Turning Your Bad Days To Your Most Productive Ones

Illustration by: Diana Stoyanova

W e all know these days — the ones when you wake up in the morning and your phone keeps on buzzing with bad news notifications. Deals you were certain you were about to close and seemingly satisfied clients who have chose to end their contract with you. You wake up under the weather, keep on hitting the snooze button and all in all feeling without energy.

Just a couple of weeks ago this happened to me. Monday — Tuesday — Wednesday each of these days demanded more of my attention. Eventually, I managed to start my day and open the computer but when I tried focusing on my job, I just couldn’t, my mind would drift away. I knew I had a choice: either I could just give up on that week and let my feelings get the better of me, or I could try to control my feelings and maybe even manage to save it.

Why Do We Have Bad Days?

Nowadays it’s all about portraying happiness to the world. When we open our social media it just seems as is everyone is having the time of their lives. They are spending their time either on vacation or doing business, lecturing at some convention or drinking coffee in their office in front of an amazing view. This social media effect affects all of us, we compare ourselves to others and we constantly criticize ourselves, even when we don’t deserve it.

This constant happiness that is being portrayed to us is simply fake! We are all human and we all have bad days. Part of the process of living and developing is to have this kind of rough days, to experience failure and to overcome it. It’s just that these moments are not being perpetuated on social media. We don’t talk about our difficult times, we don’t share our feelings of disappointment, but these are the moments that make us grow and prosper.

We can’t avoid experiencing difficulties. That’s just a part of being human As uncomfortable as they can feel — difficulties are important. They force us to react in real time and challenge ourselves. They make us understand how we perform under pressure. There are no shortcuts, but in the end, experiencing a lot of difficulties will teach you how to handle them better.

“Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” — Niels Bohr

Illustration by: Cami

Releazing We Have A Choice

The world keeps turning and time goes by, people around us take decisions and actions that will affect us. Sometimes for the good sometimes for the bad, and while we love it when things turn out the way we want them to be. It is important not to let yourself go down when they don’t.

One of the most important things I learned this year was that I have a choice. I may not have control over everything that happens in my life, I can’t control other people’s behavior or decisions. But I have control of several valuable things:

  1. The way I react to a given the situation
  2. How I choose to act within this situation
  3. How I treat myself in this situation

I have the choice of how to react: I can panic or let the stress fill me or I can breathe and think things through. I can show compassion to myself, or I can harm myself and be angry with myself. I can throw everything away or simply take a short break from everything. I would like to suggest here is to know THAT you have a choice. Here is my method for handling difficulties:

  • The best thing I can offer you to do is to step outside of the situation and get a new perspective, sometimes just strolling around town can be a relief and help to handle the situation.
  • Another great option is to share your situation with someone you trust. Talking about our situation with someone else can provide us with a fresh look and discover a new opportunity we couldn’t see ourselves.
  • Always stay active, continue with your plans. If you planned on working on your client, writing an article, or attending an event — don’t give up and follow through anyway.
  • Breath. When stress or confusion hits us, the way we breathe changes, we take short and shallow breaths — this doesn’t help the situation, breath deep and inhale fully. It will calm you and focus your mind.
  • Treat yourself nicely. This is highly important, in order to manage with difficulties and grow from them, you have to be your best companion! Talk nicely to yourself and show compassion and tenderness, especially in difficult times.
  • Embrace Your Bad Days. Like I wrote earlier, bad days come and go. Don’t try to fight them, as they are not going to disappear. Instead, accept them, try to make the best out of them and check if you can learn anything from them.

Wrapping It Up

Bad days are part of life, that is a fact. All you can do is choose how you react to them. Be aware of how you react to them, try to manage the way you treat yourself on a daily basis, it will help you to become more attentive when you have a bad day. Don’t give up and stick to your plans, follow your calendar and don’t drown yourself in bad feelings. Try learning as much as possible from the difficulties you experience, eventually it will reward you.