How To Properly Have a Bad Day

how to do a bad day rightSome of us are so well-trained to be nice, cooperative and positive that we have no clue how to properly have a bad mood or honor a bad day.

When someone at GVU asked how to quickly shift out of a funk, she got this advice in the forum: “don’t resist it.”

There is something about doing funky ‘right’ that releases magical pent up energy and the more we resist funky moods, the longer they last. ‘Owning it’ is a good bet for a quick shift.

Nicole chimed in with practical tips from her personal experience:

I’d been suffering from funky vibe for 2+ years; I thought I was a hopeless case.

One day I was so frustrated, down, depressed, and hopeless that I GAVE UP. Totally, completely, ridiculously gave up. Career goals? F it. Relationship goals? F it. Manifesting anything? F it, won’t make me happy anyway. If I’m gonna feel this funky I am just gonna get down with it and live the funk large. Wallow in it. ENJOY the FUNK. Get to know it like no one has before. If I am an overachiever, I thought, I am going to overachieve funk. So there.

The next day the Universe promptly started cracking my life open.

The day after that brought a MIRACLE.  A big one. Like, I know small things can be miracles, but this was a “huh!!?!?!?!?”

The following week my life changed forever. Got me tuned into a new vibe. Circumstances do not matter, only state of being matters – I’m starting to realize what this means.

I’ve had some little bumps but nothing major. I have more enthusiasm, hope, focus – a little more every week.

I am floored by how life has shifted over the past couple months. And I am pretty convinced it’s because I nailed the funky vibe so completely well, with such will and dedication.

Of course we asked Nicole to expand on how to “live the funk large!”

Which I thought might be helpful for others who only know how to resist a funk, rather than embrace it.  Here’s more from Nicole:

My funks are horrible.  I could not think or focus; I was a zombie.  I could not wait for everything to be over. The only place I got relief was SLEEP but it never lasted long enough.

I know everyone says the yucky vibe eventually breaks, like a fever, but I was thinking “they just haven’t experienced my funk or they would know this is totally a terminal illness.”

So I GAVE UP. I had told myself (thought!) I’d given up before then, MANY TIMES, but this time was the real deal. How did I know? Because when I gave up, I immediately cancelled a trip that had been planned for over a year. I just didn’t have the emotional energy to DO IT, nor did I have the energy to PRETEND like

I wasn’t completely miserable.

Therefore, not only was I not going to pretend, I was not going to go – at all. This had the potential to be a serious case of “losing face” professionally but I thought – I don’t care. I give up. Everything is meaningless. So I’m not going to try. F the consequences.

I also totally gave up on relationships. At this point, I was in the world of DONE.

Yes, I’d say that is a powerful way to embrace the funk!

She shared that after embracing the funk she is:

“now in the OCEAN OF POSSIBILITIES instead of the ocean that will drown me. I can’t explain the change, all I know is – it feels different, more free, more easy, and I am less concerned about outcomes. I still care, but I’m not attached to results. I’m more attached to the state of being. I hope I STAY that way, but just taking it day by day. It’s weird.  I’m not super happy, but I’m super OK – if that makes any sense.”

That does make sense, Nicole.  Love the way you experienced that.

When I personally am feeling funky, I remember to love myself through it.  As in, I don’t beat myself up for having a bad day; I don’t blame myself for not being able to shift; I don’t even wonder how I got here.  I just BE it.  funkEE.

Because if I’m having a bad mood/day, I’m doing it right.

It sometimes involves some scowling, muttering, swearing, and slamming a door or two.  Often includes laying around feeling sorry for myself.  Sometimes it involves warning others in the vicinity.  But mostly it’s just being present to a dark, dark mood.

And guess what?  It passes.

It seems to me that the better I own it, the sooner it passes.

It’s related to what we shared in this post about feeling your feelings.

Nicole wants you to know that “even if it’s been years, the *funk itself* still desires to break.”  She thought there was no way she’d ever be de-funkified after so long, but she’s now in the longest funk free stretch in recent memory.

We’d love to hear your tips for doing justice to a rough stretch.  What do you do when you’re feeling out of sorts?

This post was written in collaboration with Nicole, a professor of quality, innovation, and productivity – she studies how good vibes can help promote all three of these!
She is one of the American Society for Quality (ASQ)’s Influential Voices and was named one of their “40 New Voices of Quality”. Her blog is at
  • September 9, 2012
  • Christina says:

    I completely agree with feeling it, letting the emotion go. There is something about just allowing yourself to break down. Definitely allowing your feelings, accepting the bad day, doing what you want to do, these are all great ways to get through a bad day and it will pass. I am still in the beginning phases of really feeling my emotions and allowing those emotions and some things are coming out that I didn’t realize I was holding in.

  • MissyB says:

    This reminds me of the blog I was going to do…Find Your Funk. Funk to me is a happy upbeat term…as in funky and the more I thought about it, I guessed others would see funk as a “down” word and not share my view.
    Nicole really did “find her funk”. I am encouraged to do the same.

  • You can’t really avoid to have a bad day once in a while. You have a very interesting topic and I love reading your blog. Everytime I would have a bad day, I always remember you as the one who says “If you have a bad day, you just have to do it right”.

  • Jen says:

    Janette: 5 minutes of extreme swearing at high volume, followed by tea. I LOVE this!
    I’ve noticed that once I judge something as “bad” (or accept someone else’s judgement) that thing goes in a box, which I then try to avoid. OK, that might be a good survival strategy on the savannah (the lion probably is bad, and you do want to avoid her) but I can’t wait around to evolve out of it!
    I still have to learn it over & over, but it’s so much better to (as they say in the military) “embrace the suck.”
    For instance, I was working in a mainframe performance tuning group, and I got curious about our most PITA customer. I asked “why do we hate them? and was told, oh, they want their jobs to have (some priority that was in short supply.)
    OK, why? What’s so important about these printouts?
    Well, they’re a chemical company, and if a truck falls over and spills a chemical, they need to send the info about the chemical to the accident site.
    Holy CRAP! I say. That IS important. Why aren’t we giving their stuff priority?
    Well, they’re a PITA, and there are a lot of competing jobs, also important, and if we dedicate a resource to them and they really only need this once in a while, it ties it up for everybody else, and by the way these guys are a PITA… we sure wish there was another way to do it, but there isn’t.
    Of course there was another way, and I found it, and the PITA customer loved us after that and stopped being a PITA entirely. I’m sure someone else would have figured it out eventually, but me deciding to embrace the pain made it happen a lot faster.
    Of course, I forget this all the time and go back to thinking that the difficult stuff is a lion. 🙂
    So thanks for the reminder. I now have to go embrace the suck of doing marketing…

  • Kate says:

    Hi, all! I really love this post — especially this: Circumstances do not matter, only state of being matters. I too am starting to realize what this means.

  • Jacqui says:

    It’s all good, funk and all.
    I am having a funkday today. It’s lunchtime and I haven’t made the beds yet. it’s all good. I embrace my funk. I am not dressed yet either and that too is all good.
    I’ll have some lunch, make the beds, grab my Kindle go read and that’s all good too.
    Funk or no funk, this is a wonderful day.

  • Janette says:

    OMG – guess what, I’ve had a funk trying to be born ALL DAY (clues – headache, sore elbow, writing that wouldn’t come even though I tried even harder….HA!!)
    Holy cow!
    And now, a few hours after my previous entry …. finally admitting IT’S TODAY. A DAY OF FUNK. GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
    I have approx 10 mins before hubby gets home. I don’t do funk well with an audience. I’m embracing the Whizz Funk – which will be about 5 minutes of extreme swearing at high (for me) volume. Followed by tea.
    w00t! Stand aside….
    PS thanks Nancy! xx

  • Janette says:

    Love this post!
    I confess, I’m still figuring out how to do MY style of perfect bad day, after a lifetime of “stiff upper lip”.
    I’m proud to say I have finally nailed Step 1 – accepting that my having a bad day does not mean I am wrong / bad / un-feminine / in trouble with [insert name of preferred deity here]
    Woo hoo! What a relief 🙂

  • Even though I had read Nicole’s responses in the forum, reading it here in this post her decision to give up sounds like an act of deep self-love. Letting go completely of others expectations and demands, and only focusing on what felt right for her in that moment.
    Same thing happened to me a few weeks ago when I let myself relax and made some decisions from self-love. Like Nicole, for me the Multi-verse responded immediately! Love when that happens!!

    Step 1 – accepting that my having a bad day does not mean I am wrong / bad / un-feminine / in trouble with [insert name of preferred deity here]

    Janette, love this reminder, too!
    Many blessings,

  • Rexo says:

    Brandon Bays writes in her book ‘The Journey’ of exactly this situation. She wondered as to why she felt a particular way and instead of trying to suppress it began to really feel the emotion, going through a process that gave her an amazing sense of peace. It seems that after a particular stage we reach a level where one gives way to the other.

  • Sophie says:

    Nothing like doing it wrong to free ourselves from the polarity!!!!
    How does it get any better than that?

  • Parul Bhargava says:

    Fabulous post!! 🙂

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