Turn Your Bad Day Around in 1-2-3!

Welcome  I’m not having a very good day today.  I could tell you about all the house issues we’re facing right now or how my legs and feet hurt on my walk this morning.  I could share the many anxieties I’m fighting today, but that’s no fun!  What we really need to talk about is how to turn those bad days around, the sooner the better!  The radio caught my attention recently when the afternoon host said, “Having a bad day?  I’ll tell you how to turn it around in three easy steps.”  After listening, I found it to be quite useful, so I’m going to pass it on and even use it myself today.

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Food For Thought  I listen to the radio most every day while I’m writing and working.  I listen to a local contemporary Christian station, which I just love.  In addition to playing positive, uplifting music, they share scripture, devotional, and other positive thoughts throughout the day.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where my radio station friends found the information about the three steps to a better day, but the information is out there somewhere, and it’s good.  I tried doing an internet search for “3 steps to turn around a bad day.”  I found lots of information but nothing that matched the few minutes shared on the radio broadcast.  I just want you to know, these steps are not my own idea, but the commentary following is my opinion.  I share this because it’s good.  It makes sense.  It’s doable.  Most importantly, it works!

So the words of advice are, if you are having a bad day, you can turn it around in three steps.  The three steps are broad, but this allows it to fit each individual and their schedule.  So here are the three steps:

When you are having a bad day, turn it around in 1-2-3 by:

1 Do something you NEED to do.

2 Do something you WANT to do.

3 Do something for someone else.

That’s it.  Simplistic and easy to remember, but seriously, by the time you complete these three steps, you likely will feel better, possibly even optimistic.

Here’s my own personal explanation of these steps.  Please note, I am not a licensed therapist or doctor in any field.  These are strictly my opinions.

First, if you tackle one of the items from your to-do list, you will feel an amount of accomplishment, but you will also feel less guilty about doing the second step, making it more beneficial.  This might be a task for your job or a housecleaning project.  Mow the yard or get the monthly budget and bills taken care of, knowing your next agenda item is something fun, just for yourself.

Second, doing something you want to do will relieve stress and release amounts of the feel-good, happy hormones, dopamine and serotonin.  I have found that doing at least one thing for myself each day keeps my mood more balanced and my perspective more realistic.  I’m less likely to feel like “everyone” else is having fun without me.  My “want” activities can vary day to day and season to season.  Some of my favorites are reading, drawing and painting, baking, going for a walk, or yoga.  And don’t feel guilty!  Rather than feeling selfish for doing something for yourself, think about how beneficial it will be for those around you when you have more patience and are in a better mood.

Third, doing something for someone else takes the focus off of yourself and your problems.  Research has found there to be many benefits for both mind and body through the act of volunteering.  You can read more from the Harvard study here.  Doing something for others could be a big volunteer act, which sometimes requires planning ahead, or it can be something simple like calling to check on a sick friend or relative, writing a gratitude letter to a mentor, running an errand for your spouse, or donating some of your unwanted clothes to a local charity or family in need.  In the process, you are thinking about others and how to be of service to them, not how bad the day has been and all the problems you still have to solve.

By the time you have completed all three of these steps, your mind will at the very least be more relaxed and focused.  At most, you may realize you don’t have it so bad after all.  I have tried this and it really does help me.  I hope it helps you too.

Today’s Scriptures  We all have bad days sometimes.  It’s just part of living this earthly life.  In addition to the three steps to turn around a bad day, I also recommend time in scripture.  I haven’t always turned to the Bible to help me deal with my worst days, but that’s been changing in the past year or so.  I have found it to be extremely comforting to turn to God’s word when I feel like everything is falling apart around me.  Here are some of my favorite verses for this purpose.


Today’s Recipe  Sometimes what I want to do is bake!  That’s what I wanted to do today.  I did my other steps as well, but there’s no time like right now to share the recipe I used for today’s baking project.  Knowing how my husband loves poke cakes and cinnamon rolls, I thought this would be a great chance to try out the recipe I found at ihearteatingI tweaked the recipe slightly, so please go check out that great website for the original along with other great recipes.  And here’s my version of Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake.

Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake
Poke cakes are super moist. This easy poke cake recipe takes all the flavors we love from cinnamon rolls and put them into a delicious, moist cake, without all the hassle of cinnamon roll assembly.


Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake

For Cake

  • 1 16.5 oz box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs

For Cinnamon Filling

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


* Note, when I say “softened butter,” I mean really soft, almost melted, but not liquified yet.

Turn oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Beat cake ingredients in mixer on low for 30 seconds.  Continue to beat at medium speed an additional 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  For this recipe I used my Kitchen Aide Classic Stand Mixer and an Anchor Hocking 9×13 Glass Cake Pan, both available from Amazon.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

While cake is baking whisk all the cinnamon filling ingredients in a separate bowl, into smooth enough to pour.

When cake comes out of the oven, use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake.  Pour the cinnamon filling over the top of the cake allowing it to run into the holes.  If needed, help spread it across the cake with the back of a spoon.  The cake will absorb the filling quickly.  Allow cake to cool completely.

Prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese and butter together at medium speed.  Add vanilla and powdered sugar, beating on low.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat on medium speed until desired frosting texture is achieved.  Once cake has completely cooled, spread cream cheese frosting over the entire cake.


I made this for the first time today and oh, my goodness!  It is SO GOOD!  It is very sweet, so a tiny piece will likely do, but if you like cinnamon, you definitely need to try this one!