit-down activities that you can do while you listen to an audiobook. Alternatively, if you like to be more active, you can get on your treadmill, lift some weights, or clean your house while you listen to the latest paranormal thriller or period romance. If fiction isn't what you are into, there are hundreds of non-fiction, self-help books available including books with even more ways to help you feel better after a bad day!

The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.

— Norman Vincent Peale
Light gardening is a wonderful way to take care of yourself after a long, hard day
Light gardening is a wonderful way to take care of yourself after a long, hard day

Gentle reminder: If your bad day seems to spiral out of control and threatens to plunge one day after the other into feelings of darkness and despair, seek support from your doctor or healthcare practitioner. Taking care of yourself after a rough day can help you alleviate the stress and strain of a temporarily challenging situation. And while thinking positively and keeping your mind focused helps, sometimes you might need the guidance of a qualified counsellor, therapist, or spiritual advisor.

6. Get a little dirty, in your garden that is! If you're an avid gardener you probably already know that the care and cultivation of plants is one of the best ways to make yourself feel better. Even if you don't have a garden space to call your own, you could still enjoy the positive emotional and physical benefits of gardening with a few indoor or outdoor plant boxes. The supplies you need aren't hard to find, even on the way home from work after a bad day. Many grocery stores sell small potted plants, herbs, flowers, and vegetables outside their stores during the warmer spring, summer, and fall months.

Bananas are loaded with potassium which helps to lower blood pressure. That's why they make a great afternoon or evening snack when you've had a bad day.
Bananas are loaded with potassium which helps to lower blood pressure. That's why they make a great afternoon or evening snack when you've had a bad day.

Which of these do you think is the worst way to try and make yourself feel better at the end of a bad day?

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7. Boost your mood with healthy foods. Learn about some of the most common healthy foods that can make you feel better. For example, bananas can help lower blood pressure. They also contain tryptophan which can help you fall asleep with greater ease at night. And a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to make yourself feel better so that you can leave the bad day behind and get ready for a fresh, happy one tomorrow!

8. Give to a charity near and dear to your heart. Why wait for the next fundraising campaign to make a donation to a cause you are passionate about. Charities need support all year round! Charities are becoming more and more sophisticated in how they engage and inform donors. for example, some charities' websites have interactive features that allow you to learn about important issues in the community and let you decide which issue you want to support, For example, an organizations overall mission may be to prevent cruelty to animals, but within that framework the could be specific issues that need addressing such as improving the way farm animals are treated, providing education on the importance of controlling pet populations or providing emergency medical treatment after pets have been rescued from negligent owners. You can even sponsor a cat or dog in the shelter until the animal finds a loving forever family.giving to others in need is one of the best ways to make yourself feel better after a bad day.

9. Write in your diary. And if you don't have a diary, start one! There are many different things that you can put in a diary, you don't just have to write about how bad your day was in order to make yourself feel better.

10. Let others help. When you've had a bad day, you aren't the only one who wants to find a way to feel better. The people who care about you want you to feel better too! That's why this last tip on how to make yourself feel better after a bad day is one of my favorites. Letting other people offer you support, comfort, and encouragement is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of courage and strength! Leaning on those we love when things are rough reminds us how important it is to nurture those close relationships.

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list of things to do to make yourself feel better when you've had a lousy day?

Images Source: Pixabay.com

After a bad day, spending time with your furry friend, gently petting them is one of the easiest ways to uplift your mood. Take care of them and they's take care of you!.
After a bad day, spending time with your furry friend, gently petting them is one of the easiest ways to uplift your mood. Take care of them and they's take care of you!.

© 2015 Sadie Holloway

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    JR Krishna 22 months ago from India

    I liked your suggestions. On a very tiring day evening, I find myself peaceful If I am near my plants. We dont have a big garden. Only few plants. looking at them and taking care of them is very revitalizing to me.

    Voted up and shared

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