5 Ways to Improve a Bad Day in 15 Minutes or Less

by Vault Careers | April 03, 2012

  • My Vault

Maybe you're just having a case of the Mondays a la Office Space, or you're having a full scale meltdown. Either way, you can turn it around. Just stop, breathe, and read this. We'll get you through it.

1. Go for a walk

If you're far gone enough that you're in danger of throwing a hissy fit or bursting into tears, do no collect $200, do not pass go—remove yourself from the situation immediately and take a walk.

Physically leaving the scene of office turmoil can work wonders for your state of mind. You'll be amazed how relieved you'll feel just remembering there's a world outside your office. And don't doubt the combined powers of sunshine and exercise: together, they're the mood boosting equivalent of the Captain Planet rings uniting. And for even better results…

2. Listen to music

Though it's probably best to avoid the really mopey Radiohead tracks, the cheering effects of music don't really depend on genre. Whether you prefer boppy or introspective songs, studies have shown that music of any kind can help remove you from an irritable, angry frame of mind to a more pleasant "happy-elated" or "soothed-contented" emotional state.

3. Connect with friends or family

Studies have shown that holding a spouse's hand reduces stress, while hearing your mom's voice releases similar feel-good hormones to a hug. So reach out; whether it's scheduling a coffee break with your S.O. or ducking into the hall to call family, do it. Connecting with loved ones can make you feel better on a chemical level, and (perhaps more importantly), remind you that you have support outside of work.

4. Take a coffee break

Getting away from your desk is a great way to perk up anyway, but the caffeine from a trip to the coffee shop can be instantly uplifting as well. Studies have shown that a cup can immediately boost alertness and energy, beating back the blahs. Long term, people who drink caffeinated coffee (vs. decaf) are less likely to suffer from depression.

5. Look at this post on Buzzfeed

No headphones, coffee machine, or time to take a walk? Look at this.

Feel better!

--Cathy Vandewater, Vault.com

Read More:
10 Tips to Beat Job Search Burn Out
Game Inspired Tactics to Get You Motivated
5 Ways to Cut Down on Your Sick Days

Filed Under: Workplace Issues

A Day in the Life of a West Coast Wall Street Banker Life on the Beach: What's a Consultant to Do?

Vault welcomes your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers. Review our User Guidelines.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Become a Vault Basic Member

Complete your Vault Profile and get seen by top employers