Body & Soul: 10 things you can do to make a bad work day better, according to an expert - Michelle Gibbings

Thanks to and Body & Soul, Michelle shares simple steps to ick the work day blues. 

Everyone knows what it’s like to suffer through a bad work day. Here’s what you can do to reframe, refocus and regain some joy at work.

Bad days. Frustrating days. Days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed and going to work. Days when it all goes pear-shaped. We all have them.

Social media sells a message that if you find a job you love, you’ll never have a bad day. However, such a message is unrealistic.  Something, or someone, can come along and throw a curveball that unsettles the day.

The critical factor is what you do in the face of a bad day because your approach will determine whether you make it worse or better.

Consider your typical response.  When you have a bad day, do you ruminate and let yourself spiral into the bad day funk, making the day worse for yourself and everyone around you, or do you find a way around or through it?

Letting the lousy day overwhelm you and negatively impact your colleagues’ mood and work day does nothing to enhance your reputation. Instead, you want to find a way to move through the situation positively and productively.

The good news is that there are actions you can take every day, particularly when you have a bad day, to reframe, refocus and regain some joy at work.

Here are ten ideas to get you started

#1. Be more mindful

Take the time to stop, breathe, reflect and then respond to the event that caused the stress rather than immediately reacting. Taking this approach doesn’t mean you ignore your feelings, whether it’s feeling stressed, hurt, annoyed or some other emotion. You want to acknowledge your feelings, accept the emotion, and respond wisely.

#2. Reframe the game

Investigate what has happened through multiple lenses and consider if your perspective is negatively skewed. There may be alternative reasons why something has happened, so consider if you need more understanding or information.

#3. Search for options

When faced with an unwelcome situation, identify the potential options to address and what decisions you can and can’t make.  Having a choice helps you feel more in control of your day and have a more positive frame of mind.

#4. Accept what you can’t change

There is much in our day that we can’t control. However, we often focus our energy on those things.  Instead, identify what you can influence and control, and accept what you can’t control. Direct your focus and actions towards the activities you can influence and control.

#5. Help others

We feel good when doing things nice for others. Helping others also makes you realise the positive forces in your life. Consider how you can help someone at work today.

#6. Find purpose

People with purpose, who know why they do what they do, are happier and more resilient. When you are clear on what matters to you, your goals and where you are heading in life, it’s easier to find the strength to keep moving forward.

#7. Learn from mistakes

When something goes wrong at work, there are always opportunities to learn. So rather than view the situation as a failure, recognise that it was an opportunity to experiment, learn and grow.  As part of this, remember you are not a failure; instead, it’s just that you weren’t successful on this occasion.

#8. Maintain strong connections

Sharing your thoughts, talking to friends and family and being open about your feelings are healthy ways to respond. Humans are wired for connection, so we feel better when we share and connect.

#9. Adopt a gratitude mantra

Expressing gratitude is scientifically proven to help you feel happier and aids your resilience and bounce-forward mindset. Each day, even on the really bad days, take the time to think about what you are grateful for.

#10. Get moving

Meditating, exercising, eating well and laughing will help you out of your bad day funk.

In a constantly changing world, there will be obstacles, challenges, and good days and bad days. It’s up to you to find the best way through it.


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