We all have experienced bad days. From the simplest notion of waking up late and rushing to work, to feeling stuck and unsure how to complete your work with your deadlines around the corner, we can get drawn into the vortex of feeling down and frustrated on certain days. Honestly, I like to pride myself as someone who is very determined and self-motivated, especially when it comes to work. No matter how difficult the task is, I tend to stress out for a bit, or even take a few breaks, but I will still force myself to sit in front of my laptop together with my pen and notebook and start getting things done.
However, the last few weeks I have been feeling less productive, sluggish, and naturally frustrated at myself. I am not even sure what are the triggers or occasion that cause these continuous bad days. I often doubt myself when it comes to work, not sure if I was doing the right thing, facing frequent creative block when I try to get work done, and ultimately not feeling my best.
Why do we have bad days?
Some people believe that bad days occur because of our own perception. We predict and assume a day to be bad, hence we feel grumpy and inspired, and therefore it causes a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy. Do you agree with this? Well, I do. But only partially. Because sometimes no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that we are going to do better at the start of the day, we end up still falling into the same situations where we just feel that we are not able to get things done the way we planned to. So if you are feeling the same way I do, frustrated at yourself for feeling this way, or even coming home after a long day at work feeling unsure about your purpose altogether, I really hope this brings you a sense of comfort.
1. Bad days are inevitable.
I think in order to be at peace, the first thing you must learn to accept is that bad days are always going to happen from time to time. Sometimes it is just one day, sometimes it drags on to a time period where you just feel stuck and unable to get things done the way you want them to. But it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up for being less unproductive. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel a need to crawl into bed with a bag of chips and watch some sitcoms (maybe this is just me). Accept the fact that it is 100% alright to not be your best on certain days. It is 100% okay for you to not feel your best.
2. You do not always need to be pumped up.
Not every day you can get 20 things strike off your To-Do list. Not every day you are going to get all your work done in a short time because you feel super motivated. We are humans. We cannot be on this constant hyper-productivity mode. It will burn us out. Maybe you are feeling a little bit unproductive because you are indeed slightly burnt out. Maybe you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the never ending tasks at hand. Whatever the reasons, don’t fight yourself. Take this time to take some extra time to rest. Get more sleep. Go exercise and sweat it out. Watch a show you love. You might just need a little self-pampering to feel alright again.
3. You do not have to do it all alone.
We often perceive getting help from other people as a sign of weakness. I know it sounds cliche, but getting help can actually make you feel better. Be it to talk out your thoughts and problems with a close friend, or ask your colleagues for some ideas in the work you are feeling stuck with, it will make you feel less frustrated with yourself. If you are really feeling inadequate about a skill you lack in, sign up for a class about it. Ask someone with the skills for some help. When you take the effort to reach out for help, people are often very willing to give you a hand. They will feel good about themselves for being able to help you, and you can learn from them and complete what you need to.
4. Take a leap of faith.
If you are going through a long period of bad days, feeling lost and uninspired, the situation and environment might actually be the root cause. Maybe what you are doing is not what you enjoy, maybe you feel you are just settling for something less than you deserve, or your potentials cannot be fully utilised and your talents are undermined, it is time to take a leap and take action for yourself. I know it’s crazy to give up each time you are feeling uninspired or frustrated. But if it goes on for a long time, and your gut feeling keeps telling you that what you are doing is not what you actually want to, do not hold back. Go for what you think is best for you. Sometimes you need to listen to that voice in your head. You know yourself better than anyone else. If you feel it is time to switch things up, be it a change in your morning routine or a geographical relocation, do it. Do what is best for yourself.
If you are going through a bad day, or if you just cannot seem to get things done, don’t feel bad about yourself. Know that you are not alone. I wish that you can come to terms with all these noises in your head and around you, and then find yourself back to where you want to be.
Do share with me your most recent bad day/days and how you dealt with it in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.