I Need a Do-Over! Tools for Coping With a Bad Day

bad day
Courtesy of Pixaby

Having a bad day?

Some bad days start as early as stubbing your toe upon getting out of bed in the morning, and continue with a domino effect of little things. Yet other days may only take one event to bring you to the realization that you are in need of a do-over. What might cause this feeling? Perhaps daunting news from the doctor, a fight with your significant other, remembering a loved one that has passed, or anxiety over the one million things that you need to get done within the day. In any event, you find yourself saying: “I’m. So. Over. This. Day!”

I can recall a day where I had been up all night with two sick kids.  Congestion left our 17-month-old unable to sleep lying down. After treating his congestion and getting him in a comfortable place to fall asleep again, I noticed that my daughter was asleep in vomit. Hence, two hours later I was able to get the bedding in the wash, her bathed, the bed remade, the carpet cleaned, and her back in the bed. By that time the baby was up again needing the aspirator. After a very short hour of rest my oldest son was up, full of energy and ready for breakfast.

All of this led to a bad day in motherhood for me. As a result, I ended up being the short-of-patience, crabby mama that the children surely didn’t need, especially while recovering from illness. While I was happy they were feeling better, I didn’t want to hear any noise; I didn’t want to play any games or watch any magic tricks. Most of all, I needed a cleaning fairy to come wash the dishes and finish the laundry. Bedtime couldn’t come soon enough, and I wish I hadn’t brought work home. As a result, I desperately wanted to feel like I was getting more than 50% accomplished at home, at work, and in my relationships.


Over the years I’ve learned that taking the time to care for my emotional well-being makes all the difference in how great my tomorrow (even the remainder of my day) will be. Consequently, I was able to find effective tools that work for me. Often times I don’t even wait for things to happen to pull out my tools. I just do them as I feel the need for a pick-me-up. Some days I may only need one and other days I run through the whole list.

Outside of prayer & mediation, these are the 7 tools that I keep in my goodie bag to help me cope after having a bad day:

1. Be easy on yourself. Be as kind and patient with yourself as you would your child. We mamas can be hard on ourselves and often feel like we’re failing when we have a bad day. Allow yourself to be human. Point out your strengths and be grateful for them…be grateful for your presence in the world.

2. Treat yourself. Pamper yourself in ways that are beneficial to you. If having that cupcake, drinking a glass of wine, or buying a fabulous purse will leave you with feeling physically down or with guilt, find another way. Be mindful of treats that will add to your bad mood. Look for ways to authentically treat YOURSELF. Maybe a massage, reading a blog, or going to bed early will be that magical fix. Practice self-care activities in your time of need.

3. Listen to your favorite songs. Music is a proven way to put you in a better mood. There is something therapeutic about listening to your favorite song to get over your bad day. Get to scrolling through that playlist and jam to your favs!

4. Exercise. Even a short workout can help the body release tension and depending on what kind of exercise you do, it can begin to relax you almost immediately! Yoga and other exercise that call for deep breathing and stretching are also relaxing to the body. Be careful to keep your thoughts positive or try listening to music while exercising to keep you from dwelling on your troubles. This can hinder the body from going into a relaxed state.

5. Walk in nature. There’s nothing like a walk in nature to help you put things into perspective. During these walks I find myself asking, “Will this matter to me next week or even next month?” I always feel more grounded and in-the-moment after nature walks.

6. Write it down. Many times we keep our stressful moments bottled inside. Writing it down can be a great outlet! I find it relieving to write things down. Sometimes in my journaling, I happen to find a lesson from a troubling situation and it turns into self-reflection. Other times I’m just venting.  After vent sessions, try writing down the positive aspects of what you would like to see happen. This will help you set positive intentions on how you will handle similar situations in the future. How would you use your do over?

7. Do something nice for someone. Nothing makes you feel good like making someone else feel good. Put that positivity out there and watch it come back to you!

You may feel like you will never totally figure out this world of motherhood but you get up the next day and continue to love your children and have a better day. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being the best you that you can be in that moment, which is all that is really required in motherhood.

Do you already have a list of tools?  I would love to add more to my list! Please share in the comments below.

We will find the rainbow after the storm!