Having a Bad Day at Work?

“’Cause you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile, and you go for a ride
You had a bad day” – Daniel Powter.

If there were no bad days, there would be no songs about them. But try as we might to avoid them, they happen to everyone. So, if you feel one coming on, it’s ok! Here are some ways you can mitigate it to prevent your bad day from becoming worse.

How to Get Through a Bad Day At Work

Give yourself some space

It’s not always a case of mind over matter. Sometimes we need to physically remove ourselves from a negative space and find a quiet, peaceful place to take a moment. Simply changing your surroundings, turning off the lights, or seeking a quiet and isolated area can reduce stress and bring thoughts of peace.


Meditation can mean a myriad of things, but finding the quiet place in your head when you are having a bad day is extremely beneficial. Go somewhere quiet, turn off your phone, shut the door, listen to your favorite song, or just breathe and process your emotions.


While in your quiet place, ask yourself these three questions:

  • How is my body feeling?
  • How am I feeling?
  • What am I thinking about?

Use these questions to understand what events led up to your distress and what you need to do to improve your day. Simply understanding what triggered your negative feelings has been proven to help reduce stress and the effects of those feelings.

Talk to someone

Some people find that talking to a trusted person makes them feel better. Privately share your feelings, but be careful only to state the facts of your day, what led to your bad day and your particular emotions. Ranting will do little make you feel better and will likely not be well accepted by your confidant either.

Take care of your body

Taking a walk or run, eating a healthy snack and hydrating can all help improve your mood. While it’s tempting to grab a chocolate bar and sulk in your chair, it’s far less productive than giving your body a little self-care.

Distract yourself

Doodling, coloring, filling out a crossword, listening to a TED talk, or turning on some good tunes can all help distract you from your bad mood. It only takes a few moments to start the process of bad mood recovery.

Accept the bad day

Remember that everyone has bad days. By accepting that, you can process it and move on. One helpful way to do this is to separate the big things from the small things. Ask yourself, “will this really matter in five years?” If not, then these feelings are temporary and a waste of your emotions. If the answer is “yes,” then you have identified there is something in your life that needs fixing, and you can move forward looking for solutions.

Though there is no one solution for pulling yourself out of a bad day funk, trying a variety of things and utilizing what works for you can help curb a bad day before it gets worse.

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