How to Keep a Bad Morning from Becoming a Bad Day

We’ve all had those mornings. We’re not even a few minutes into our day and we feel like it’s ruined. We wish we could start it over. Maybe we do mentally start it over. And over. And over. But it just seems to keep dragging us down. Is there any hope of having an even halfway decent day?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

YES. There’s always hope.

This morning I was having one of “those” mornings. I’ve been having sinus issues for a few days. It has interrupted my sleep and I wake up miserable. My head is congested, my lips are chapped, and my throat is dry and scratchy.

I slowly dragged myself out of bed at 5 a.m. and started on breakfast. I wasn’t feeling too awful as Margaret and I finished our smoothies. As I got dressed and ready to head out the door, though, I began feeling worse and worse. I was NOT happy about it. I had a busy day ahead of me and could not afford to be dragging like this all day.

How to Turn Your Day Around, Step 1: Adjust your attitude

  • As I drove to Kroger, I told myself I needed to stop feeling so frustrated about how I was feeling physically. I was already physically drained; I didn’t need to drain myself emotionally as well.

Step 2: Shift the focus from yourself to others

  • When I get stuck dwelling on my problems, I only make those problems seem worse in my mind. I focused on being as courteous as possible during my trip to Kroger, smiling and thanking the employees and being accommodating to other shoppers.

Step 3: Take care of yourself

  • While being outward-focused is important, we must be sure we’re attentive to our own needs. I got home from the store and felt pretty rough. I realized just how hungry I was. I decided I would unload the groceries, eat, and take a nap. Certainly I would feel better after.

Step 4: Take advantage of bursts of energy

  • One of the best things we can do when we’re having a difficult day is to gain a sense of accomplishment. Shortly after I ate, I felt much better physically and emotionally (never underestimate the power your stomach has to rule your emotions!). I decided to go ahead and clean the house before my nap instead of after. I managed to do the dishes, wipe surfaces, clear the clutter from our main rooms, clean the bathroom, and vacuum the floors in only 71 minutes (but who’s counting?). I was surprised at how good I felt considering how bad I felt. Maybe it’s nesting? Who knows. Whatever it was, it felt AWESOME to have accomplished all that.

Step 5: Celebrate successes

  • Of course I couldn’t just finish cleaning and plop in bed. I had to take pictures of our clean house and send them to Jeremy. He told me the house looked awesome and thanked me. Not only was I glad to have it done, but I was also glad to ease some of Jeremy’s burden, as we had planned to both clean the house after he got home from work.

Don’t allow a bad start to your day to dictate the tone for the rest of the day. If you would have told me this morning that I was going to accomplish everything I did today, I would have told you to stop messing with me and get out of my house. I was NOT feeling it this morning. But wouldn’t you know, a few tweaks to my attitude and getting myself moving was just what I needed to turn things around.

The next time you’re discouraged about your day because the morning hasn’t gone so well, keep these 5 tips in mind. Don’t automatically assume that your day is ruined. Use your frustration to fuel your desire to punch your bad morning in the face and to greet the rest of your day with a smile on your face and a skip in your step.


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