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5 Simple Words That Can Turn A Bad Day Around

“If your heart is beating, if your lungs are breathing, if you are still alive… then it is not too late to do something kind, creative, generous, satisfying, and courageous. Today.” ~Alexandra Franzen

It was one of those days.

You know the ones—when nothing really bad happens, but everything just seems to go wrong. When lots of little annoying things happen and the day seems to spiral from there.

This was one of those days.

I had woken up with a headache and decided to hit the snooze button on my alarm (twice) so I didn’t have to face the day yet, which meant I had to rush to get ready and make it to my first university class of the day.

I ended up getting to class late (and I’m one of those people who hate being late), and as the day went on, things got worse.

In another class, I found out that we had a test that I had completely forgotten about and hadn’t prepared for.

Then later on, I was meant to be meeting up with a group of people to work on a group assignment, and no one came.

So by the afternoon I was pretty over it.

“Could this day get any worse?” I dramatically thought.

And then it did.

When I was walking home I got caught in a rainstorm and discovered that there must have been a hole somewhere in my shoes. I seriously felt like I was in a movie where someone was having a comically bad day.

As I stepped in the door I decided that the day was ruined and there was no point in trying to do anything now, but I stopped myself in my tracks with one of my favorite mantras by Alexandra Franzen:

“Today is not over yet.”

This mantra shifted my thinking immediately and I realized there was still time to make the day count.

After all, it was only late afternoon.

So, I had a shower and put on dry clothes. I waited for my boyfriend to get home and we headed into town, where we bought mint raw chocolate and kombucha. We walked around the town and through one of my favorite parks.

We ended up getting burgers for dinner, having a really meaningful conversation, and then going to see a movie.

When I arrived home that night I realized how profound those five words had been and how they had helped me completely turn my day (and attitude) around.

Earlier in the day I could have chosen to give up on the day, but instead, I made a choice to find a way to make the rest of the day count—to do something that was meaningful for me—all because I reminded myself that the day wasn’t over yet.

My day went from being the worst day of the week to one of my favorite days of the week, even though it definitely wasn’t all good.

This wasn’t just a one-off experience; I’ve used this mantra so many times, with amazing results.

There was the time where I felt like I had wasted an entire Sunday and this mantra inspired me to head outside and go for a walk, where I ended up witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.

There was the time where I was having trouble getting some writing done, and this mantra convinced me not to retreat to the couch and binge-watch my latest Netflix obsession. As a result, I ended up getting more work done than I wanted to.

There was the time where I felt like everything that could go wrong was going wrong and I had been in an unhappy mood for days that I just couldn’t shake. This mantra inspired me to spend one hour writing down every single thing that I could think of that I was grateful for, which turned around my day (and mood) completely.

And this is just the beginning. Time and time again I’ve used these five words to turn my day around.

I love using “today is not over yet” as my mantra to turn a not-so-awesome day around because:

1. It is a powerful reminder to find a way to make the day count.

This mantra reminds me that there is still time to make something good happen, no matter what has happened so far in the day. It reminds me that I don’t need to wait for a new day, a new week (or month or year) to decide to make it count.

2. It reminds me that I have a choice.

And when I’m not having a good day I can choose what happens from that moment. I can choose to throw the day away, or I can make a different choice and try to find a way to make the day count.

3. It reminds me to do something (or many things) each day that are meaningful to me.

It can be easy to fall into the habit of living each day on autopilot, but this mantra makes me re-evaluate how I’ve been spending my “life-minutes” and reminds me to be intentional about making this day—and each day—count for me.

4. It reminds me to be grateful for each day, no matter what.  

As Alice Morse Earle said “Every day may not be good…but there’s something good in every day.” And this mantra helps me to be intentional at finding and creating the good in each day.

So no matter what has happened so far in your day, if you want to make the rest of your day count, you can!

To make this day count you might like to:

  • Do something kind for yourself. This might look like doing something you love that you don’t usually make time for, giving yourself a five-minute break to breathe and have a cup of tea, or asking yourself “What do I really need right now?” then doing it.
  • Do something thoughtful and generous for someone else. This might look like helping someone out with something, or telling someone that you’re grateful for them and why, or writing someone a note and sending it to them in the mail.
  • Do something productive. This might look like doing that thing you’ve been meaning to do for ages but haven’t gotten around to getting it done, making appointments that you’ve been putting off, or cleaning an area in your home.
  • Do something you wouldn’t normally do. This might look like going to the movies in the middle of the week, or baking a cake even though it’s no one’s birthday, or going for a walk on a trail you’ve never been to.
  • Do something—anything—that is meaningful for you. Something that makes you feel like you’ve made the rest of the day count.

So whatever time you’re reading this, whatever has happened today, know that there is always time to make the day count.

The day doesn’t have to be over yet.

It’s up to you what happens now.

About Chloe Wigan

Chloe read her first self-development book when she was twelve, and started meditating and practicing gratitude when she was thirteen. Today, she is a certified life coach and writer who inspires incredible young humans to transcend what they think is possible. Connect with Chloe and get free access to The Infinite Collection at oneinfinitelife.com.

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  • Ohhh great article Chloe! I’m going to remember this – and definitely share on my platforms. Thank you.

  • Rachael Kable

    I absolutely love this piece! What a great reminder that we have the power to consciously choose how we react to challenges. And that we can still turn a tough day around! Beautiful xx

  • Felicity Watson

    Such a terrific article Chloe. I love your perspective and suggestions for changing a negative mindset. More and more I am convinced that small things can make a big difference in our lives (including a solitary cup of tea and a moment or two to reflect). Thank you, I enjoyed reading this.

  • Dhruva Das Munshi

    Fantastic article. It changed my mind about my work and effort. Thank you very much.

  • Thank you — so glad to hear that you enjoyed the article 🙂

  • Thank you so much for your kind words Felicity. I agree that small things can make a big difference to our days — and therefore our lives. I also find that acknowledging these small things can be powerful in shifting my mindset. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  • I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this article Rachael. I love how you completely got the point that it is within our power how to respond to things. Wishing you all the best with turning those not-so-great days around in the future 🙂

  • Thanks so much Naomi. I hope you find Alexandra’s “today is not over yet” mantra to be a powerful reminder to make your day meaningful for you. I would love to know how you go with this 🙂

  • Joel Scott

    Great article. I recently had one of these days and used similar tactics to “get through it”. You said it best when you said, “be grateful for each day, no matter what.” We do not know when it will be our last.

    We often get caught up in the negativities of the day, and it is those negative thoughts that prevent us from realizing the true potential of the day. Brush them off and move on. I cannot think of a time when something better and more amazing was just around the corner waiting for me.

    Thank you Chloe.

  • Joan

    I really enjoyed reading the article, so much so that its made my day better already.
    I am going to print it out as well, so I can keep it as a reminder that the days not over yet.

  • Lisa Kelly

    I LOVED THIS POST!! So much so that I am saving it for future inspirations. It is so true, and so important that we hear this message and remember it. Thank you for sharing this. It was a very valuable reminder to stop, take a step back, breathe and then move forward in any small positive way that can make the day better.

  • Lisa, thank you for your kind words. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the article and the message. I love that it reminded that you can choose to move forward in a positive direction. I hope this will be useful for you when you’re having a bad day 🙂

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Joan — and I’m also so glad that it helped to make your day better already. I hope this can be a powerful reminder for you to make each day count 🙂

  • Thank you Joel, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, I truly believe in being grateful for each day we are given and I think gratitude can be super helpful in bringing us back to a place where we realise that the day has potential (no matter what has happened) and we can choose to move forward with a positive mindset.

  • pranjali sinha

    Such an inspiring article. You have already made by day ..Thanks for sharing your experience and beautiful thoughts which will inspire many others… I will always try to remember this thought ” TODAY IS NOT OVER YET” …lots of love n blessing to u

  • suemenow

    Yes… A while ago I realized saying I was having a bad day was a self fulfilling prophesy…and just silly.

  • suemenow

    But a good night sleeps can certainly reboot the mind

  • Yes I completely agree with you about the self-fulfilling prophecy, we can always choose how we respond. And yes a good night sleep is always amazing for a good refresh 🙂

  • I’m so glad to hear that and I’m thrilled you enjoyed the article. I hope that the “today is not over yet” mantra can help you out in the future 🙂

  • Denise Buchman

    Great post Chloe! I just listened to a podcast this morning about recording your own voice each morning and saying 1 great thing about yourself – listen to it a few times later in day as you drive, in bathroom at work, where ever – hearing your own voice say “denise your so creative with your business strategies” or “denise you rock” – over and over it changes your mindset – deep stuff that we do not learn in 1st grade! xo thanks denise

  • Sounds amazing, thanks for sharing Denise 🙂

  • Lisa Miller

    Chloe Wigan I really enjoyed the story, and found it really helpful. You are a great writer. It’s 4 PM right now, and my day has been shit so far, but I’m going to do something right now to turn it around thanks to you!

  • Thank you so much Lisa. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it and it was useful to you. I’m so glad you decided to do something to turn your day around. I hope there ended up being something good in that day for you