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Small Rewards Can Help Get You Through a Tough Day

Updated on January 28, 2019
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Home made turkey soup for lunch at work is something to look forward to.
Home made turkey soup for lunch at work is something to look forward to. | Source

Having a bad day? Ever have one of those days that just makes you want to crawl back into bed. Or not get out of bed in the first place? Maybe it's a day that you dread going to work due to stressful meetings, or a project that's waiting for you that you are stressing about. We all have those days, and there's not a lot we can do about them, except make the best of it. There are many ways that you can help yourself deal with a day you are not so happy about. And they don't take a lot of work or money. Keep these ideas in mind next time you are struggling to get out of bed and face the upcoming day:

In the Morning

1) Flavored coffee

For coffee lovers, flavored coffee is a huge treat and a break from the humdrum of the every day "same ol same ol" coffee taste. If you are fortunate enough to have a Keurig Coffee Maker, buy yourself some flavored coffee and keep it on hand for a day that you need a pick me up. If you don't have a Keurig but a 10 cup coffee maker, ground flavored coffee will do just as well. If you don't have either, stop by your nearest Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks for a treat.

2) Listen to your favorite music CD

Music has the power to turn your psyche around and take you from the doldrums to a happy camper. Keep some of your favorite CDs in your car so that if you have a day at work, you are dreading, you can play that music in your car on the way to work, and cheer yourself up into a much happier mood by the time you arrive at the office. That may mean you keep a CD of happy Gospel music and sing along with it on the way to work. Or maybe singing along with some Broadway show tunes will do the trick? I am a bit embarrassed to say that lately, I have been playing a CD of Bobby Sherman bubble gum music in my car each morning. Humming along with these songs from my childhood gives me an instant pick up, and throughout the day I find myself humming them as well. It puts me in a better mood even later because I feel silly and carefree just thinking about those songs. If your workplace allows music to be played, play your favorite CDs or your favorite radio station all day long.

3) Wear your favorite clothes

Whether it be your favorite color or a new outfit, or an outfit that just makes you feel GOOD, put it on. On days I don't feel up to facing the world, I wear black because it makes me feel powerful. Or some days I pull out a favorite sweater or a blouse in my favorite color and wear that to work, and it lifts my spirits. I have a friend that loves to wear boots. They just give her a lift...physically as well as mentally. She notices a difference in the way she feels and carries herself on those days. Wear what you have that makes you feel better.

4) Pack a good lunch or decide to treat yourself to lunch

Nothing helps me get through a bad day like comfort food. Sometimes if I am dreading a bad meeting at work or a stressful situation, I pack my favorite foods,( which is usually something warm ) for lunch. It gives me something to look forward to all morning. And I feel better after eating it. Macaroni and cheese or homemade soup usually do the trick.

In the Afternoon

1) Coffee (again)

Bring your favorite kind of coffee to work and save it for the afternoon. It will give you something to look forward to all morning and is a great pick me up. If you can leave the office at lunchtime, go to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks then and pick up your favorite coffee drink to bring back to the office with you.

2) Take a long way home

Maybe you have had a good day at work but have a research paper due tomorrow and will be up till all hours finishing it, so are dreading returning home? Or maybe you have a houseful of noisy kids and errands to run with them once you get home? Take a long way home to recharge yourself before you get there. A nice ride down a country road may bring the peace and calm you need to get you through the rest of your day, or night. Now I am not suggesting that you go out of your way for an hour, but a mere extra 10 or 15 minutes of a detour for beautiful scenery that will recharge your batteries can go a long way.

3) Take a Nap

Promise yourself in the morning that as soon as you get home, you will reward yourself with a nap. Something about falling into a nice warm bed for 30 or 45 minutes after a hard day at work is great to look forward to. So before helping children with homework, or starting dinner, etc., if you can squeeze in a nap, it will help you get through the day easier and after the nap, help you get through the rest of your night!

At Night

1) Take a Bubble Bath

Plan to take a bubble bath all alone with some candles. Start thinking about it in the morning before work. Then think about it again when you are up to your ears in reports. Keep it in the back of your mind all day as your reward for making it through...and you know you will make it through.

2) Plan a Date Night With Your Spouse

Is there something you and your spouse really enjoy doing together that you can do on a weeknight? Maybe it's a romantic take-out dinner that you'll eat by candlelight. Maybe take a bubble bath together??? Maybe you will go to bed early and "snuggle"? ( I'm pretty sure Hub Pages is rated PG so we will keep it at snuggling, but you can use your imagination!) Thinking about spending some special time with your spouse or significant other can help make the day go by quicker and put a charge in your step.

3) Take a Walk in Nature

Taking a walk in nature is a wonderful way to unwind and feel better. Whether it be at the beach in any season, or in the woods, there is something peaceful and soothing about nature that can wash our troubles away. If you have a dog that you can bring along for companionship, that's even better. They don't talk back or whine, or yell at you, so they are perfect walking and exploring companions. And they will be just as happy as you to be out in nature. Sometimes just seeing how happy my dog is when we take one of these walks is enough to lift my spirits. So, depending on the season, or where you live, plan to get back to nature after work and think about that as your day unfolds.

4) Have a Glass of Wine and Read a Good Book

If you are a reader, having a glass of wine while reading a good book, especially in front of a nice warm fire in the Winter is a sure way to reward yourself for a hard day. Think about it in the morning and picture yourself in your comfy chair or on your couch reading all day long. If you don't have a good book to read, stop by a store after work and pick up a copy of your favorite magazine. That works well too. Then pour yourself a glass of wine, get cozy and enjoy.

I'm sure all of you have your own personal rewards that help you get through a hard day. Please share in your comments below the tips that work best for you. And I hope that some of these tips will give you some new ideas.

Taking a walk through nature can soothe the soul.
Taking a walk through nature can soothe the soul. | Source
Taking the long way home can bring you by calming scenes like this!
Taking the long way home can bring you by calming scenes like this! | Source

Rewards Poll

What small rewards do you use most to get you through a tough day?

See results


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    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Riviera Rose,

      Well, thank you so much for your kind comment. And for your positive votes. Yes, I had forgotten about the sun. It is a nice way to relax after a bad day. Especially if you live near the shore and can hear the roar of the ocean in the background!

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      8 years ago from South of France

      A beautiful hub - it's all about life's simple pleasures, isn't it? For me it's sitting out in the sun when possible and a brisk half hour walk most afternoons. And that glass of wine in the evening usually puts a smile on my face...

      Voted up and beautiful!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Aw, thanks for your comment about loving the post. I really enjoyed writing it. It seems to have a positive set of reviews too so I guess a lot of people besides us can relate to it!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      I'm glad you liked the list. I had fun writing it. I had just had one of those bad days so was quite familiar with all the ways I cope with the bad days. And thanks so much for passing it on.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      I love this list. We all need the little rewards to help us get through a tough day! Thanks for sharing and I pass this on.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      8 years ago

      Nothing does it better for me than my own flavored home-brewed coffee and my comfy jeans and a T. Love your post and it made me feel at home.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Awww, you say the nicest things. That means a lot to me about the subbing because lately a lot of people have been asking me how I like retirement since I left my previous job full time at a high school to become a substitute teacher. I guess they don't think subs really do much worthwhile so I sure do appreciate those words of encouragement.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Wow, what wonderful comments. Thanks so much. I am glad you enjoyed this hub. I obviously had the idea for it when I was having a bad day, and began to think of all the little ways I coped with it on that day to get me through. I am glad to see that many of the ideas I had are universal, even in South Africa! I hope things are going well for you there.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Faith Reaper,

      Thanks so much for your comments and for sharing. You are right...leaning on Him gets me through the day and helps me get to the rewards quicker!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for the comment on the photos. I am really enjoying taking pictures to go along with my hubs. I find they really help to illustrate the written points. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Wow, that's a great tip for those who love to cook. Since I do NOT, it wouldn't work for me but I welcome all suggestions as they will help others. Thanks so much for adding that.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      I hear ya about turning the music up on the drive. I especially like to do that with music I can sing to. Singing at the top of my lungs to music I love while driving ( yes, without kids) really gets my blood pumping and my spirit soaring.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Yes, that wooded path is a special one. I agree with you about the coffee. There's just something warm and comfortable about it. Thanks for the picture comment. I love taking pictures almost as much as I enjoy writing!

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      You're right, sometimes when I am not having a terrible day, doing some of these helps lift my mood anyway and makes the week fly by a bit faster. These are especially helpful on Mondays! Thanks for dropping by.

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      I am not surprised that you would pick exercise first. That definitely sounds like you. I hadn't thought about the jewelery but you are right. When I was selling Silpada back a few years ago, I made sure to get my favorite pieces, and when I wear them, it does give me a lift emotionally...not quite as much as the boots though! I have been known to use the boots idea too. I have some that are super comfortable and make me taller so that adds to my day! :0)

    • Karen Hellier profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Hellier 

      8 years ago from Georgia


      Why thank you so much for sharing. I choose all of the above too! Ha ha ha!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Great hub/. I choice all the above.. lol.. thanks for sharing



    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like all of the ideas ! While my mind jumps to exercise first, I know that I have had times of wearing a favorite outfit or something comfortable, and maybe a special piece of jewelry if I feel a tough day coming on. Like the idea of boots giving a lift!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      We all need things to get us through bad days, even when they aren't overwhelmingly bad. You've offered some great suggestions, like 'special time'.

      Voted up and useful.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      These are great tips for that dreaded day. Coffee gets me through my work day. Enjoyed the lovely pictures. Would sure love to walk that wooded path.

    • stephanieb27 profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      I enjoy taking the long way home any time I am in the car without kids (I get to turn the radio up loud and listen to my music!) :) I also enjoy taking nature walks!!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Your insight is to be commended. This is a much needed article, especially during these trying times in society. I practice quite a few of these suggestions and found it hard to vote on which one. I settled on a long walk, although I find preparing a good meal for myself and others always pulls me out of the gray clouds.

      Excellent write.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      we all need some reward after a hard day. I like all the ideas and the photos are so soothing just to look at. Great idea for a hub and you wrote it so well.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      8 years ago from southern USA

      Excellent hub of wonderful ideas to do after having a bad day, and we all have them no doubt. Yes, life can be brutal at times, and we do need to enjoy those simple pleasures to get us through each day, and praise Him all the while through the good and the bad days. Music always does it for me.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      8 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I'm a fan of just about all your suggestions! I'm a HUGE believer in having something to look forward to on bad days. That's all that gets me out of a bad mood, or lifts my spirits. Sometimes just the promise of a nice supper and watching a movie with my husband after a horrible day is enough, sometimes a bath with incense, or my go to series - Sex and the City. I also like to drive different routes, look forward to coffee, and listen to my favourite CD's. Loved this! Sharing across :)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      8 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      There's no question I'm a big fan of yours. I always glean from your hubs two things--more knowledge about something I thought I already knew enough about AND how to write in a more engaging and compelling style. Thanks for being a full time teacher even when you think you're just subbing! : )


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