What to do when you’re having a bad day at work

This week has been a rough one for me. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed with my job and honestly, it’s making me have really, really bad days. I’ve been pretty grouchy, irritable, and on the verge of tears a little bit. It’s made me doubt my abilities, make mistakes I wouldn’t usually make, and almost convince myself I’m not capable to do the work I’ve been tasked to do.

So I had to do something about it.

I’ve tried everything on list this and it has all worked for me. Here’s what I think you should do if you’re having a bad day at work.

Read encouraging words

Last week we were at a team meeting in Denver and we were all tasked to write notes to each person in the room for their “smile file”. These were meant for us to open when having a bad day, a stressful task, or an quick little uplift. So, after a bad couple of hours, I looked at my smile file, decided to open it, and read one of the cards. I felt completely rejuvenated. It made me smile. I felt instantly better and my words of affirmation heart was filled.

Reorganize your to-do list

Feeling overwhelmed? Look at your to-do list (or lack thereof) and clean it up. I was working off of three lists, all on different paper, scribbled down quickly, and in a random order. I decided to break my list down into categories, have it all match on the same kind of paper, and take off the items that I didn’t need to do or could wait. It made a world of difference.

Take five minutes to breathe

Walk away from your computer. Chat with a coworker. Walk outside. Meditate. Read an article that interests you. Anything to get your outside of your work headspace and into a space of calm. Allow yourself the time to compose yourself, go to your happy place, and refocus your energy.

Watch a short, silly video

Love dogs? Find a silly dogs YouTube video or TikTok (yes, I just recommended that app). Watch a video of your pet that you took the other day. Love a certain comedian? Watch a few minutes of their standup.

Work on a task that inspires you

If you’re like me, you have various projects constantly. Some that you love working on, others maybe not so much. If you’re feeling bogged down by the projects that need to be done, but you don’t necessarily enjoy, give yourself 30 minutes to work on a project or task you love to work on. Whatever that looks like for you, do it. Enjoy that time. And then get back to it.

I love my job. I have arguably the best boss across the entire organization. I get to work in an incredible market with amazing partners. I am so lucky to be in the place I am, with an incredibly supportive organization that encourages mental health for their people. I’m lucky I get to take time during my workday to compose myself and make sure I’m able to do the best work possible. I recognize how privileged I am and how so many people don’t have this type of work environment.

Bad days can seem never ending. Bad weeks seem even worse. So knowing how to cope, refocus your mind, and find your why throughout each day or week. We’ve got this.

Thanks for reading,


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just a girl inspired by traveling, dogs, and the people who surround her.

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