How to Look for the Sun after a Gloomy Day


Del Sol St. Thomas Intern, Erin Strassel

We’ve all had them. We’ve all experienced a day when we just want to crawl back into bed and start the day over. For some of us, those bad days just keep getting worse. One thing after another keeps going wrong until we finally reach our breaking point.

This kind of day recently happened to me. I excitedly woke up because it was my son’s first birthday. I couldn’t wait to spend the day with him and enjoy all the activities I had planned. Instead, we spent the morning in the doctor’s office after my son experienced a traumatic injury.

I spent the afternoon scrubbing floors after he broke a bottle of bright red nail polish and cleaning up an entire bag of cereal he mysteriously found and dumped from one end of the house to the other. Unfortunately, that list doesn’t even begin to name all of the other small issues that crept up and weighed heavily on my mind throughout the day: finances, my husband’s schooling, family problems and more.

By dinnertime, I just wanted to sit down and cry. We hadn’t done anything I had hoped to do. I had hardly spent any enjoyable time with my son and I figured I was not cut out to be a mom. To say I was discouraged, frustrated and depressed would be an understatement. I was completely exhausted and I knew I needed to turn my day around or else I would toss and turn all night upset. Here are a few things that helped me turn my awful, terrible and depressing day into a good one.

Change Your Environment

If you are stressed, upset or frustrated you must escape the environment where those feelings thrive. If you have been inside all day, take a small walk in the sunshine. If you haven’t left the house, go for a drive, go to the park or browse a store — do something that gets you away from those bad feelings. Do something that will help you clear your mind and refocus on the good in your day and your life.

Get Moving

Exercise has been the best medication for me during those tough and trying days. When I have a terrible day, I hop on a treadmill and run. I push myself until I don’t think I can go any farther. Once I’m finished and see what I just accomplished, it brings feelings of satisfaction and excitement. Exercise also releases endorphins. It makes you happier, more accepting of your body and helps you sleep at night.

Make an Effort to Smile

When you have a bad day, let your family know, but not in an angry, I-hate-the-world sort of way. Tell your family you need a break. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, my husband turns on funny videos or tries extra hard to make me laugh. Usually, I don’t feel like participating but when I make an extra effort, smiling seems to lighten my mood.

You must be willing to smile and laugh. During those hard times it is easy to hide yourself from the rest of the world but you are only hurting yourself. Spend time with your family, sit down and observe the things your children do, tell stories together and find things you can do together that will bring a smile on your face.


If your bad day affects your sleep, tomorrow won’t be much better. Taking the time to adjust your mood before you go to bed is crucial. Take a hot bath, read a book, write in your journal or watch a favorite movie — do things that allow you to relax. Ask your spouse for help in watching and getting the kids to bed.

You can turn a bad day around with a little effort and a help from others. Those terrible, frustrating days happen more than we like and they can occur on days when we least expect it. Just remember that those days will pass. The sun will come out and you won’t want to be crawling in bed anymore but outside, enjoying the sunshine.

Editor’s note: This article was first published on Family Share. It has been republished here with permission by the Family Share Network.

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