How to get past a bad day at work

There are some days where you just have a really bad day at work. We all have them. You continuously make mistakes. You miss deadlines. You keep tripping over your words. You just can’t get anything right.

Bad days at the office can be demoralising and they can throw your productivity way off course. But, picking yourself back up after a bad day at work is vital. Don’t linger on it; move forward and learn from the situation.

Sure, this can be easier said than done. But, we’re here to help you out. With this in mind, here are a few tips on how you can get past a bad day at work.


Sometimes the most difficult thing to do after a bad day is to reset and relax. Especially if you make a mistake or generally have a bad day on a Friday. In this situation, you’ll likely replay this in your mind and dwell on it over the weekend.

While it might be hard to forget about it, especially if you’re passionate about what you do, it’s not impossible. Take your mind off it by listening to music, going for a walk or reading a book. Any simple task that doesn’t require much effort or concentration.

Remember, it’s in the past and you can’t change it now! It’s time to reset and focus on the present and future.

Think about how you can improve

Of course, you don’t want to dwell on a bad day, but you can’t neglect the issue. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes or so in the evening. Collect your thoughts and figure out why today just went so poorly.

This is an excellent way to address the situation head on, with a positive mindset. Nobody’s perfect, everybody has bad days and we can all improve in some way or another – you’re no different.

Maybe you have a job in the finance industry and you were caught off-guard by deadlines that crept up on you, meaning you worked well past your contracted hours just to get the reports off in time.

While frustrating, there is definitely something to learn here. In future, you could begin planning your week on a Monday morning so you’re on track of all your tasks.

Seeing a bad day at work as a chance to be proactive and improve is the best way to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

Write down a plan for tomorrow

While you’re thinking of work and have addressed the root of what caused your bad day, you can begin planning for the next day. It’s important to take advantage of these moments when you’re feeling proactive as it can greatly improve your productivity.

If you have a set plan for the next working day after your shift from hell, this will keep your mind occupied and stop you from dwelling on the past. Not only this, it can help you manage your time more successfully and your organisation, so you’re on top of everything.

Remember your accomplishments

After you’ve had a bad day, sometimes all you want to do is mope about and feel sorry for yourself. But, this is the last thing you should do.

A bad day at the office, or a string of bad days can result in a lack of confidence. Which can affect your productivity and in turn, the morale of your colleagues.

After all, if you’re feeling down and hesitant to pick up tasks because you’re doubting your ability, this can affect your colleagues too.

If you find yourself in this situation, remember your worth. You’ve accomplished plenty in your role, even if you don’t think you have. Think back to that project you lead successfully the following month. Or how you brought in a new client the quarter before.

Keep certain emails in your inbox that make you feel happy. This could be anything from praise and acknowledgement from your peers, to a thank you message from a client. This’ll act as the perfect pick-me-up after a down day.


Exercising after a long, hard day is a great way to release any pent-up aggression and stress. When you exercise, your brain produces the chemical endorphins, which are hormones that act as painkillers and can help you to feel happy and positive.

When dealing with stress, exercise can help reduce fatigue, improve concentration and boost your cognitive functions.

Talk to your colleagues/employer

Bad days can be demoralising for anyone, but they can have a severe effect on professionals who already suffer from poor mental health. If you find that a bad day at work has taken a toll on you more than you’d imagine, reach out to your colleagues or your employer to blow off a little steam and vent.

Talking to your employer about what went wrong and what they think can be done to avoid this happening again can help to relieve some tension and worry.

What’s more, ensure you do the same for others. If you notice your colleague is having a bad day, offer the chance to sit down and talk it through. You never know what someone is going through and loneliness is a terrible feeling at work.

Stay positive to get past a bad day at work

The most important task to remember after having a bad day is to remain positive. If you begin to think negatively and doubt yourself, more bad days will surely follow.

Your mindset is the key to how well you respond and react to a frustrating working day. If you’re pessimistic, your chances of reacting well are slim. If you use a bad day to learn and use your initiative, you’ll ensure you respond correctly and increase your productivity in the long-run.

Remember to check your ‘happy folder’ that’s filled with emails that make you smile, talk to your colleagues and be proactive; you’ll be able to bounce back from a bad day in no time!

James Cragg

About James Cragg

James is a PR & Communications professional. After earning his degree in Journalism at the University of Brighton, James has been in PR ever since. He enjoys writing about new topics on a regular basis.

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