Making the Best of a Bad Day

Edited By Krisha Mansukhani

With midterms approaching fast, it’s now more important than ever to take care of your mental health. While we all try to stay optimistic, sometimes that’s a difficult thing to do when something goes wrong in your day that instantly puts a damper on your spirit. Here are some tips to help.



  1. 1. A Bad Moment, Not a Bad Day

    Okay, okay. I know "bad day" is in the title and all, so this may not make much sense. I, however, just like you, fall victim easily into the mindset that when your day starts wrong, the rest of it is ruined as well. So here's what we need to do as step one- bring yourself to realize that what happened was one small thing out of 24 hours, which eventually becomes even less significant in the grander scheme of your whole life. Why not stop yourself from dwelling on the bad thing for too long? You still have time to turn your day around, as long as you're willing to give it a shot!

  2. 2. No School Thoughts

    We're U of T students, meaning that we're constantly on Quercus, frantically checking for announcement updates from TA's. However, the last thing you need right now is more stress. Whether something school-related was the source of your bad mood or not, force yourself to do something else for a little while- anything that would take your mind off school completely. I have found that I start my day off best when I simply enjoy the walk to school instead of thinking about the upcoming classes. It might be hard to keep it off your mind for a long time, but aim for 20 minutes and even that will help more than you know.

  3. 3. Stop and Breathe

    This is the oldest trick in the book. For good reason, too, because it really works. But I'd like to take it one step further by advising you to stop and notice the things around you. I actually learned from a psychiatrist once that taking in your surroundings is the best way to calm down, and that can be as simple as taking note of the wall color or counting floor tiles. Being inside your head won't help because you'd be giving yourself more stress, so let's step out of those thoughts for a change. 

  4. 4. Treat Yourself

    I used to feel slightly guilty, too, when I bought something for myself for no reason. Then my best friend told me that you don't need a reason to treat yourself. She's right, because you don't. Whether it's that new Starbucks drink you've been eyeing or something else you've wanted for a long time, go ahead and get it for yourself as a reward. You deserve it.

  5. 5. Sleep it off

    You don't have to go to sleep for the day depending on if you have things to do after, but it might be a good idea to take a quick nap during any breaks you have! Sometimes after even a very brief period of sleep, you can wake up feeling more refreshed and less upset because you're tricking your brain into thinking it's a new day. That's exactly what you need, isn't it? A brand new start untainted by whatever bad thing happened. An easier way to move forward through the rest of the day.