Tips to Recover from a Bad Day at Work

How to Recover from a Bad Day at Work [2023 Updated]

Not every day needs to be productive and efficient. There will always be some bad days at work. In the current pandemic situation, everybody is going through tough times. Instead of thinking about those bad days, you should always keep a positive approach and stay relaxed.

Having a bad day at work?

You are not alone. Everyone faces work-related issues, so cheer up and look forward to the next day instead of reliving the bad day. There’s no such thing as called “perfect workplace” and the occasional bad day at work is unavoidable and normal.

A survey found that 19 % of employees have bad work days “Every day or almost every day” an additional 29 % say “More than one day a week” and 16 % say “About one day a week”.

Wondering what to do when you have a bad day? In this article, we’ll discover some tips to handle a bad day at work:

how to cope after bad day at work

1. Take a deep breath

If you are experiencing a bad day at work, the immediate thing that you need to do is to take a deep breath. For instance, if your manager scolds you, take a deep breath immediately and relax. Then, try to understand your fault. If possible, talk to them about it later.

2. Go for a walk

Sometimes, working in a confined space can take a toll on your health. Fix a time to step out and breathe fresh air. When you do so, you will feel refreshed and energetic. Go for a long walk and come back to carry on with your work.

3. Listen to your favorite music     

Music helps to relax your mind. The best way to get over a bad day at work is to listen to your favorite music. Music has a therapeutic influence on the mind. It soothes and relaxes the brain and gives good vibes.

4. Reassure yourself that this phase shall pass

Reassure yourself that bad days will not last forever. Your work can be hectic, and you may think that you are working a lot more than others. But remember that this phase will eventually pass, and you will start enjoying your work again.

5. Write a gratitude journal

Just one sour incident cannot make your life awful. If you have a rough day at work, do not let that ruin your precious time. Maintain a gratitude journal and make sure that you write at least five good things that happened on that particular day.

What to do in the middle of a bad day at work

6. Talk to your friends or colleagues

Having hard days at work is quite normal. Keep in mind that it happens to everyone, even the top-ranking employees. Remind yourself that nothing is easy. A tough day at work teaches you lessons that you can take forward and improve your career and personal life. Just open up.

Talk to your best friend or colleagues who would listen to your grievances. Sometimes, venting out helps you move forward and make a fresh start.

Recommended Read: Mental Health of Remote Employees: 15 Ways to Support Them

7. Write down your experience

If you think you do not have loyal friends or trusted colleagues, write down your experience. Maintaining a diary helps you deal with unpleasant incidents. Once you write down your thoughts and feelings, you can just let go of them and make a fresh start.

8. Do meditation

How to deal with a bad day at work? Just meditate. One of the best activities, which can give you the energy to deal with the current situation, is meditation. Close your eyes and think of nature or anything that calms down your mind.

Recommended Read: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Wellness Program

9. Eat your favorite food

If you are feeling miserable, order your favorite food and relish its taste. Make sure that you do not think about anything else while enjoying the treat. 

10. Hit the gym

If you are sad due to any work-related issue, hit the gym. Take out your frustration by doing some extra push-ups. Push your limits and tell yourself that you can handle any work-related pressure.

Recommended Post: How to Build Workplace Fitness Challenges for Remote Teams In 2021 [Updated]

11. Log out of your social media account

Sometimes turning off your phone for a couple of hours can be a good idea. Just relax and try to take a nap. When you wake up, you will feel refreshed. If you can not turn off your phone, switch off your router for a few hours. 

12. Positive thinking

Many famous and successful people have stated the importance of positive thinking. Spend 5-10 minutes watching the videos of these people and life coaches. Make positive thinking a habit.

How to handle a bad day at work while working remotely

13. Play a game

Sports help channelize your energy. Play any game that you like. You can play badminton, cricket, and football. In the current situation, you can play indoor games like carrom, ludo, or monopoly. Use all your energy and play as if there is no tomorrow. This can help you forget all the wrong things that happened at work.

14. Think of the good days you spent at work

Some days at work can be bad, and you need to learn to handle them. Think of all the good days you spent at your workplace. Think about the prizes and recognition you received for your good performances, the experiences you shared with your colleagues. All these thoughts can improve the state of your mind.

Recognize your employees

15. Watch your favorite web series

Now, you can watch your favorite sitcom by just clicking a button. So, if a meeting has made your day tough, the best way to overcome it is to watch your favorite web series. Sitcoms like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or Everybody Loves Raymond can surely brighten your mood. And this is a proven fact.

16. Play video games

Video games can keep you engaged for hours. Spend a few hours playing a video game that entertains you. Do not think about the awful day you had at work. This way, you can rejuvenate yourself and recover from the bad experience. 

17. A short vacation can be helpful

This is simple yet powerful. If you had a bad day at work, you can take a couple of days off and drive to your favorite hill station or a friend’s place. Spend some quality time. It can freshen up your mind. 

18. Purchase something that makes you happy

Shopping is an excellent way to relieve stress. However, do not spend too much money. Place an order for the bag or the shoe you had on your shopping list. Sometimes you need to give yourself a treat.

19. Read your favorite book

Grab your favorite book from your bookshelf and start reading. Reading has a healing effect, and it can transport you to a different world.


All the tips mentioned above can surely help you recover from a bad day or weeks at work. Do not let a single day spoil your entire week. Relax and move on. Remember, the darkest hour comes just before dawn. So, always be optimistic and happy.

Originally published on June 29, 2021, 2:43 PM, last updated Feb 22, 2022

Springworks Team

Building products and tools to simplify the life of an org's HR function in terms of recruiting, onboarding & retention!

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