How to Deal With an Incredibly Crappy Day

by Alli Polin on March 29, 2016

crappy day

We all have those days. You know, from the moment you wake up, your spidey sense is tingling and telling you to watch out, crappy day ahead. As if you are a world-class fortune teller, the day unfolds as expected.

On incredibly crappy days it’s not as if one thing goes to hell, it all does. Maybe it starts small, like terrible traffic on your commute making you late for a critical meeting. Since you’re late for the meeting, big decisions are made without you. Of course, the people who made the decisions didn’t have the full story and now your workload has doubled, and timeline halved. To top it off the school nurse calls and tells you that your child has lice, come and get them immediately.


Incredibly crappy.


Okay, you can either go home and get back under the covers, close your eyes and hope it’s all a bad dream, or you can use this five-point strategy to get through it. Notice I didn’t say to turn your crappy day into one filled with sunshine and unicorns. Sometimes the best you can do is to persevere; the key is not to hide your head in the sand.

How to Get Through Your Crappy Day Like a Boss

Accept the Day is Off Track

When things go wrong, you can either get angry over and over or accept things as they are. Sometimes the worst things take you right to where you’re meant to be (even when it absolutely doesn’t feel like it).

Go Somewhere Private and Scream (or Curse)

It can help to let off some steam. Give yourself 60 seconds to freak out. Sixty. That’s it. No complaining or whining or mumbling expletives for the rest of the day under your breath.

Treat Yourself to Something Good

On your worst day, you can still let in a ray of sunshine. Buy yourself a coffee, grab lunch away from your desk or take a walk. Do something for you even if it’s only a small oasis amidst the day’s crap.

Remain Positive

We see what we look for, and if you look for more crap, that’s what you’ll find. I’m not suggesting that you become a real-life Pollyanna but instead make a conscious decision to look for something, anything that’s going right.

End the Day With a Promise for a Better Tomorrow

Before you go to sleep and carry the stress of the day with you like a ton of bricks, let it go. Breathe deeply and give yourself a release. Today is over; the crappy day is done. Set an intention for tomorrow to tune your spidey sense into the good and that’s what you’ll find.

What do you do when you’re in the midst of a crappy day? What are some of your fave ways to cope?


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia Bazin March 29, 2016 at 7:19 am

Simple but powerful reminders on how to deal with those bad days. We all have them. The great thing is we can always start off fresh the next day. Thank you Alli!!!!


Alli Polin March 29, 2016 at 8:18 am

We do all have them! Luckily, we always have tomorrow.

Thanks so much, Cindy!

~ Alli


Karin Hurt March 29, 2016 at 7:27 am

Such a strong and important post. My favorite is your last point… sometimes when I have a day like that, when my head hits the pillow I think, “ha… well, survived that. Good job 😉 Let’s start again tomorrow.”


Alli Polin March 29, 2016 at 8:19 am

Surviving is sometimes the best we can do. Gotta accept your best 🙂

Thanks, Karin!


Jon Mertz March 29, 2016 at 7:51 am


In each crappy day, there may be a small reminder of better days or a lesson we can take to heart. Both strengthen us and move us forward. Moving forward is essential!



Alli Polin March 29, 2016 at 7:56 am

I’m with you, Jon. Today was crappy for me yet I had a moment, a small reminder, of what matters most and carried it with me. Made all the difference.

Thank you!

~ Alli


Blair March 29, 2016 at 8:30 am

“Sucktastic.” That is all I have to think about. That word you made up cracks me up and could probably steady my mind . . . but mostly, the fact that you put acceptance first is so spot on. It’s probably the hardest, but makes everything following much easier.


Alli Polin March 29, 2016 at 8:58 am

Some days are nothing short of sucktastic. 🙂

Acceptance has to happen or all we’ll ever do is wallow in the crap (yuck!) – that’s not good for anyone. I also agree it’s the hardest, but it’s also freeing. Worth it.

Thanks, Blair!

~ Alli


Terri Klass March 29, 2016 at 9:36 am

Wow! I just love your post, Alli! I especially love your point about “Treat yourself to something good.” The thing that helps me cope with days gone wrong is calling a friend and hearing their voice of “I care”.

Here’s to a better day tomorrow, knowing we are resilient and will manage to get through whatever curve we are thrown.

Thanks Alli!!


Alli Polin March 30, 2016 at 6:51 am

Love that you reach out to a friend and your good place is a place of connection.

Here’s to living a resilient life!

~ alli


Jill Leigh March 29, 2016 at 11:38 am

I begin with looking for sunshine and unicorns. Not really. Not at all. Not ever.

I do like the idea of accepting what is while finding something good. Because there’s always something good – even if it’s acknowledging that in 8 hours the work day will be over!

And sucktastic. That word is a keeper.


Alli Polin March 30, 2016 at 6:53 am

There is always something good, isn’t there? Finding the sweetness in amidst the bitterness and crappiness is a skill worth cultivating.

Glad you like the word sucktastic too. Some days there is no better word.

Thanks, Jill!

~ Alli


John Bennett March 29, 2016 at 1:17 pm

‘Sucktastic’ (love your new words!!!) days will happen for everyone! This caught my attention: “Sometimes the worst things take you right to where you’re meant to be (even when it absolutely doesn’t feel like it).” Yes, sometimes, our chosen path left out an important component, making that path / day ‘sucktastic’!!!

Nothing is ever set in stone unless we quit, go back home and jump under the covers… Choose to understand what’s happening, learn from it, and deal with it! And, yes I believe, things will improve – maybe including the sun coming out and the birds chirping!!!


Alli Polin March 30, 2016 at 6:55 am

We feel stuck, we think we’re set in stone until we decide we’re not – the same goes for sucktastic days. Great news is the worst days don’t last forever and the bad news is neither do the best.

As always, appreciate your insight, John!


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