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How to stay positive when things get tough

We all have those times that test us. Let me be clear here – in this post I’m talking about having a bad day or…


We all have those times that test us. Let me be clear here – in this post I’m talking about having a bad day or week. I am not talking about being medically depressed – in which case you should seek professional help and stop looking for answers on the internet. Go call your GP.

For the rest of us – having a bad day is completely normal. Especially when things in your life are getting you down. It could be one of those days where your alarm doesn’t go off, you spill your coffee then get stuck in traffic so are late for work. It could be family or relationship problems. You could be feeling worried or stressed about work or something going on in your personal life.

But I’m not here to tell you the difference between having a bad day vs something more serious – you need to realise yourself when it’s time to seek help.

So, here are the things you can do to lighten your mood:

Look after yourself.

The most important thing to do is look after yourself. Sleep enough, avoid alcohol, exercise and eat well.

Doing this opposite of these – staying up late drinking wine and comforting yourself with crisps and chocolate is going to leave you feeling tired, sluggish and lacking in energy.

Have an organised environment.

Having a chaotic room, desk or house can make you feel disorganised and all over the place. One of the first things I do when I’m in a bit of a state is make sure my surroundings are clean and clear. Pots done, bathroom clean, desk clear, ironing done.

Surround yourself in love.

Although you might want to shut yourself away on your own and binge watch Netflix, I find making myself do something social always helps. See your friends, spend time with your partner, go and visit your parents. Be around those that love you and laugh lots.

Listen to uplifting music.

I’m very guilty of embracing my sadness in the past. Listening to sad music with a glass of wine. You know, the type of music that really speaks to the sad side of me.

But that doesn’t do a single positive thing to my mental health.

Listening to uplifting music, or music that reminds you of a happy time. I have an album by the band Iron and Wine that I used to listen to a lot when I was trying to sort myself out through some tough issues, now I find that album reminds me of the motivation and calmness I felt back then.

Think about your learnings.

Most things that are tough come with one of those life lessons that you have to learn the hard way.

Have you let a situation escalate? Have you been avoiding an awkward conversation and it’s all got out of hand? What would you do differently next time?

Remember it’s not forever.

This too shall pass. Think about everything else you’ve ever been stressed or upset about in the past. Most things kind of feel insignificant now, right?

There’ll be a time when this will, too.

What do you do when you’re not feeling 100%?


  1. If I’m having a really bad day in work I go for a walk on my lunch. Just 10-15 minutes round the block in the fresh air helps clear my head and calm me down. It’s not always easy to switch off but this really helps!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  2. A nice walk can always lighten up my mood. I think getting enough sleep is very important, especially in this day and time, it’s so easy to get used to going to sleep late, even when we have to get up early- not a good idea!

    Finding time for doing things we love is always important. I try to incorporate reading into my daily routine, because reading is a big part of my life. When I don’t have time to pick up a book, I turn on an audio book and listen to it while I clean the house, prepare lunch and do all those everyday things and chores.

  3. Organizing my environment and listening to my favourite music usually works for me 🙂 Great post!

    My new blog: Scent of Summer

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