How to Recover From a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Disney just released a new movie based on one of my favorite children’s books, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

For those of you who haven’t read this treasure of a book, it follows young Alexander as he faces numerous awful things throughout his day such as not getting a prize in his cereal box, being pushed in the mud, and having to eat lima beans for dinner.

There’s a running gag with Alexander wishing he could move to Australia where he thinks everything is perfect. Finally, as his mom tucks him in at night at the end the worst day of his short life, she tells him that everyone has bad days…even in Australia.

I currently have 3 clients in Australia, and I can assure you that they have bad days just like everyone else. (By the way, helloooo to my Australian peeps!)

But even though everyone on this planet experiences no good, very bad days from time to time, I’ve noticed a big difference in the way people react to them.

Sometimes they’ll roll with the punches…and sometimes they’ll roll over into a fetal position.

How you handle your worst days determines your success in your life, business, or career…and oddly, how many more bad days will come your way.

Here are my best tips for recovering from a bad day. No need to move to Australia.

Have a Good Laugh

You’ve heard it before, but surrounding yourself with happy things will lighten your mood. Try watching funny movies and TV shows, reading funny books or comics, and inviting your silliest friends over to share stories.

“Fake it ‘til you make it” and act the way you want to feel. Before you know it, the sucky feelings will drain out of you while you focus on the positives in your life.

Have a Good Cry

Maybe this isn’t what you’d expect from a life coach, but I say that sometimes you need to give yourself permission to fall apart. As women, we’re supposed to be poised and pulled together all the time, but bottling up our emotions can lead to a blowout or sickness later.

Take some time to cry about what’s happened and acknowledge the disappointment or failure. You’re human, and you have every right to be sad.

For more reasons why you should release your sad feelings, see my video Have a Good Cry.

Reconnect With Your Vision

When I’ve had a gloomy day where nothing goes right, I try to refocus on my greater purpose. Why am I putting myself out there? Why is this difficult task important to me?

An easy way to reconnect with your vision is to study your vision board for a few minutes (or make a new one if you want to stay busy and not brood). Focus on what you want in your life and the good feelings it gives you.

Yes, you’ll have setbacks and face some tough obstacles, but you’re still moving forward over the long run.

Reach Out

When you’re feeling awful, the last thing you want to do is talk to someone. Wouldn’t it be nicer to crawl into bed with a plate of cookies?

But reaching out for support is the best thing you can do to recover from a bad day. Call a close friend who never judges you and tell her everything that happened. Maybe you can brainstorm ways to get back on track or reframe the situation.

Or if your bad day is just a symptom of a much bigger problem (such as a soul-sucking job, floundering business, or unbearable disorganization and chaos), consider talking with a coach who can give you an unbiased outside perspective. Click here to set up a free call with me, and we’ll come up with strategies to make those bad days disappear.

Prepare for Next Time

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but bad days will most likely pop up in your life again in the future. That’s why you gotta prepare in advance!

Put together your own Bad Day Emergency Kit and stuff it with activities, photos, affirmations, and other trinkets that boost your mood and help you see the good things in your life. Also, keep a praise folder when you need to remind yourself that there are people out there who think you’re pretty cool (like me!).

This post focuses on Step 5 of the Life Editing Process, Make White Space for Personal Self-Care. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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  1. Havok on October 16, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Bad day emergency kit? Count me in! I’m in a struggle with these issues on a more frequent basis than I’d like, so thanks for this post – I totally agree that sometimes a good laugh can turn things around.

  2. Kellie on October 14, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    These are great tips Sage.

    I firmly believe that events are just how we perceive them and there is always an alternative way of looking something. We all have the power to turn a bad day into a good day.

    • Sage Grayson on October 15, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Thanks, Kellie. Yes! I completely agree that we have the power within us to turn around our circumstances. 🙂

  3. richelle on October 13, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Great advice, Sage! I just wrote about my horrible week on Friday and since then I have cried, laughed and reached out. Today, I am moving on and reconnecting with my vision.

    • Sage Grayson on October 14, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Thanks, Richelle! 🙂

  4. Georgie on October 13, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Hooray for Australia!! But yes, it’s true, it’s not all peachy keen down here either. Great tips Sage – I struggle with reaching out but find it really helps me deal with my not so great days.

    • Sage Grayson on October 13, 2014 at 7:32 am

      I hear you, Georgie! Reaching out when we’re feeling bad sort of goes against our instincts, but it really works. I’ve found that most people are glad when you trust them enough to ask for help.