How to Fix a Bad Day.

dress // sandals

I originally was going to write something different today but found myself feeling inspired, after a bad day yesterday which I managed to turn around.

My flight home from Charleston was delayed on Sunday, and I didn’t get home until close to midnight. I had no blog post written but was so exhausted from my flight and sitting in traffic that I prioritized watching Game of Thrones over work. And then suddenly it was 2am and I was just hitting “schedule” on my post. Naturally, yesterday morning was a bit of a train wreck.

I awoke to all the things I hadn’t dealt with before I left: a pile of clutter on my desk, a messy and very smelly kitchen (somehow everything in my fridge managed to go bad over the weekend – this is super gross to admit, I promise I’m actually really clean/slightly OCD most of the time). What really sealed the deal was that when I went to feed Tyrion and his food dish was covered in ants (I swear you guys, I’m not a gross person – but I live in a ground floor apartment and no amount of Clorox, keeping all food (except his) out of sight, and constant cleaning will keep the ants away). I spent a solid half hour massacring the ants and spraying every surface with Clorox and then Windex (double cleansing??) until every ant was gone and Tyrion was expectantly looking at me like, “Okay b*tch, where is my FOOD!?!”

I reached for a new bowl for him and (as if on cue), my great aunt’s beautiful porcelain bowl slid out, smashing into bits on the counter.  Around that time, my friend’s fiancé locked himself out of his apartment and came over. It was after 10am by then but I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t managed to brush my teeth or wash my face. After helping him I (finally) fed the cat, sat down at my desk and got an email from my manager with a brand timeline that was really, really tight. My stress was at an all time high. I stepped away from my desk, took out the trash and somehow managed to hit myself in the nose with the lid of the bin – leaving me with a bloody nose and a giant bruise right between my eyes. I kid you not, there are no exaggerations, this all happened before noon.

This is why I usually go to bed early on Sundays.

Outfit Details: Alice + Olivia Dress (also here) // Loeffler Randall Sandals (also here) // Chanel Purse // Tory Burch Watch // Vintage Chanel Earrings // Celine Sunglasses

Anyway, I was in pretty bad shape at this point. I just started to cry. Big, heavy raindrop tears. It’s so silly in hindsight but it felt good to just cry a little and indulge in a little pity party. I’m not a big crier, it happens very rarely, but when I do, I CRY. And then I sat there and said to myself, “Okay, you have a lot to do today, it’s time to get your shit together.”  I followed these exact steps below, which I have documented below. I hope this is either a) helpful, or b) makes you laugh. Just picture me hitting my nose with the lid of the recycling bin if you need any sort of entertainment. #hotmess.

One // Take a step back. This is the most important step. Honestly, all of these things, in the scheme of them, are pretty minor. If I’d had a proper night’s sleep, the messy kitchen and ants wouldn’t have bothered me. If Tyrion’s food wasn’t covered in ants, I wouldn’t have been upset by the smack on the nose. The brand’s timeline would have been fine if there hadn’t been ants and I hadn’t broken the plate. I was having a bad day because a lot of little, bad things had happened… but really they were all pretty inconsequential.

Two // Set your timer for an hour and do the things you don’t want to do. So this might sound counterintuitive but just trust me. When you are having a bad day your gut may tell you to go get a massage or buy yourself flowers and yes, those things will help, but if you spend an hour doing things you hate doing, you will feel so much better and accomplished and overall, less stressed out. For me, this is always accounting. I am so bad at it and there is a lot of it with blogging. Piles of receipts, checks that need to be entered into Quickbooks and deposited, etc. So I spent an hour just entering in expenses and clearing through the stack on my desk.

Three // Then do something you want to do. I went back into my room and made my bed, and then I came back out and responded to reader comments on my blog. I had a big coffee, and then I scheduled a few posts to my book club page.

Four // Call a friend. I called Christine. We had a good long gab session and I immediately felt a lot better. Sometimes you feel like an idiot and have a bad day and it’s good to talk to someone who you know isn’t going to judge you or make you feel worse. It was good to catch up with her and we were able to laugh about my “mood.”

Five // Step away. My big project (outside of work deadlines) for the week is to get my patio in order. This is sort of a self imposed thing as my best friend and also upstairs neighbor’s engagement party is on Friday and we want to have part of it be on my patio, so I have to get it in order. I was grumpy, so I got out of the house. Usually I make myself sit at my desk and work til 6 or so but I took off around 4 and headed into the city for a trip to Michaels and World Market. I noticed myself continually checking my phone so I put it into airplane mode and turned on my “Dirty French” playlist (a compilation of reallllly good 80’s music which is what that restaurant is usually playing, hence the name). Putting my phone into airplane mode was everything… I am going to do this more often, it was nice to consciously unplug and not see any messages/emails come through for a while.

These tips and tricks are maybe not the most responsible… (as I’m writing this it’s 12:30am, I definitely lost productivity today from gabbing on the phone, leaving work early, and coddling myself a bit), but they made me feel better in the end. I am not always the best at taking care of myself. I typically just push problems under the rug and focus on work, which isn’t the most healthy behavior. As I finish writing this post, yes, it’s late… but I am in a better place than when I started and will definitely sleep very well tonight!

photography by Trent Bailey.

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Comments

  1. I like your method of doing something you don’t want first – I always find that I’m cheered up after I do something productive! Better to tackle the problem straight on!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Heidi says 8.8.17

    Nice checklist for turning around a bad day, and uber cute pink sandals! Thanks for a great post.
    Heidi
    http://www.windlasse.com

  3. Briana says 8.8.17

    Wow, that does sound like a terrible morning! Great post, thank you for all of the tips 🙂

    Briana | youngsophisticate.com

  4. Dana says 8.8.17

    Definitely needed this post, Grace. The past few weeks have been insane at work, which created some bad days. Loved reading about your easy tips to help overcome a bad day and basically just get your life back on track! Looking forward to seeing you tonight 🙂

    Pink Champagne Problems

  5. Alexis deZayas says 8.8.17

    Love the idea of taking an hour to do the things you don’t like to do! Glad you turned your day around!

  6. Ellie says 8.8.17

    Ugh the ants! Growing up in Charleston meant we had to be careful of them too. I believe they make ant spray that you use around the baseboards, etc to try to keep them out. It might be worth bringing in a pro too.

    Also, I’m sure you already know this and you might not be using Clorox with bleach, but be careful of the Clorox and Windex back to back!! Mixing ammonia and bleach is very toxic. Sorry if I’m stating the obvious, but I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen!

    On another note, I like your tip to take an hour and do something you hate…good way to reset and get it out of the way. I hope your week starts looking up!

    • I actually didn’t realize that… so OOPS! Thank you! I did wash the Clorox off before applying Windex but still – oops!
      Glad you liked the tip – it always helps!!!

      • Carly says 8.8.17

        Yes! Raid makes a barrier spray that is indoor/outdoor. It works, but I don’t have pets so make sure to check if it is toxic for your Tyrion.

  7. diana pearl says 8.8.17

    I think the doing something you don’t want to do tip is so important! It’s annoying in the moment, but just think of how much better you’ll feel after it’s done! And agreed, talking to a friend is the best medicine. Hope today is much better.

    x Diana // Pearl Girl

  8. Jenn Lake says 8.8.17

    Such great post, lady! Sending you allllll the good vibes for a better day today!

  9. Angela says 8.8.17

    Love the tip about doing something you don’t want to do. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment after completing a task that I dread doing. Thanks for the reminder! I’m glad that you were able to turn your day around!

    Angela

  10. Caroline says 8.8.17

    Playlist sounds amazing! Is your Spotify public?!?! Thinking I need some Dirty French vibes today 🙂

  11. Kendal says 8.8.17

    These are all great tips! I definitely agree that they may seem silly to some, but to people like us they really do help. I really think taking a step back and backing away from whatever you’re doing for a break is important!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    • I’m so with you on taking a step back… oftentimes we get so lost in the little details but if you just pause, you’ll see how all the small things are adding up!

  12. Lisa Jones says 8.8.17

    I love this! Sometimes you just need a quick pity party to reset. Also, I am currently having an equally disgusting situation with flies!! The only thing that has worked is setting our a few bowls of equal parts vinegar, dish soap, and 2 parts water. The flies literally fly into it and die. Same thing may work for ants? Glad you’re feeling better!

  13. Ellese says 8.8.17

    That was quite the day! I am glad you took care of yourself and left work early to run some fun errands. I understand those days where you just feel fried. Thanks for sharing what helps you turn the day around. XO, Ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

  14. Natali says 8.8.17

    Loved this post! First of all, oh my, sounds like you had bit of a messy and crazy weekend. When it goes “south” it really goes completely! 😛
    We are all humans and for me, when I’m having a bad day and nothing seems to go right, I do cry and I cry the frustration out. Then I usually take a long shower or hit sauna and after that I usually either put some of my favourite music on or go out in the nature for a long walk.
    You’re looking adorable in this dress, it’s print is so unique!

    https://lartoffashion.com/visit-croatia-d-resort-sibenik/

    • I’m really glad you agreed, and love your tips – a long shower can work wonders!!!

  15. Tracy says 8.8.17

    Great tips. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Lindsay says 8.8.17

    That does sound like a terrible day but that is awesome how you turned it around. I love the timer idea!

    Also, not sure if this will help with the ants, but I also live in an apartment in Hawaii and bugs just flourish here, no matter how clean you are. We had an ant invasion so I bought some Terro baits and put them out and they WIPED out the ants in a day! It got worse before it got better…the ants found the bait and were swarming everywhere, but then they took it back to their nest and died out. I was amazed. I believe that Terro makes outdoor bait too, so maybe you can put some on your patio and perhaps that will keep them from wandering into your apartment. Just a thought, since I know how frustrating it can be!

    • I got the Terro! It’s helped so far… but I finally bugged my landlord and she’s sending a pro. I didn’t want to bother her but am glad I did!!!

  17. Nia Washington says 8.8.17

    Thank you for sharing this post. I’ve had a bad past 3 days and reading this made me laugh, feel less alone and stop feeling sorry for myself.

    • Aw, good!!! That was my exact intention. I hope things got a little better for you.

  18. Deirdre Zahl says 8.8.17

    Awwww… See what happens when you leave Charleston? xoxo

  19. Mary says 8.8.17

    I am so sorry about your bad day! I felt like that on Saturday, too! Just a bunch of silly mishaps, which led to me crying in the parking lot of Best Buy when they wouldn’t let me return my wireless headphones. LOL- so ridic in retrospect. I hope your nose is ok! What a bummer! But I love all this advice, a lot! And, your dress and heels in this pic are ON point, so I hope you know you look like a million bucks, girl!
    xxoo
    Mary
    http://www.BelleOnTrend.com

  20. Lisa says 8.9.17

    Love these glimpses into other people’s lives, and hear about how they tackle challenges and hiccups that comes their way! Hope your week goes well, but sounds like you have a healthy toolkit of ways to fix a bad day for future situations 🙂

    Lisa
    http://www.theeverydayelevated.com

  21. Kristian Olson says 8.11.17

    Yes, you lost a bit of time by leaving early etc…. but I’m not sure you could say you lost productivity. How productive would you have been frazzled and miserable? I do love the tip about the timer though. Good luck with the party.

  22. Heather says 8.11.17

    I really love all of these tips – especially starting with the hour timer to do things you don’t want to do. Sometimes, knowing there’s an end in sight makes it easier to slog through.

  23. That is a BAD day, my friend. On the bright side, you look absolutely fabulous and Tyrion loves you no matter what! I love the unplugging advice. I need to do that more. It is always so refreshing… Hope your week has improved! xo Kristy

    • grace at the stripe says 8.15.17

      Hahah it definitely got better. And yes, I don’t know what I would do without Tyrion! Hope you had a great week, Kristy! xx

  24. Jess says 8.13.17

    Ugh what a start to the day!! These are some great tips though. I really need to try setting a timer and knocking out the things I hate doing because, you’re right, the stress of things you haven’t done doesn’t just go away while you do self-care things instead.

    • grace at the stripe says 8.15.17

      It’s so so helpful!!! Self-care is great but sometimes the effects are short-lived.

  25. Liz says 8.20.17

    thanks a lot… I just had a very bad day, too and your list made me smile and motivated me.