How to Bounce Back from a Minor Setback Before It Ruins Your Day (or Week)

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How to Bounce Back from a Minor Setback Before It Ruins Your Day (or Week)

We all know how deceiving social media can be. While creating a flawless Instagram feed is fun (yes, I'm guilty of this), we often only see the things that fit the so-called "aesthetic."

Yesterday, for example, was one of those days for me where I felt like the world was falling apart.

Did I post about it on Instagram? Of course not! It wasn't a beautiful, picturesque moment in my life and when I look back on my Insta memory vault, I certainly don't want to be reminded of it.

But, we've all had more than our fair share of those days, right? The ones when something less than wonderful happens, followed by another thing, then the next, and so on until the only thing left to do is hope tomorrow wants to be your friend.


Fact: Things will not always make pretty photos (and that's ok).
Fiction: Instagram's perfect photos mean life for that person must be equally as flawless.


Looking back on yesterday, I realized there were so many moments when I could have picked myself up and brushed myself off, but I did not. Instead, I dwelled on each little mishap.

While some hiccups are inevitable in life, I want to ensure that I never let one ruin my day again. Instead, I want to stop these things from spiraling out of control. Because things don't always have to be picture-perfect, but that doesn't mean they have to be absolutely dreadful either.

Here are 6 ways to bounce back from minor setbacks before they ruin your whole day.


Acknowledge it, but don't dwell.

Take a second and note that whatever it is stinks. Tell yourself "well this sucks, but it happens." Just because you vow to not let it ruin your day doesn't mean it's any less stinky, so acknowledge it, take some deep breaths, and don't dwell.

Skip the blame game.

Whether it's your mess up, a coworker's, a friend's, a family member's, or whoever else's fault, skip the blame game. It doesn't matter who caused the issue, so don't waste your time trying to figure out who's to responsible. Do yourself a favor and avoid this, because this only causes you to dwell (which is exactly what you're trying to avoid).

Walk it off.

Take a lap and give yourself a moment to collect yourself. The problem won't fix itself in a second, but taking a walk around the office, house, or outside to get some fresh air can help you re-center yourself. Pro tip: keep a cute mug by your desk at work for an easy excuse to get up for a bit (also because they're cute and inspirational). If it's the weekend, even better! Invest a little extra time in yourself.

Write it down.

A lot of times writing things down takes what's bothering you out of your head/heart and transfers it to a piece of paper where it should stay. Hence why writing in a diary is always cathartic. It doesn't have to be a novel either, even writing one sentence can help you get out of your thoughts. Buy a cute journal and never be afraid to jot something down.

Talk it out.

If you're anything like me, this one might not work for you in the midst of the upset, but it's definitely helpful once it's over. If you don't like writing down your thoughts and prefer talking them out, do it! It's so important to say them out loud if you can because, like with writing, venting is cathartic.

Start fresh.

Once you've written down your feelings or ranted about them to a pal, start again. Think of it as "starting fresh" rather than "moving on" - to ensure you've actually let go.


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How to Bounce Back from a Minor Setback Before It Ruins Your Day (or Week)


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How do you bounce back from minor setbacks?


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36 comments

  1. I really try not to put too much stock in instagram (as a blogger it can be difficult not to). Everyone is presenting and "image" even if they don't do it intentionally. My life will never be as pretty as my instagram's messiest photo, and that is OKAY (:

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    1. Oh absolutely! It's all about creating the perfect aesthetic. I personally love Instagram, but it's so so important to take a step back from it every once in a while and remember it's not the full picture! Thanks so much for reading :)

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  2. Journaling is so helpful for me after a setback!

    -Maya
    www.mayafleming.com

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    1. Journaling is soo helpful for me too! I always prefer to write things down in the moment and then talk it out later! Thanks so much for reading, Maya! xo

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  3. Writing always helps me get back into a good frame of mind after I've had a setback. I try not to let little things derail my days!

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    1. I completely agree! Writing is my go to for most setbacks. I often use any frustration as inspiration for blog posts! I always love when I can turn a negative into something productive/positive.

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  4. These are such good tips! I could have used this blog post yesterday when I did not have a good day- haha!! :)

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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    1. Aww thanks, A! I'm so happy you found them helpful! Wish you were able to see the day before, but I hope your week started to look up! Thanks for reading! :)

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  5. Writing things down and talking it out with people I trust are probably two of the best ways I combat sucky situations. If there's nothing you can do about a situation, it's best to just acknowledge it and then move on, like you said.
    I love the point you made about how certain circumstances don't seem "Instagram worthy" because bad days aren't what other people want to see. I've definitely felt like that before, and I purposely not posted on social media when I was having a bad day. It's a great reminder that everyone else's lives don't always look like what they post online. No one's life is perfect, but we can make the best out of small setbacks. :)

    TendrilWild.com

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    1. Bria, I couldn't agree more! I always love writing out whatever is going through my head and talking about it with close friends later. Those are the two ways I acknowledge it, but don't dwell. As far as Insta goes, you couldn't be more spot on. I love using Instagram as my own little memory vault and there are just some things I don't want to remember. Most people do feel this way and for that reason, it's sooo important to remember social media is so far from the full picture of someone's life. Thanks a million for your continued support, I can't thank you enough :) xo

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  6. YES! I wish more people would skip the blame game! IT doesnt do anyone any good! I always try to take a walk like you suggest and find the next solution.

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    1. Seriously, the blame game is a complete waste of time! Skip that ish and keep on keeping on :) Thanks so much for your love! I'm so happy hear you enjoyed!

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  7. Ah yes all great tips to bounce back from a small mishap during the day! These steps are easier said then done sometimes for me personally so I def need the reminder because they are totally on point !!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're so right. I couldn't do these things the other day when I needed to (as I was out and about and everything just kept piling up) and sometimes things just go wild and someone suggests writing or talking about it and I'm like "HA! Yea right!!" Even the most calm and collected people will have some of those days, but it's always helpful to know the ways I can bring myself back when my day has started off a little rocky. Thanks so much for reading, Kit! You're the best :)

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  8. These are such great tips! I always walk and refill my water fountain and take a few seconds while it's filling up to take some deep breaths in. That always helps to clear my mind!

    Tori
    www.mooretori.com

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    1. Exactly! I do this same thing! Make a cup of tea, grab some more water, run to the bathroom, and get up and out of my spot for a minute. It's so helpful to just recenter and collect my thoughts. Thanks so much for reading, Tori :)

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  9. This is something i'm always working on improving about myself since I have a tendency to over-analyze past mistakes or issues. Taking a walk always helps me, though!

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    1. Oh girl, I feel you! I'm constantly trying to improve myself because I am the queen of overthinking. It's especially hard to do the above if you're too far into the storm haha. I always find it works best when I'm just starting to feel the rain come on. But if it's already pouring, it's much much harder. (Not sure if that analogy makes much sense?? Let me know HAHA!)

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  10. Love your points about skipping the blame game and talking it out. I find that talking with someone if/when I'm upset is pretty helpful for me!

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    1. Ugh the blame game is bad news! It's definitely tough to avoid sometimes, but if you can skip it, it will save you time and worrying. Thanks so much for reading, Katie!

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  11. I love start fresh! If I have a bad morning, I will go outside, go for a walk, or leave the office then come back and call it a do-over!

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    1. I think this is key for me, too! If I just sit in the same spot I tend to dwell and continue thinking about it until it becomes unnecessary worrying. Getting up and taking a lap (especially if it means a little fresh air) makes a big difference for me. Thanks for reading, Maegan!

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  12. Great post and reminder. Definitely not dwelling on things helps me move forward.

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    1. Totally! Dwelling on things is a recipe for disaster, so I always try to avoid it if possible. Sometimes it's tough not to overthink things. But the best we can do is try to pick ourselves up the best way we know how!

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  13. Great tips! I personally am a fan of writing things out. I can have something so heavy and upsetting on my heart but if I take a few moments and write it all out, I feel as though that weight has been lifted off of me!

    xoxo, SS


    Southern and Style

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    1. 100%! I can't agree more. I love writing things out as well. It's so cathartic and I instantly feel better. I also love using emotions to inspire blog posts like this one. I think it's so helpful to take a crappy day and make something positive and helpful for others out of it! Thanks a bunch for reading, SS!

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  14. I need to remember to not play the blame game. It's such an easy thing to do in the moment, but it really doesn't do any good.

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    1. I'm definitely not perfect when it comes to that! Every time I do it I'm like "never again," but it's really a hard habit to break, so I feel you! I think it's natural to want to point fingers at someone, but it really doesn't get us anywhere. I try to remind myself of it all the time. Thanks for reading, Audrey :)

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  15. Great & much needed post! I have been letting minor things completely ruin a day more than I'm proud of. I usually try to talk things through with a friend so that I can determine if I'm overreacting. If I am, I try to laugh at myself and move on. If not, I try to write it out and get it out of my system.

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

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    1. Oh I am absolutely right there with you! Sometimes we have those days where we can't win. I always find it helpful to chat with friends or family because they're the only ones who can calm me down when things get too out of whack. If that doesn't work, writing or creating content is the best way for me to recenter myself. Thanks for reading, SS! xo

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  16. These are great tips! It's always our choice if we want to let something have an effect on us!
    -Nicholle
    www.nichollesophia.com

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Nicholle! Some days it's much easier to brush things off than others, but it's always important to find ways to bounce back even when we can't control it! :)

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  17. That instagram thing is so true, it never shows what's actually happening in a person's life! I try to think about the bigger picture when dealing with minor setbacks, and that normal helps me calm down a bit!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

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    1. Yes! It's so true. Looking at the big picture is so important in order to really focus on what matters. Thanks so much for reading, Sami! xo

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  18. I most definitely agree with how deceiving social media can be! It only shows one moment and never those minor setbacks. Thanks for sharing these tips, I think that they're definitely ones that we need to remember to avoid spiraling downwards.
    Rebecca
    www.thebloomly.com

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    1. I think you're so right! Sometimes when our day doesn't start out the best we brush it off as having a "bad day," but I think it's important to try and stop it from spiraling into a bad day! Definitely a list that helps me, so hopefully it can help you too! Thanks so much for reading, Rebecca! :)

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