It’s impossible to avoid stress. Whether it’s impending deadlines for school or work, a packed to-do list or an argument with a loved one, everyone experiences stress from time to time. How you handle the stress is what makes a difference, and your response can impact the trajectory of the rest of your day and week.
Even though you might want to crawl into a hole and sulk, finding ways to cope and take care of your mental health in the middle of or after a stressful day can pay off. In fact, research shows that in just 60 to 90 seconds, it’s possible to reset our bodies and minds to get on the right track after experiencing stress. All it takes is having tried-and-tested strategies that work for you both in the moment and after a difficult event or hard day.
Self-care strategies can not only provide immediate benefit, but also have a lasting positive effect on your overall mental wellbeing. Research shows that regularly practicing self-care can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, help you face challenges head-on and increase your resilience. Regular physical exercise in particular can be an efficient way to process stress and can help improve your mood, your sleep, and your memory and thinking skills.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Use these quick tips to turn around a stressful day and make the most of what’s ahead.
There may be times when you can’t fix your bad day — and that’s OK too. The most important thing is that you take care of your mental and physical health in any way you can. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) can help. Check out our other blog posts for more tips on how to support yourself through tough times and practice self-care:
Fox, A. (2017, June 8). 10 Expert-approved ways to turn around a crappy day. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/bad-day-tips_n_59122641e4b0a58297e0492e
Chowdhury, M. (2021, October 9). The neuroscience of gratitude and how it affects anxiety and grief. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/neuroscience-of-gratitude/
Gallo, A. (2016, January 6). How to turn a bad day around. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/10/how-to-turn-a-bad-day-around
Godman, H. (2014, April 9). Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
Khidekel, M. (2021, July 8). Simple ways to instantly turn around a stressful day. Thrive Global. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-to-turn-around-a-stressful-day-simple-mindset-tips/
Mental Health First Aid USA. (2020). Mental Health First Aid USA for adults assisting adults. Washington, DC: National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
Mayo Clinic. (2021, July 29). Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456