Bad days are not foreign to any of us. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way from the moment you wake up, or you find yourself feeling “off” for some unknown reason. Either way, it’s completely normal to find yourself in a bad mood on occasion. You know, those days where you’re unable to focus on anything, your training session sucked, and also you feel crummy about your body image. The chaos of life, especially as of late, will inevitably impact our mood and outlook from time to time. 


We all experience crappy days, and we all have different ways of dealing with them, too – some better than others. Some of us just check out in the form of numbing out. Others are great at fully letting go and doing what they have to in order to turn their day around. And other times, some of us “check out,” but it’s not genuinely relaxing because we don’t allow our brains to disconnect.


Today we want to help those of you who may have some not-so-great coping mechanisms or strategies for dealing with those days that just don’t go right. 


Give Yourself Permission to “Check Out”


When we feel overwhelmed and things are spiraling, we often tell ourselves we need to relax. But “relaxing” time ends up turning into a panic fest. We worry about what we should be doing or end up scrolling social media (which only makes it worse because you’re looking at people doing all the things you feel like you should be doing), rather than giving ourselves permission to take a break for once. 


That’s far from actually relaxing. 


Sound familiar? Yeah, same here.


News flash: You can’t change anything until you acknowledge where you’re at right now, accept it, and allow yourself to have a bad day. Let it be what it is and make the decision that you’re going to do what you need to do to make the most of that day. This leads us to…


Find Alternative Activities to Improve Your Mood


Forcing yourself through a bad day isn’t always the answer. Sometimes it is, but when it’s not, we need to step away and do something completely different:


  • Feeling really low for whatever reason? Journal your feelings. Let it all out on paper and just sit in it. It’s not going to be comfortable, but keeping all those emotions locked inside won’t encourage them to leave. 


  • Training session going terribly? Give yourself a break and re-do the session tomorrow. Make yourself a healthy meal, do some mobility and stretching instead, and call it a day. 


  • Can’t focus on your work assignment? Decide you’re going to pick it up again tomorrow morning and enjoy the rest of the night. Read a book (and it doesn’t have to be a self-help book) or call or hang out with a friend. Go outside and work in the yard, do a puzzle, go for a walk. 


  • Just having an utterly shitty day and can’t seem to turn your attitude around? Watch a few episodes of Season 9 of The Bachelor like me (Mary). 


No, we are not advocating for numbing out with TV or “quitting” on your obligations. However, we know that our Female Strength Academy ladies are smart. You know yourself, and you know the difference between avoiding something/making an excuse to numb out, versus truly serving your mental health. 


Stay in the Moment 


Now, more than ever, it’s vital to put yourself in the moment and stay there. This is where the mindfulness practice really comes in handy. We need to either get ourselves up and do whatever the task is that needs to get done, or actually be okay with not getting it done. And don’t belittle yourself for choosing the latter. 


If you choose to buckle down and stay focused, set timers for whatever task or project you need to complete. If you’re going to push through a training session, keep track of your rest times to make sure you’re not dragging things out longer than necessary. 


If you choose to take a break, WALK AWAY from whatever you need a break from. Remove the temptations (technology, the barbell, a frustrating person) and find another activity to do, as we mentioned before.


Often, when we do choose to take this break, we’re sitting and fretting about what you should be getting done. Instead of taking care of yourself or taking care of the problem, you’re almost making it worse by NOT allowing your mind to completely disengage from it. 


We know it can be easy to feel guilty for taking time away from what you “should” do. However, allowing yourself this space will actually give you a chance to clear your mind and feel better, mentally and emotionally. But to get there, you have to STAY present in your “letting go” process.


Remember & Accept that Bad Days are Temporary 


This is maybe the most crucial point of all. If you’ve been through a bad day (everyone raise your hand), you know eventually they subside, and the heaviness of a lousy day eases up. It may take a few hours to get out of the slump, maybe the fog doesn’t lift until the next day or a few days at the worst. But things DO get better. 


Simply knowing this fact can help you sit with your current negative feelings a little better. 


Accept it, call it what it is, and don’t give it so much weight or meaning. We know what it’s like to want to over-analyze what went wrong, why it has been such a bad day, where we could have done better, or believe we can prevent it in the future. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Even if you figured out what went wrong, you’re never going to not have a bad day ever again. That’s just life, friends. So why not let it go?


This approach sounds so obvious, yet we spend so much time and energy doing the opposite: Fighting it. Which is exhausting..when really, there is so much relief in accepting it. This allows the bad day to clear out so you can move forward. 


How do you deal with bad days? We want to hear your tips! Share them in the comments below.


Ready to turn bad nutrition days into good ones? Check out Fiercely Fueled Nutrition for one-on-one macro coaching designed for strength athletes!

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