6 ways to move on from bad news

6 ways to move on from bad newsWe’ve all been there. Being let down at the last minute or receiving news that is upsetting. How do you cope and move on from bad news?

I thought I would use my recent example of being let down by our builder to show you useful ways of moving on.

The Bad news

Two years it took us to find the perfect builder. He did our bathroom last year. We seemed to have a trusting relationship. He talked with us about our plans of doing work downstairs, and he agreed to start the work in April. He rang me on Saturday to say that he was retiring and decided to not take on our job. I was upset. I’ve been imaging the changes downstairs. Patiently waiting. Knowing it would happen soon. In a moment he took that all away from me.

It may sound daft but the news knocked me sideways. I was welling up with tears. My thoughts were turning to ‘it will never be done’ and ‘why always us?’. I also started creating scenarios in my head that the work would never be done. I would always have to use my oven that burns my cakes.

Calm down and stay in the present

I knew I need to calm down and stay in the present. I therefore went on a walk and carried out some mindful walking. I focused on trees (which are beginning to bloom) and let all thoughts go away. It helped. I felt relaxed. No longer upset I started reminding myself about previous times when I felt let down and the successful coping strategies that I put into place. I needed to stay in the present and just re-evaluate the past and learn practical ways to move forward without any negative emotion.

Let go of the emotions

However, yesterday I started to feel really angry towards the builder. He had broken his promise. All the words that he gave us felt like a lie. I could feel the rage on my way home yesterday. I started imagining texts that I would send to him (they weren’t pretty) and what I would say to him.

Just before I went to bed, I was reflecting on this anger. I didn’t want it. I wanted to let go of it. I certainly didn’t want to feel negative towards to the builder or have this feeling that it was the end of the world. I therefore sat down and wrote a letter to the builder. I wrote all my emotions and thoughts down. I told him how I was feeling. Gosh, I felt better. As I ripped up the letter, I told myself that I would let go of the anger.

Of course, we would have the work done. We would not be beaten by this set back. Most importantly contacting the builder would not be helpful to him or me. He had a right to change his mind. More importantly, it was him letting me down. I must not let myself down. This helped me sleep with ease last night. I knew all my emotions had been written down. No point thinking or worrying about them anymore.

Put things into perspective

This morning I still had negative thoughts in my head. I therefore needed to put things into perspective, and accept the good as well as the bad. Therefore today I wrote down three things that I was grateful for in my home and reminding myself what was important to me. This helped me realise that it was not the end of the world. Imaging the situation as a big catastrophic disaster was not helping. I just needed to re-evaluate and to make an action plan of how we can proceed with it.

Identify new opportunities and action plan

I have therefore down a plan of how to get the ball rolling in finding a new builder and set myself a new deadline of when all the work will be finished. On that list was not anything to do with the old builder or any other silly ideas. I am only thinking of practical ways to move forward. It will be a new opportunity to have fresh ideas on the plans and we will appreciate the work when it is done.

To recap when you receive bad news, ways to move on:


  1. Calm down. Breathe. Do some mindfulness.
  2. Stay in the present
  3. Think of ways you have coped with similar situations in the past
  4. Write down your negative emotions and let them go.
  5. Put things in perspective – do not catastrophise and stop being negative
  6. Identify new opportunities and appreciate them. Create an action plan


Have you had similar experience of receiving bad new or any tips of how you move on from bad news?



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