Everyone has bad days, no matter what position they’re at in life. To expect someone to be on top of their game 24/7, 365 days of the year, is an impossible expectation, but unfortunately, sometimes life demands that we keep moving on. There will be times when you’re having a horrendous day but need to go to work anyway, or you’ll need to run important errands when all you want to do is curl up in bed and take a nap. 

This can be particularly frustrating for people in leadership positions because sometimes that position is the reason you’re having a bad day in the first place. Maybe you’re dealing with an unexpected conflict between team members, or you got an email that completely ruined your mood. Whatever the situation, not knowing how to handle these emotions can lead to poor reactions and future regrets.

As a leader, it’s important that you try to avoid as many regrettable actions as possible, so learning how to deal with a bad day is crucial. Thankfully you aren’t alone in this endeavor—you’re not the first to lead despite a bad day, and you won’t be the last. Here are some tried and true ways that could help you get through your bad days. 

Build Emotional Intelligence

To be emotionally intelligent is to be self-aware of how your attitude and actions affect others around you. Normally you’ll be able to use this to further your team in their goals and ambitions, but if you’re having a bad day, you can use this intelligence to keep your attitude from impacting others negatively. It’s important not to drag others down with you, so being aware of your state of being and compensating for it can help make sure that, despite your bad mood, the day still goes smoothly.

Don’t Make Important Decisions

The last thing you want to do when having a bad day is to make any important decisions. When you’re making these kinds of decisions, you need to be fully in the game, and intense emotions can easily take you out of it. Often, intense emotions can lead you to make decisions you’ll regret in the future. “Don’t make tomorrow’s decisions based on today’s emotions.”

Call it a Day

It might feel like you’re giving up, but calling it a day when you’re having a really bad day is actually a smart choice to make. You’re not helping anyone if you’re staring at your computer for hours on end, getting absolutely no work done. Don’t think of your value in terms of how many hours you put in with work—your value comes from what you produce, not how many hours you put in. Two productive hours is worth far more than four hours where you struggle to get anything done.