A realistic how-to guide on turning a bad day around.

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Recently I had a day that could only be described as a series of unfortunate events. It went from one issue to the next drama and back around to another sh*tstorm.

But I feel there are a few lessons that everyone can take away from my experience, on how-to tackle everyday challenges with your chin up.

I knew it was going to be a trying day when I looked at my phone, which I had shoved under my pillow sometime shortly after 6:15am, and thought, “It’s OK. You can still get to work on time. You can do this.” It was 7:08am.

Spoiler: This did not happen.

how to get over a bad day
Alex Grieg. Image: Supplied.

Instead, I ran around the house in a flap, forgot to feed the cat, couldn’t work out who I wanted to be today (i.e., what to wear), and ended up missing the last train that would’ve got me in to work on time.

Ah ha! I thought. I don’t need you, trains. I have Uber. Sure, a taxi to work is extravagant, but at this point it was a must. Besides, it was raining. Challenge one, tackled.

But when I opened the app and I pressed the “request Uber X” button, it spent a good five minutes with a little spinning wheel from hell “requesting”. Then it told me the next available car would be with me in 15 minutes. I gave up.

I ran to the station so that I didn’t miss the next train, and was on the platform, damp from rain and stress-sweat, when the next train arrived.

how to get over a bad day
“My fellow passengers – well groomed and dry — glanced at me pityingly. I finally cancelled the trip, and was charged $12 for the privilege.” Image: iStock.

I fished my phone out of one of my many bags to text my colleague an apologetic message for being late when Uber informed me my driver was on his way. Driver Damien was wending his way through Sydney traffic towards my house, and I was on a train.

“For god’s sake!” I said under my breath, along with a few choice swear words, when the app wouldn’t allow me to cancel the trip that I had never knowingly booked.

My fellow passengers – well groomed and dry – glanced at me pityingly. I finally cancelled the trip, and was charged $12 for the privilege.

It was only when I finally got to work that I realised perhaps my co-commuters weren’t empathising with someone having “one of those mornings”, but wondering why that angry woman had odd streaks of make-up all over her face, a fact helpfully pointed out to me by one of my co-workers.

See, I do this thing when I get ready in the morning – I’ll dot some concealer under my eyes, around my nose, on any blemishes (OK, pimples) on my chin, right? Then I’ll do some other things so it dries just a tiny bit before I blend it in. I had forgotten to blend it in.

Enough is enough, I thought. It’s time to turn this day around. It’s not even 9am!


“Oh, it’s a kind of contouring,” I told my colleague. “It’s the new clown contour. It’s totally hot right now. The Kardashians don’t even know about it yet.”

how to get over a bad day
Kim K doesn’t even know. Image: Giphy.

She was obviously impressed by this response, and my trend-forward choice.

I went to the bathroom to remedy my face situation and made yet another terrible discovery. The dress I’d chosen to wear has a much too high split up the back, so I usually pin it together, but somehow, the pin had gone missing. The split came up to mid-butt, thereby sharing my knicker choice with the rest of the world.


My face burned as I remembered energetically taking the station stairs two at a time, nimbly passing other exiting passengers and unknowingly advertising my preference for large cotton knickers.

It was too late to do anything about the dress since I was due in a meeting, so I returned to my desk, sticking to the walls, to retrieve a notepad with which to cover my bum.

Fortunately, I’d left a cardigan behind last week, necessary for the arctic air-conditioning, so I tied it around my waist, just like I used to as a teenager at school when concerned my bum was too large to be socially acceptable.

I brightened. Callypgian figures are now in vogue. It could just be that I have a fashionably large arse.

The thing about bad days is that they’re only as bad as you let them be. So I decided not to wish the day would end, and just live it. The more I believed my day was doomed, the more negative I felt, the more likely it was to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So I watched a YouTube video of baby twins giggling uncontrollably and it made me smile.

Cat videos work too. Image:

The meeting was tense, but since I was kicking goals left, right, and centre, it was like water off a duck’s back.

Later, not even the realisation that I’d left my lunch on the kitchen counter could dampen my spirits. I just flat-out refused to be bothered, despite not being able to afford to buy lunch until pay-day. I created an ad hoc meal from some crackers I found in my desk drawer and some stale almonds.

Eaten in the park in the sunlight, it almost felt like a picnic. I mean, yes, the worst picnic spread you could imagine, but still.

A dog wagged its tail. A kid smiled at me. As I walked back to the office, I felt a welcome breeze on my exposed backside.

The day was going to be just fine.

And yours will be too.

How do you tackle your everyday challenges?