Managing Rough Days

By Nora Miller

Whether your car stopped working, you didn’t sleep well last night, you got into a disagreement with a friend, or you’re just not sure, none of us are strangers to the occasional “rough day.” On these days, sometimes one event (or lots of small events) can impact how we treat ourselves, our coworkers, and our patients.

Author, Toni Bernhard, has written multiple books about living with compassion, joy, and purpose. When you notice that you are having a rough day, Bernhard suggests focusing on being kind to yourself. Life can be hard for everyone; you can’t control when your car breaks down and, sadly, you can’t control how others treat you. However, you can control how you treat yourself! It is normal if this seems counterintuitive, however practicing self-compassion may help turn your “rough day” into a more manageable, less stressful day. Here are Bernhard’s three suggestions for implementing self-compassion:

1. Think about what being kind feels like: Ask yourself how you would treat a loved one who was having a rough day. 

2. Re-prioritize your day: Differentiate between your “absolute have to” tasks and everything else. 

3. Pamper yourself: Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, go for a walk during lunch, listen to your favorite audiobook, call a friend, or watch a favorite TV show.