How Do You Cheer Yourself Up After a Bad Day?

Photo by Claudia on Unsplash

We've all had a crappy day at work. But in the nursing field a crappy day can literally be an actual crappy day (code brown, anyone?).  So how do we do it? How do we get over having a really bad day?

ModernNurse has published dozens of articles on self-care and its importance for nurses. But there are small things we all do to help get over a truly no good, very bad day. We asked readers what small things they do for themselves after a bad day. Check out what they said below and don't forget to add your own in the comments section below.

"Eating or drinking something nice and warm or something that I really like."

- Carol Y.

"I go to bed early. Put the day behind you and look forward to starting fresh."

- Lisa D.

"I unplug. No phone, no email. I read a book or put on a movie."

- Kathy J.

"A hot bath is magic after a bad day. Relaxing, indulgent, me time."

- Kristi K.

"I go for a run. Even if it's raining or cold. Doesn't even have to be a very long run, just getting outside and getting my blood pumping does the trick."

- Darren G.

"Meditation and quiet time."

- Alyson R.

"Hug my family and remember what's important."

- Joanne W.

"Art. Any kind of art -draw, play guitar, paint."

- John K.

"I get my craft on. Pinterest always has the latest easy DIY and if you mess it up at least you can show you friends a funny 'nailed it' picture."

- Penny G.

"For religious people like me, I pray and read a devotional or bible verses to help."

- Katie S.

Your turn! What small things do you do for yourself to get through a bad day? Share below in the comments section.


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Irene lyles

Though I realize that days when a lot goes wrong are going to happen, I also think that more of them happen than should. Short staffing overwhelming documentation corporate attitude towards nurses all make it impossible to have a good day. The sad part is it is the patients who pay the price. It all has to change.


I always have $5 in the car for an ice cream cone with chocolate jimmies (sprinkles for those of you not in New England!)
Recently though, Covid added to that no good, very bad day!
I wore my mask to the take-out window, ordered my cone and paid for it, but before I got back to my car so I could take off my mask, on a pleasant 70 degree day, it was running down my arm. Things didn’t improve in the car that had warmed up in the sun. I never caught up. Drip, drip, drip. And it’s only June!

Mary Anne

I skype with my kids and grandkids. They are the reason I survive on this earth. Pray before I close my eyes as well


Binge watch on mother nature. This will give you perspective; that in the great grandeur of God’s entire creation, one fallen tree is but a speck and no longer visible in the landscape.

Jamie B

I rethink the situation by evaluating whether I had control over the outcome. If not, I focus on the good part. I still give some thought to can I can change future situations? If i can affect change, I ask myself what I can I do change to improve the situation?

Corey Roman

I practice self care. I do positive self talk, pray and practice self reflection. The older I get the more I realize that if I don’t like something then I have to be a change agent. Sometimes there are things within myself that I have to change and other times it may be the environment itself.

Roselin Moncrieffe

I read my Bible and pray.


I used to do the bath or movie thing, in combo with favorite flavors (i.e. food or drink). With a baby now I don’t get much “me time,” so have to get creative: crank up good music between work and baby sitter’s, take a favorite food for lunch…and call my sis A LOT. She’s a nurse too and listens to me vent, then uses some of those special motivational interviewing skills 😝

Deb D

I ask for a big hug.

Nancy Barbaglia

I play piano if I am sad, guitar if I am stressed or percussion trap set if I am angry. Some days I play all three before I return to equilibrium……. keys, strings of mallets.


Take a nice walk, by myself, and enjoy the God given beauty of the outdoors!

Rachael L P.

I go shopping for something nice and expensive for myself or just get a complete body massage with manicure and pedicure.

Eileen Phelps

I spend some time in my sunroom with windows all around so I can the birds, squirrels, flowers and trees. I take deep breaths and am grateful that I have survived.

Cleopatra Ferrao

I take a nap and feel rested and able to deal with more.

Sabrina Z.

“I drive the scenic route home…due West, with the warm sun shining in my face.”

Kathy N.

Weather permitting, I work in the garden turning my troubles over to God. If that is not possible I start sewing or crafting and meditating.


I watch a funny show for 30 minutes.
I keep them on TiVo
Modern Family or Big Bang Theory are my go-to shows.


A couple shots of a good 18 year old single malt does it for me


I cry then take a shower then go to sleep. When I wake up I’m ready again …. sometimes the crappy day occurs too often though

Ruth Ann Pardo

Rock climb. It all goes away when you are scared #%^*less for 30 minutes and find out that you CAN!!!!


I take a day off, then spend time on making myself happy. I go for a hot shower,do it myself facial,whiten my teeth, watch netflix,then lots of rest and sleep!!

Sharon Draffin

A cup of tea with my feet up on the couch and mindless TV and my bunny on my lap and chest. I can’t stay stressed with all the bunny kisses on my neck


Hot bath, candles, good book and a massage!


Sit in my chair and put the news on really enjoy current events. Makes me forget my day and focus on the other things in the world. Good/bad, life goes on, things happen and we are not to question.

Eli B.

I take a hot water bath for a long time period.


I’ve tried them all: music, massage, food, walks. They only work if I give myself a big dose of positive self-talk and stop telling myself what a failure I am.


I go to the Bible and devotional book, Occasionally just keep talking myself out of my bad feelings, cry, or speak at the wall in my apartment. I also have a great recruiter ( I am a traveler) that will be a sounding board.