A(nother) bad day? How do you cope?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-12-06 21:19:36 -0600
Started 2013-11-10 19:27:28 -0600

You felt it as soon as you woke up in the morning: A bad day ahead. Or, another bad day.

If you are living with a chronic condition, a bad day can mean not feeling all that great, having to take it easy, maybe cancel some plans. But it can also mean not being able get out of bed.

A bad day can be a pretty lonely experience, suffering while it seems like everybody else in the world, or at least your world, is doing what they usually do. Being alone with the thoughts can run through your mind may cause you to turn up the volume on your bad day, to ask yourself questions like what this means for your future. All that thinking can set off more alarms, including some that don’t need to be set off. Along with feelings like fear, disappointment, and frustration.

Something to consider: How you think about your bad day – your perspective – can impact how you experience it. However, by changing your thinking, you can also help yourself to cope.

I recently posted an article on how to cope with when you have a bad day. Here is a link:


Now it’s your turn. How do you handle those bad days that come up? Any tips to share? Need some ideas?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

33 replies

GabbyPA 2013-12-06 09:32:55 -0600 Report

The worst thing I can do when I am having a bad day is be alone or in bed. I have to get up and do things to keep my mind off of me. So unless it is such a bad day that I am sleeping, I will be doing just about anything to get me going. Sometimes it just means popping in the ear buds and listening to some music or getting out to walk the dogs even when I don't want to. They always make me smile. Even cooking can help me on a bad day.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-12-06 10:34:44 -0600 Report

HI Gabby,

Thanks for checking in. It comes down to giving yourself a gentle push to stay involved in your life in some way, hopefully doing something that brings comfort to the day, like music and pets.


GabbyPA 2013-12-06 11:58:17 -0600 Report

My pups are the best. When you feel really down, there is nothing like sitting quietly and just petting the pooches. They are so unconditional.

Kats49 2013-11-23 21:36:01 -0600 Report

I have several health issues, and I am on Cymbalta 60 mg once a day. I use tai chi, stretching with bands and prayer to ease my bad days…I made a promise to myself again…that since I am 60 I want to live to be 61 with a healthier body. I had to retired due to a heath issue…and that alone depressed me…I learned that stress and depression go hand in hand with Diabetes..didn't really know that until catching an article on this site. Five years ago…I bottomed out for four days with sugars dropping every nite down to 30…my dog kept me alive…he kept nosing me and whining to get me to wake up…I was blessed the day I adopted Blue who is a black border setter/collie…he is my lovey dovey. That is the week I asked for a referral to go to my new endocrinologist . She was my husbands endocrinologist, he passed in 2004. My GP is great but I needed more direction…
My son and his wife moved in in July of 2011 That wasn't as stress less as i thought it would be…We are dealing with it…still have issues and struggles..but they can't afford to move and I love the pitter patter of little feet…even the clunking of my 30 yr old son..My A1C in July of this year was 5.9 down from a 7.8 in April 2013. I have lost 42 pounds since 6/2013.I now swim three days a week..sun or snow…can't break my promise this time…God is helping me stay strong. I get two hours of pain relief from the swimming and on two days out of that week I am in training with Tai Chi. I have significant spine disc disease, my lower back is almost crushed, my pelvis shifts out of place sometime several times a day. VERY painful..not on any drugs either since 6/2013. That is a win/win for me…All of this exercise has strengthen my body, mind and soul. There are really nice people in the same pain game that I am in..we all are on different parts of our journeys. We support each other. We all made a pact to not bring our anger or depression inside the recreation center. IT works!! Joints are stronger, I have balance back..am on a walker..but that is okay..it is NOT a wheel chair. In the water, I am like every one else, have great upper body strength, now when I fall I CAN get my self up any where in my home. I also wear a whistle around my neck in case I am outside and need assistance. Also, have a 100 foot O2 hose so that I can go outside to the front and work in my plants. can also get myself to safety if there is a car /truck bumper close. I roll well…and sometimes I have to butt scoot…I am blessed that I still can drive.
Gabapentin eliminated the nerve pain ..but is messed me up cognitively. Couldn't remember anything from one day to the next..and didn't know it was happening. My own kids were so mad and angry at me…and I them, because it seemed like they weren't doing anything to help me.. I was ANGRY really angry. Depression and anger run in my family BIG time…very scary place to be…I lost both of my parents at different times to suicide. I am breaking all the rules of my inheritance/genes…it will stop with me. My children and their children are better educated about their genes. and they fit into their jeans..:) I am a strong-willed, outspoken at times, I tell it like it is,I love with all of my heart and give with it too, but if you can't take me at my worst, then you sure don't deserve my BEST. My husband Owen and I were together for 34 years..wonderful years, struggling years, but all with love and respect for each other. Through my faith I will be reunited with him in time, it is all in God's hands. I doubt people but I have NEVER doubted my faith. For me taking that first painful walk around my 2 block block walk in my neighborhood. I weighed a bit less than an Elephant but more than a Gopher. I have many miles to go..but i can mentally do this now…Going to be on a walk with wonderful people 12/08/2013 for arthritis. i presented at age 8, my daughter at age 11…no one else in my family has it…so go figure that one out…I am the youngest in my own family and have three diseases that no on else has…heart disease runs on all sides of our families.so my kids know that..alcoholism, depression, and arthritis run from their mama and their papa …Education and resiliency…Faith and LOVE…all go hand in hand. I do another thing when I get overwhelmed with my family…I go to visit or stay with like minded people…During the fourth of July…I had three open invitations..from friends. It works for me..I get relaxed and come home happy. I deescalate the situations before I say something that in reality hurts me not them…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-24 13:34:38 -0600 Report

Hey Kats,

Thanks so much for checking in and letting us know what's been going on with you. It sounds like you have been through a lot in your life. But you have a really empowered attitude, facing life on life's terms, and taking good care of yourself, staying active in your life. You are an inspiration! And I get you are an inspiration to your family and friends, too.

I realy appreciate that you took the time to share your optimism!


TsalagiLenape 2013-11-14 13:33:59 -0600 Report

Not to sound negative but that is what I have had for almost three weeks. Yet I believe I get up do what must be done and if that is all I can accomplish for the day I am happy. For tis better to do the must haves aka walk the dogs than do odds and ends that can wait. Since I have no one else to help me, aside my nephew Al with the dogs, I dont have a choice. Right now being able to do the must haves is great. Just keep plodding forward is what I am doing.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-14 22:36:46 -0600 Report


Always glad to see you here. It has been awhile since we have been in touch.

Believe me, no need to worry about sounding negative. This is a place to talk about what's going on with you, the good and the not so good. Setting priorities is a good idea. Do what's important, what you must, let the other stuff wait. One step at a time.

I am really sorry to hear you are having such a long stretch of bad days, I really am. And I hope things get better for you soon.

Either way, please keep in touch and let us know what's going on with you. You are not alone, my friend.


Grandmama16 2013-11-13 21:50:03 -0600 Report

It's difficult to cope when there's nothing I want to do but sleep. It seems that just more and more meds are added on and I still don't feel well, dull headache, dizziness, inability to get going, . I guess I'm just a downer. I'm pushing 70, diagnosed last year with type 2 but suspected a few years before that. I take Cymbalta for depression & fibromyalgia for years, as well as 2 blood pressure meds, Dexilant for acid reflux, pain med, 1500mgs Metformin, 500 mgs of Nuerontin which has been increased from 300, and I guess my B/S is controlled being 120's to 190's but sometimes lower and higher. I think certain foods affect people different ways. I just don't know what to think. There is a med that fights sleepiness, Nuvigil, that I use a few times a week when I need to be somewhere, 1/2 tablet, but it seems silly when I'm taking 1/2 tab of Ambien at night, or Xanax, to sleep yet am awake at 2 am or so. What I really want is food…eat very little, but need exercise probably. Am overweight but not badly. Using the computer, I Pad, causes anxiety but here I am anyway. Husband is wonderful tho has Parkinson's, Retired, and coping much better than I am. Best time of day? Going to bed where we listen to an audio book, and he falls asleep almost right away. Then I read. I guess I should've written this under What causes you stress?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-14 22:33:07 -0600 Report

Hi Grandmama16,

Thanks so much for jumping into the discussion, and for sharing what's going on in your life.

And it sounds like you have a lot going on, and that you are doing everything you can to take good care of yourself. I am glad you are here!

I am also a big reader. A great way to escape for awhile. But when I read at night, I make sure I read something that is going to inspire or relax me. No detective novels at night. Maybe you are the same way.

I hope you are having a good week!


Young1s 2013-11-13 19:26:41 -0600 Report

Man, this one is a hard one to admit to but my bad days really suck. I don't want to do anything. No cooking, no cleaning, no nothing. I'm mad, I'm sad.

My saving grace, my family's saving grace, is that the next day is gonna be better.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-14 22:18:33 -0600 Report

Hi Young1s,

I am glad you have that positive message coming at you on those bad days. Staying optimistic, expecting that the next day can be better, is a really good way to help get through those bad days. I am gonna keep that one in mind.

Thanks for sharing this, my friend!


margokittycat 2013-11-13 18:37:48 -0600 Report

Everyday for me for the past 4 months have been bad for me. I am sufrig from chronic migraines an non of the meds they have given me are working. Shots of tordahl don't even touch them. Thinking, listenin to any kinda of noise is th lst thing I want to do. Very rarely do I evenge on my computer.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-14 22:16:14 -0600 Report

Hey margokittycat,

Thanks for sharing what's going on with you. That's what we are here for, my friend. I am just so sorry to hear that you are suffering so much. I am keeping you in my thoughts and in my prayers.

I hope you will keep in touch with us. Let us know how you are doing.

Take good care of yourself,


Bekah Nikole
Bekah Nikole 2013-11-12 20:10:16 -0600 Report

When I have a bad day I turn my music up loud (so that eay I can't think too much) then I start cleaning the house or baking. I love baking so much that even though I can't eat about 90% of what I bake, it still takes away my stress or lightens me up if I'm depressed. I send it with my Hubby to his work and they now look for cookies as soon as they see that he has one in his lunch. I dance around and sing while I bake and clean too. If it's a really bad day I'll make sure to put in some extra exercise (I'm a BIG believer in the happy chemicals) or I'll call my Mom or curl up with a favorite old book. One thing that has been a little pick me up lately has been coming on here and seeing other diabetics helping each other. It gives me hope everytime I'm on here.

vivdg88 2013-11-13 19:43:19 -0600 Report

on my Bad days i like Baking also.giving the food to Fam & Friends .i am the same can't eat half of what i make,but it relaxes me.curling up with A good book works too !!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-13 18:16:31 -0600 Report

Hi Bekah,

What a beautiful post! It is always good to hear someone talk about a hobby that gives them joy. And I suspect what you bake brings a lot of joy to your husband. Fantastic! And I agree with the value of exercise. Get those endorphins flowing!

So glad you are here. Helping each other is what DC is all about!


lorider70 2013-11-12 09:43:30 -0600 Report

I don't think of any day as "bad
" as long as I am able to open my eyes in the morning. Take my meds, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have long ago abandoned the idea that medicine or doctors have the ability to return my youth and health, so it's become a "make the best of it" situation. Difficulty walking has been helped some by using a cane, neuropathic, arthritic pain is helped some by meds, at 70, what more can I expect. Diabetes is held in check by meds, but being stable does not relieve symptoms of complications one bit.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-13 18:05:08 -0600 Report

Hey lorider,

Sounds like you are doing everything you can, and living life on life's terms. What's important is to do everything you can to take good care of yourself, one day at a time. Thanks for checking in!


pinkmatriarch 2013-11-11 13:18:44 -0600 Report

my grown daughter told me to get a life when i retired, and i did. lost 40 lbs. and i have lost that daughter to cancer and i am trying real hard not to eat myself to death. i appreciate the abstract issues of diabetes. i will learn tricks to cope. thank you

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-11 17:51:03 -0600 Report

Hi pinkmatriarch,

Nice to meet you. I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you are getting lots of support. Glad you are here, my friend.


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-11-11 12:33:30 -0600 Report

Dr. Gary, I think I have become the "Queen of Coping". I have so many things going on right now, there are times I wish I could go up on the roof and scream.

My coping can be any number of things.

-I read a lot of books and get many of them free for my Kindle app on my tablet. I take a break and read a couple of chapters.
-There is a vacan lot next to me on one side and and unoccupied home on the other side. I dig in my vast collection of music and blast the stereo.
-I surf the web, watch music videos on You Tube or instructions on how to learn a new jewelry technique or DIY Projects. We changed the kitchen faucet watching a video on You Tube and saved $300 bucks. I have actually been to the end of the internet.
-I watch movies and if I can't find one on cable, I did out one from my movie collection.
-This past summer I grew flowers and when I couldn't deal with something I went out and tended them.
-I take a walk
-Chat with friends and family on the phone.
-On January 2nd, the dinning room table becomes Jigsaw Puzzle Central and remains that way until Easter.
-Find special things I can do just for me

When you find things that will take your mind off your problems for an hour or two, it can be very relaxing. You have to learn not to take things personally. Take care of small problems before they get to the point where you have to handle them. Get rid of all the drama in your life and the people who create it. Learn to live and enjoy life and have fun. Don't make problems others are having your problems. You have to let it go and walk away. Every now and then, you have to stop to smell the roses.

Carla48 2013-11-12 04:59:02 -0600 Report

Wow, Joyce, what a great post! I had a really bad day last week, that was part of a mostly 'bad week'. I really appreciate the suggestions!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-11-12 12:52:36 -0600 Report

Thanks Carla. There are all kinds of distractions out there that can make a bad day seem better. Just find something you enjoy doing and go for it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-11 17:48:23 -0600 Report

Hey Joyce,

As always, thanks a lot for posting one of your excellent replies. Some really great ideas here for bad day coping. You have truly earned your crown!

We used to do jigxaw puzzles at home during the winter when I was a kid. I am going to have to pull one out. A great way to relax.

Thank you!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-11-12 12:48:38 -0600 Report

Mom and dad gave my sister and I a jigsaw puzzle when we were very young. We still have them with all the pieces. They are the best way to relax during the winter months. I don't do any puzzles under 1000 pieces.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-11-11 19:38:15 -0600 Report

Love my jigsaw puzzles on my computer. Takes less space in the real world. Plus lets me turn my own pics into puzzles. Nothing like unbadding a day curled up with a good jigsaw puzzle.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-11-12 12:45:48 -0600 Report

Must be jigsaw world on facebook, I play it everyday and get disappointed when I have to wait to get more coins for a new set.

Landser08 2013-11-11 11:40:00 -0600 Report

On days like that I try to spend more time with my family. If I am by myself it is a lot harder to deal with. If my wife sees me having a bad day she will try to get my mind off of what is bothering me. My daughter will get me to do things with her. Some of those things might be like baking something or watching or watching one of her favorite shows or movies.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-11-11 17:35:02 -0600 Report

Hi Landser,

Nice to meet you. And thanks for checking in. Support is so important on a bad day. Let your loved ones distract you with something positive. A great idea.


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