It would be amazing if you tackled your entire to-do list every day, but everyone has off days. It’s important to take these days in stride and not be too hard on yourself. These tips can help you make the most of days that feel like a drag.

Change your scenery

If you’re stuck inside your head or struggling to stay focused on work, you may need to change your setting. If you work from home, try moving to a different room of the house or heading to a library or coffee shop. If you’re in an office setting, see if you can take your work home or somewhere else in the building. If your job requires that you stay put, take even five minutes to walk outside and get some fresh air. Changing your surroundings will give your brain a break and hopefully help it to reset.


Give yourself small rewards

Sometimes it can feel like the workday will never end and that feeling is even worse when your mood is down in the dumps. Be kind to yourself and reward the small steps you take throughout the day. Did you finish the presentation your boss needed? Treat yourself to something from the break room vending machine. Did you do the mountain of dishes in the sink that was causing you stress? Read a chapter of your favorite book to relax a little. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding your hard work, especially when you accomplish it despite feeling down.


Set reasonable expectations

Don’t try to stretch yourself too thin on those days when your mental health is struggling. Make a list of all the things you have to get done, the things that you would like to get done and the things that can wait to be done at a different time. Try to be as realistic as possible. Once you’re done, focus on those top priorities and recognize that by taking care of your mental health now, you should be able to tackle more in the future.


Plan something fun to look forward to

Your bad mood won’t last forever, and it can help to think ahead to brighter days. Text your best friend and see if she wants to get coffee later in the week. Ask your partner if the two of you can go to that movie you’ve been dying to see. Take a moment to daydream about an upcoming vacation, whether it’s been booked or not. Thinking ahead to those things you enjoy may help to put you in a better headspace so you can power through everything that has to be done.


If you find yourself feeling down more frequently than you feel happy, you may want to talk to a mental health professional. They can help you determine if there is a better, long-term solution to make you feel your best. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support.


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