17 Self-Care Ideas To Do After A Bad Day

A woman sitting on the sofa petting her dog. With a lit candle on the coffee table.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Bad days happen; unfortunately, we can all have them as much as we would like to avoid them. No matter the reason for your bad day, you can look after yourself to try and improve your mood and mindset to put it behind you and start fresh the following day.

You may not be able to control why you have had a bad day, but you are able to control how it makes you feel and if you let the bad day continue. When you get home, the best thing you can so to put it behind you is to focus on yourself, so that it doesn’t take up anymore of your time and energy.

Unfortunately, due to my health conditions, I can have several bad days if my pain and/or fatigue have been overwhelming. Therefore, self-care activities have helped me out those bad days to bed. Self-care in many forms is an effective way to eliminate a bad day; you can focus on your mental health and bring some positivity back before the end of the day. I have compiled a list of ways you can practise self-care after you’ve had a bad day.

1. Spend Time With Loved Ones

After the negativity of a bad day, a great way to improve your mood is to be around your loved ones. Whether that is planning an evening out or just at home for a cosy evening. Being around loved ones will bring more positive emotions like love and laughter. If you also spend time with loved ones it can also give you an opportunity to talk about your bad day, why it bothered you and how you are feeling. It can be a relief to talk about bad days to vent and then let it go. When I have a bad day, I always want to talk to the people closest to me as I know that the will listen to me and make me feel better.

2. Journal

Journaling is a simple, but excellent form of self-care that allows you to express yourself that is free of any judgement. Being able to write what you are thinking can help to relieve the pressure of a bad day. You can write and then leave it on the page if the situation is a problem that needs resolving you can always come back to what you’ve written and look at it from a different mindset. Regular journaling can strengthen your mental health and improve your mood including on the bad days. If you don’t want to necessarily write about the bad day you can use the journaling prompts about other thoughts to focus your mind on positivity and the future.

Read: 25 journaling prompts for better mental health.

3. Have A Bit Of A Pamper

When you have a bad day, it can make you feel rubbish, so having a bit of a pamper can make you feel better and feel much more relaxed. A pamper can mean so many different things. Your pamper activities could be:

  • A face mask
  • A hair mask
  • A long bath or shower
  • Paint your nails
  • Give yourself a facial
  • Have a steam facial
  • Scrub from head to toe
  • Lotion and massage your feet
  • Give yourself a massage

Pampering provides you with a break from the stress of a bad day. A pampering session at home provides you with time to switch off and concentrate on you. When you make time to pamper yourself, you are providing yourself with the opportunity to escape reality. This is a really inexpensive way to practise self-care and help you to relieve stress.

A woman relaxing in a big bubble bath

Photo by Matheus Frade on Unsplash

4. Cook Or Order Your Favourite Meal

Cooking can significantly reduce the levels of stress. The goal of self-care is to maximise your own health and cooking can do this. When you prepare your own meals, you have more control over the ingredients. By cooking for yourself, you can ensure that you are eating fresh, wholesome food that will make you feel good. However, if you bad day has left you drained, you can take the pressure off and order your favourite meal.

5. Read

Reading can be a great way to escape and delve into a story that allows you to invest in the characters and focus on the feelings the story is creating. Sitting in a cosy place, a warm drink and maybe even light a candle will transport you to a place of relaxation and you are solely focused on what is happening in the story.

6. Take Time In Nature

Being outside in the fresh air can do wonders for stress levels after a bad day. Nature-based self-care is largely associated with lower levels of stress and anxiety. Nature can generate a multitude of positive emotions such as calmness and joy. So, taking the time to be in nature can help centre you after a bad a day. Here are some nature-based self-care activities, you can try:

  • A long nature walk with loved ones or alone
  • Do some gardening at home
  • Visit the beach or your favourite nature spot
  • Go on a dog walk
  • Play a sport or ball game with loved ones or friends
  • Sit in the garden and enjoy the sun
  • Sit in the garden and listen to music or read your book

Furthermore, the bacteria found in plant life may help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. So, not only will it improve your mood, but your physical and mental health.

7. Practise Mindful Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mental training practice that teaches you how to slow down your racing thoughts, let go of negativity and calm your body and your mind. It is combining meditation with mindfulness. Learning how is straightforward with guided meditations on YouTube. These are some simple steps to help you get stated on your own:

  • Make sure that you are comfortable – sitting or lying down
  • Use a timer
  • Focus on your breathing
  • Notice your thoughts
  • Be kind about your wandering mind

Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation. During your meditation, you can focus your attention and eliminate your stressful thoughts.

It is important that you remember bad days do not last and you can control how they make you feel. Self-care is a great wat to relieve the stress of a bad day and focus on yourself. Other self-care activities after a bad could include:

  • Breathing exercises
  • Have a digital detox
  • Have a nap
  • Watch your favourite TV show or film
  • Let yourself have a good cry – sometimes we all need it
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Bake a delicious treat
  • Go out with loved ones or friends for drinks
  • Dig out a colouring book
  • Play your favourite music and have a sing and dance

Whatever self-care activity you choose to do will enable you to put your bad day behind you.

What do you like to do after you’ve had a bad day? I’d love to hear in the comments.

82 thoughts on “17 Self-Care Ideas To Do After A Bad Day

  1. I certainly love taking time to have self-care on a bad day. I love relaxing and pampering myself, it instantly lifts my mood and makes me feel mentally brighter. I also love spending time with my loved ones, they always know how to make me smile on my worst days. Thank you for sharing these tips lovely, I’ll for sure be keeping them in mind Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

    1. I am all for self care and pampering yourself everyday; however after having a bad day, it definitely boosts your spirit and mood like no other. Great suggestions 😊

  2. These are great tips. On a bad day I take time to have a bath and indulge in self care. It makes me feel so much better.

    1. Journalling, pampering and a scented bath all work for me plus walks in the countryside.

  3. I’ve been learning to journal and deal with my emotional bad days. These are great tips.

  4. these are all good tips! reading is my preferred one in that it allows me to get lost in another world for that moment.. and forget about all my troubles.

  5. Great tips, I suggested to my girlfriend to have a bath to pamper herself and she felt really good after that. These really good ideas. Thank you for sharing!

  6. The best thing I like to do if I’m having a bad day is to read, play some video games, or spend time with my boyfriend! Recently, I’ve really enjoyed cleaning, there’s something calming about cleaning your space when you’re stressed or anxious. I’m grateful to have learned to appreciate cleaning as a source of self-care. Great post xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

  7. Fab tips! I always find myself picking up a book whenever I’m having a bad day, I love escaping through the pages. I’m getting into journaling more at the moment too and it’s such a game changer! Thank you so much for sharing x

  8. Journaling has always been my way of coping up with bad days. Letting your bottled up emotions mindlessly flow through your fingers helps in alleviating the negativity 🙂

  9. I might be the opposite of your other readers here, but on a bad day, I push myself to do one thing that’s beyond my expectations. So like I’ll run a couple miles further than I intended to, and when the crappy feelings hit again, I can tell myself: “Well, at leat I smashed that run.”

  10. Superb ideas all of them. And I agree. Reading a good book, listening to my favorite music, eating good food – helps take out the stress of a bad day.

  11. Such a great and inspiring post! When I have a bad day I like to read a book, or go for a long walk. That makes everything a much easier for me 🙂 Great suggestions, thanks!

  12. Great tips, Lauren!
    When I have a bad day, I remind myself “this is a moment, not a life,” to put things into perspective. I have a variety of ways to fill my cup, pampering is a must.:)
    Many Blessings

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this Lauren! There are so many wonderful tips here and it’s lead me to your 80 journal prompts post. I can’t wait to spend some time today doing that!

  14. Love this post. My favourite things to do after a bad day is taking a shower, go for a walk and take some time for myself. Amazing tips.

  15. The first two of these are my favourites! I love to journal out a bad day – helps me figure out what went wrong, and vent. Same with spending time with loved ones. I have a couple of friends I can call and just ask to vent. I also like to take a nap – sometimes I feel like a nap gives the day a re-set, and that bad day can become a good day when you wake up the second time after a snooze. Thanks for sharing!

  16. These are great tips. Sometimes it is great to just do something where you don’t need to think about anything and it can really help, can’t it?

    Thanks for sharing!
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  17. Some great suggestions. When I’ve had a bad day, all I typically want to do is nap and eat a takeaway, which is usually what I do because I figure if it makes me feel better for just an hour or so then it’s worth it!

  18. These are such great tips! I like curling up under my duvet and enjoying my favourite YouTube creators when I’ve had a bad day. Occasionally I’ll order something, but that’s normally when my rough day isn’t body oriented.

  19. Lovely ideas in here Lauren! If I have a bad day I just like to call it a day and go early to bed. But it’s also nice to watch comedy shows and eat something delicious. That way it doesn’t feel that bad anymore xx

  20. Whenever I’ve had a bad day, I like to take a mug of tea or glass of wine and just wander around our garden. Some simple deadheading or tidying up never fails to de-stress me. Time spent outside in Nature is never wasted, is it? xx

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