Ways To Fix Your Day

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Everyone has shitty days. That’s fine. How you respond, though, might not be fine.

Lots of common advice (which includes mainstream HR policy at big companies) suggests that when you’re having a bad day, it’s fine to just write the day off. Take a mental health day. Don’t require yourself to do anything productive. Practice self-care, play video games, eat Five Guys. You get the idea.

This isn’t inherently bad advice, but it fails in two situations: 1) when a shitty day becomes a shitty week or a shitty month or a shitty year because you didn’t take action, and 2) when you having a shitty day is less important than other responsibilities you have — like helping your partner take care of your child, or doing your best to follow through on something important you promised you’d do at work.

So, keeping in mind that sometimes you actually have to fix your day…

Here is a list of quick things you can do to make your day better. Just pick one and do it. Before doing any of these, though, admit to yourself that your day has been shitty. Don’t lie about it being great. Then remind yourself that you are the person responsible for making your day better.

  • Go outside. Seriously. Stop reading this and go touch grass.
  • Write about literally anything.
  • Do cardio until near failure.
  • Read.
  • Call a friend. If you have no one to talk to and things are really shitty, email us.
  • Speak to any human being in real life.
  • Stare at the sky for ~10 minutes.
  • Go somewhere busy (city square, a mall) and observe people for ~30 minutes.
  • Go somewhere with a view.
  • Spend ~30-60 minutes somewhere with a high density of plants.
    • If your city has a greenhouse, going there is a very immersive way to do this
    • Otherwise, parks and forests are great
  • Visit your nearest museum.
    • If this feels ineffective, force yourself to stare at each interesting painting/object for at least 60 seconds before moving on.
  • Listen to your favorite song.
  • Go into the ocean.
  • Do as many pushups as you can until failure. Wait 5 minutes and do it again. Do that, like, 5 times.
  • Eat clean food.
  • Take a nap for 20 minutes, if you can.
  • Play your favorite instrument.
  • Take a cold shower.
  • Meditate (in whatever way is most effective for you).

(This is not medical advice.)

Email us if you have any great ones you want us to add.

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1: There is a difference between a ‘normal’ person having a shitty day and someone with bipolar disorder or depression, for example, having a particularly bad episode. The things on this list are probably good for both groups, though. It’s just that the latter might be harder to fix.

2: Most of the things on the list above are designed to force you to focus on something other than the shitty-ness of your day, which can help you stop spiraling. If you have a bunch of other things that you know personally help you do this, then do those.

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