Bad days are inevitable, but here's the thing: You always have the power to change how you view them, and how you respond to them. For me, writing my feelings out on paper has always helped tremendously in processing why I'm feeling the way that I am on those not so great days. And I'm not alone: According to at least one expert, learning how to feel better on a bad day can be as simple as getting out a pen and a piece of paper, and writing your damn heart out.
"We all have [bad days]: those days where nothing goes right or something goes incredibly wrong," Jeanette Schneider, an accomplished speaker, panelist, and author of the book Lore: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future, tells Elite Daily in an email. "When I was in my 20s, I would call a girlfriend [and say] 'Drinks, stat.' I griped over wine, while she agreed with all the reasons I was right." Sound familiar?
The thing is, though, according to Schneider, those moments of griping don’t exactly help you grow, nor do they teach you anything about how to actually handle a bad day when one does come your way.
"As I matured, took on more responsibility in work and in life, and surrounded myself with other strong and successful women, I realized we handled our bad days with far more intention," the author explains. Over time, Schneider tells me, she learned how to turn to self-care on those bad days, and how to create something purposeful from the embers of her negative experiences — which is, ultimately, she says, what helped her grow.
"If you look at each bad day as a way to better know yourself and grow as a person, you curate your own lessons and don’t stay stuck in old offices, relationships, and ways of relating. Don’t get mad. Get intentional," she explains.
In a world that tends to offer an overwhelming amount of self-help advice, Schneider tells me her favorite, tangible exercise to change the trajectory of a bad day, is one that literally anyone can do: writing a love letter to your younger self.
This is one of many exercises that Schneider writes about in her new book, Lore. Her insightful words encourage you to closely examine the stories that have shaped you, and challenge you to dissect what you've been led to believe about yourself — ultimately smashing any self-imposed limitations you might have to smithereens.
Again, this is meant to be a love letter to your past self. So yes, it might feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable at first to focus only on positive details about yourself — let alone your past self — and to shower yourself in unconditional love and adoration. But as far as Schneider is concerned, it really is an effective way to conquer bad vibes when your day is just not going your way. So get out that pen and paper, and just write, girl.
And if you're still stuck in a rut after letting all the feels out on paper, Schneider shares a few more ways to turn a bad day around, so don't give up just yet.
The author tells me that she believes moving your body is huge when it comes to elevating your mood. "Whether it is a walk, a run, or a yoga class, get the blood moving and the cortisol out of your system. Once you start to heal from the inside out you will be more clearheaded and able to get some perspective," she explains.
Additionally, Schneider stresses the importance and value of getting quiet — rather than spouting off to a friend, that is. "[That friend] may help you process, but also may keep you in static anger for longer than is healthy," she says.
Instead, she suggests, get quiet and announce your feelings to yourself. The author suggests mentally announcing things like: “I am angry. I am scared. I do not feel heard.” Be completely honest with yourself, she says.
And once you've had time to process how your feeling, Schneider says it's not a bad idea to take a little time to express gratitude for what you love most about your life. "While the last thing you may imagine doing at the end of a bad day is finding things to be thankful for, it helps reset you," Schneider tells Elite Daily. "Start small, and set the intention to eventually be able to thank the offending person or situation for teaching you something about yourself, your boundaries, or the changes you can make to live a bigger, badder, more purposeful life."