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7 Quick ways to turn a bad day around

7 Quick ways to turn a bad day around

    Have you had a bad day recently? This is me raising my hand alongside you. My most recent “bad day,” like most days, wasn’t wholly bad. It just had some bad parts that I allowed to spread across my entire day and sour the entire mix.

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    That doesn’t need to happen! While I’ve yet to reach the point where I avoid bad days entirely, here are some things I’ve found help turn what could be a bad day into something better.

    1. Make a list of things you’re grateful for

    This one is so simple! If you’re having a rotten day, grab a piece of paper and start listing things you’d be grateful for if you were in a grateful mood. As expected, you’ll soon find that the growing list of things to be grateful for in your life dwarfs whatever is ruining your day and you can move on with your life. Read more about the qualities of grateful people here.

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    2. Clear out your inbox

    If you don’t work at a job that requires you to spend time around the corporate email monster, this might not resonate with you as much. But if you do, know that your perspective can be changed dramatically just by selecting all your emails and placing them into an archive folder. If it needs to be done today, move that email back into your inbox and knock the task off. Setting aside the conversations that can wait in favor of earning a productive finish to your day will always prove worthwhile.

    3. Phone a good friend

    Call a friend who won’t allow you to gripe about your problems for more than a few minutes before turning the conversation to something far more interesting than what’s making you sad. Talking to somebody you trust who cares enough to guide you toward positive thinking has tremendous value. It’s basic, sure. But so are most things that work really well yet are so often forgotten early on.

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    4. Help out a stranger

    Doing something for others has the dual benefit of making the world a better place while at the same time taking your focus off your own problems as you work to solve another’s. If you’re having what’s shaping up to be a bad day you may find it very helpful to go out of your way to help somebody you don’t know at all or might not know very well. I always do!

    5. Drop something from your schedule

    If you’re overwhelmed by a day gone awry one very quick solution is to drop something of lesser importance from your schedule and take some time for yourself. This is terribly simple and quite easy to do but the part of your brain that tries to convince you your work won’t survive without you will get in the way. Don’t listen to it!

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    6. Take some time just for you

    Most of us don’t schedule time alone and away from others. Whether its so we can listen to music, go for a walk, a run, or grab a cup of tea in a quiet corner, taking the time you may have freed up by clearing your schedule (see above) and investing it back into yourself will render dividends galore.

    7. Start laughing

    Laughter, even if you really have to work at it to begin with, truly is the best medicine to cure any ailment that threatens to wreck your day. You can find jokes online, watch silly youtube videos, hang out with a hysterical friend, or whatever gets you giggling. The big point here is that if you are aware of what makes you laugh you’re in a great position to set yourself up to laugh even when your day tries to get you down. We can learn a lot from kids about having fun and being goofballs. That sort of childlike whimsy, if carried into your day, will help you cut off the bad days before they get out of control and help maximize the days each week you look back on and say, wow, that was a great day!

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    If you’d like to chime in with additional tips or a link to something that really makes you laugh, I’d love to read your thoughts!

    Stay blessed.

    Image: PhotoRita

    More by this author

    Seth Simonds

    Seth writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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