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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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?


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

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.


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!!!!

Roselin Moncrieffe

I read my Bible and pray.


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.

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.

Eli B.

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


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.


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.

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.