Skip to content

25 Proven Ways to Make Today a Better Day

Don’t worry. We got you.

It's not just you: Times are tough. The daily developments surrounding the coronavirus epidemic have us all feeling apprehensive, anxious and stressed at times, even as the vaccines open up America. The good news: There are simple things you can do to feel better fast. First, turn off the TV news. Next, read this list of experts' advice on how to get through a difficult day. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Symptoms Everyone Needs to Know About During This Pandemic.


Take a Breath

breathing in

An incredibly effective anti-anxiety tool is your own breath. Practice deep breathing: Breathe in for a count of four, then out for a count of four. You'll find yourself relaxing almost immediately.


Take a Break

Young black woman sitting on the floor at home stretching

Distract yourself from a stressful day by taking a ten-minute break to do something relaxing, like stretching, meditating or going for a walk.


Keep Things in Perspective

Worried woman at home alone

Remember that this tough day is only one of many—and there will be easier ones to come.


Realize You're Not the Only Person Who Feels This Way

African grandma video chatting on tablet

When you're stressed or anxious, you may feel totally alone. Remember that you're not.


Keep to Your Routine

man shaving in front of mirror

"Maintain as normal a routine as you possibly can," says Steven Rosenberg, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and behavioral specialist in Philadelphia. "It's easier to cope with whatever is going on. But you have to be realistic. When you're under stress, it can make things harder to do. Be patient with yourself, allow plenty of time to get things done, but a schedule is important."



Middle aged woman sitting in lotus position on a carpet in his living room. her eyes are closed. she is in the foreground

"Escape a little bit, if you can, through nice music or meditation," says Rosenberg. "Learning how to clear your mind can really help you get through a stressful period of time, whether it's this pandemic or a difficult time in your life."


Realize That This Too Will Pass

Woman Standing By Bedroom Window And Opening Curtains

"Everybody is stressed out, life is changing, but this will pass at some point in the future, and life will get back to normal," says Rosenberg.


Connect With Others

Mother and daughter using computer, waving while in a live video chat

Take some time to socialize with friends and family. Isolation only worsens stress and anxiety.


Get Some Exercise

Woman doing butt squats

Exercise lowers stress hormones in the body and helps release endorphins, chemicals that naturally improve your mood. Even a quick walk around the block can help.


Try Mindfulness

man take break at workplace relaxing finished work, happy black professional employee enjoy success rest from computer feeling stress relief peace of mind sit at desk

"At times, tough days can blast your mind to the past or catapult you into the future—pick your poison," says Jacob Kountz, a marriage and family therapist in Bakersfield, California. "Mindfulness is a technique that attempts to put the brakes on that process to slow things down. This can be achieved by taking a few minutes of your day to notice what's going on in the present so you don't have to time travel anymore."

Start in a quiet place. "Begin to focus on what's going on within your body: your heartbeat, how warm you might be, and even the feeling of your fingers rubbing together," says Kountz. "Also, you'll notice thoughts roaming in your mind at the same time. Notice the thoughts and allow them to come in and out of your mind without judgment."


Try Relaxation Apps

Mature Man With Digital Tablet Using Meditation App In Bedroom

"I highly recommend the Calm app for daily meditation, excellent talks on self-development and sleep stories to help manage symptoms and get through difficult moments," says Haley Neidich, LCSW, a Florida-based therapist.

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Diabetes, According to Science


Put Your Thoughts on Trial

man writing

"Tough days can get heavier if our thoughts are tilted toward negative emotions," says Kountz. "Sometimes these negative emotions develop from thoughts that are considered unhelpful or irrational. A good rule of thumb when dealing with pesky automatic negative thoughts is putting them on trial."

He explains: "Grab a piece of paper and make two columns. Begin writing out each negative thought in the left column. Let's say the first thought is, 'I'll never get to see my friends again because of this coronavirus." Now, move to the second column and challenge the thought by placing it on trial. Ask yourself, 'Is it really true that I'll never see them again? Or will we just be separate for the time being?' With enough practice, challenging certain thoughts may help you get through tougher days."


Try Positive Self-Talk

Young African designer looking through window thinking about the future

"You want to stay as positive as you possibly can in times of stress," says Rosenberg. "Look at positive self-talk daily. An affirmation that I do every single day is, 'I am thankful, grateful and appreciative for all that I am.' And that's everything that makes me up—my friends, my family, my loved ones, my pets, everything that is part of me."


Tune Out the Negative

Coronavirus outbreak: A woman reading news/updates about coronavirus and getting anxiety/depression

If you're anxious about something that's going on in the news, switch off TV news channels and don't spend the day on news sites. Stay informed by checking in briefly a few times a day.


Stay in the Moment

Woman thinking with wrinkles

"When you're in the moment, you're not dwelling on any negativity of the past, and you aren't anticipating any negativity of the future," says Rosenberg. "You are in the moment, and in the moment, you have control over what you are doing now." 


Eat Well

Middle-aged couple having fun cooking together

"Take some time, even if minimally, to enjoy a hearty breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner," says Matt Glowiak, Ph.D., LCPC, a therapist and professor in New York City. "Homemade meals are generally not only healthier but also elevate happy neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin."

RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say



Affectionate middle-aged couple relaxing on a sofa together at home laughing at something on a tablet computer, natural and spontaneous

Put on a favorite comedy show or watch YouTube videos. Laughter decreases stress and increases endorphins, those feel-good hormones that activate the body's opioid receptors, which decrease discomfort. 


Try Visualization Techniques

Young woman making a frame gesture with her hands as she visualises a new project standing against a white wall

These can help with relaxation and to put you in a positive mindset. For example: Close your eyes, take three to five deep breaths, and imagine your body filling with white light. 


Create a Playlist

Close up woman holding Smartphone and using Spotify application on the screen

Music can help ease you out of stressful moments. Turn to your favorite playlist on Spotify or channel on Pandora.

RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts


Do Extra Self-Care

Woman reading in a bath

"Our lives are overstressed anyway, so in a time of crisis, we need to double down," says life coach Andrea Travillian. "For me, this looks like activities sprinkled throughout the day. So I will take a meditation break, a short walk, or a bath. Anytime I am feeling fear, I step away."


Take a News Fast

women watching tv and use remote controller

"If you feel a chunk of your stress is coming from what you're consuming on news and social media sites, take 24 to 48 hours—or even a few days—for a news and social media fast," says life coach Stacy Caprio. "You can take this time to take extra care of yourself physically and mentally, and to recharge from the news barrage you were likely in before."

RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science


Realize You'll Grow

woman sit on couch hold laptop look in distance thinking distracted from online work

"Say to yourself, 'This is a moment in time, and what can I learn from this?'" says Lynn Berger, a licensed mental health counselor and career coach in New York City.


Externalize Your Thoughts

Woman thinking

"Sometimes, tough days are filled with thoughts that don't help out and only hinder us," says Kountz. "Unhelpful thoughts can look something like, 'I'm not strong enough to handle this.' Take the thought and now add some space to it. This can look like replacing the original thought of 'I'm not strong enough to handle this,' with 'I'm having the thought of not being strong enough to handle this.' This adds some space between you and the belief and make it less personal."


Get Good Sleep


"Another great way to get through those extra tough days is to try and improve your overall sleep schedule," says physician Anna Cabeca, DO. "Do so by making a point to get at least seven hours of sleep a night."

RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers.


Accept What's Possible

Seniors couple wearing medical face mask and recovery from the illness in home. quarantine. health

During periods of crisis—like the coronavirus pandemic—things can seem out of our control. But that doesn't mean we're powerless. "Here's what I've noticed when it comes to what seems to still be in our control: how much news you watch, your perspective and attitude toward the present, how you'll practice what the CDC suggests, the way you can cope with tough days, practicing things at home that are meaningful and the list can go on—if you allow it," says Kountz. "Days can become easier once we're able to place our focus on what we can control rather than what we cannot. " And to get through life at your healthiest, don't miss: This Supplement Can Raise Your Cancer Risk, Experts Say.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
Filed Under