When You Know It's Going to Be a Bad Day

October 18, 2020 Natasha Tracy

Do you wake up sometimes and know it's going to be a bad day from the outset? I do. Sometimes before I put my feet on the floor, I know it's going to be a bad day. Now, I think, for the average non-sick person, this sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you think it's going to be a bad day, then it certainly will be. This is not the reality for a person with a chronic illness, though. Sometimes we know it's going to be a bad day. If you have this feeling sometimes, here's how to handle it.

How Can You Know It's Going to Be a Bad Day?

For me, I know it's going to be a bad day when I wake up upset and in pain. To some extent, the depression from bipolar disorder is always there, and to some extent, so is the pain, but when it steps it up a notch, right from the get-go, I know it's going to be a bad day, no ifs, ands, or buts.

And as much as a bad day is about perspective, it's also about reality. Yes, if you're just out-of-sorts for no reason, you can choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative and possibly turn that day around. But, if your dog just died, I can pretty reliably say that it's going to be a bad day.

Dealing with Knowing It's Going to Be a Bad Day

All that being said, I think we all want to make the best out of even a bad day. If today is a bad day for you, try these things:

  1. Admit to it being a bad day -- even if you're still in your pjs. Toxic positivity would have you believe that it's bad to say this out loud as you're not being positive. However, it is not bad. It is healthy to acknowledge your real feelings.
  2. Look at why you think it's going to be a bad day. Look with a critical eye at why you think it's going to be a bad day. Are you accurately looking at the situation? Sometimes you'll be right, no doubt, but are you sure this is one of those times?
  3. Consider mitigation strategies. Think about if there are ways you can mitigate the reasons you think it's going to be a bad day. Can you schedule extra sleep for yourself? Can you take a certain medication? Can you call a friend?
  4. Consider creating something to look forward to. The thing about a bad day is that it isn't something to look forward to. In fact, looking forward when you know things are going to be bad can be painful in and of itself. So, can you create a moment in your day to look forward to? Maybe everything about it will still be, bad but maybe you can incorporate one moment of positivity.
  5. Shore up your armor. Getting through a day full of pain and suffering is a very hard thing to do. I have done it and done it and done it, and every time I hate it. But I try to remember that I've done it before and I can do it again. I look at the pain square in the eye and snarl. It may win the day, but I will win my life.
  6. Remember, tomorrow's another day. I know that getting through a bad day can seem like a slog (because it is), and there is a tendency to think that tomorrow will be a bad day too. I think this is both negativity (and maybe depression) and fear talking. Remember, tomorrow is a blank slate. Nothing will be helped by you pre-judging it. Consider that tomorrow might be a great day; you just don't know it yet.

And one other thing: give yourself a moment of compassion and grace. Think about how you would react if someone else was looking down the barrel of the same day you are. You would probably want to help that person, feel empathetic and give that person a break. Well, do that same thing for you. Remember, you aren't a bad person for being in pain or being depressed or suffering in some other way. This is not your fault. This is the universe playing games. That's okay. That's what it does. But while it's doing it, make sure to make whatever adjustments you can to get through it. And give yourself a big hug. You deserve it. Pain, depression, suffering isn't easy, but you're doing it. You're amazing.

Tags: bad days

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2020, October 18). When You Know It's Going to Be a Bad Day, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

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