So, You're in a Bad Mood

The other day things did not... go well. At all. Nothing catastrophic but just one thing after another, ranging from irritating to embarrassing to frustrating to hurt-feeling inducing. By, oh, ten in the morning I was in tears in the bathroom. It happens to the best of us, right? Thankfully, my truly bad days are fairly rare, but semi-bad days definitely show up. But life's too short to indulge feeling subpar for prolonged periods of time*, right? So, here's how I make my bad moods better, just in case today is one of those days for you:

1. Make plans (preferably with friends): Social interaction makes us feel warm and fuzzy and having something to look forward to is always nice. On my said bad day I confirmed breakfast plans the following day with a friend, reached out to another friend for lunch next month, and also looked into taking a croissant making class at Sur la Table in September.

2. Bake or cook something unfamiliar with lots of steps: Occupying your mind with something that requires concentration can help distract you from the crap bringing down. I made a pasta dish that night with lots of chopping and prep.

3. Exercise, preferably outside: Endorphins and all that. But really, even if it's just a fifteen minute walk around the block, it'll help. Bonus points if you take your dog. 

4. Drink something caffeinated and take a vitamin or fish oil capsule (unless you already took yours today, in that case good job): I am generally exhausted and something caffeinated can give me a happy jump. And the vitamin? I usually forget to take them, so it makes me feel on-top-of-it and like I'm doing something healthy (I know, I know the jury's still out on whether they truly are).

5. Buy something (within reason): I know this is probably not something the financial experts suggest, but whatever. I discovered the clearance section on the Boden site had some dresses I had wanted months ago and had abstained from. It made me feel DAMN happy to know that in a week or so I'd get a package with some pretty back-to-work clothes in it. 

6. Acknowledge your bad mood: Sometimes the "fake it 'til you make it" thing totally works, but sometimes things are tough to ignore. Admit your shitty attitude and figure out what's causing it. Can these things be fixed? If so, how? If not, how can you work towards accepting them? Don't wallow, but respect yourself to let yourself be less than happy once in awhile. 

7. Don't set yourself up to fail: For me that means don't read the news, attempt to get a few minutes alone (ha), try to not force my kid to do anything that induces whining or crying or irritating noises in general, and to not look at email. 

8. What would you tell someone else?: A friend and I were talking about this the other day and it's a really great exercise in perspective. Another good one that goes along with this is "will it matter in a day? Week? Month?" 

9. Go to bed early: Once in awhile I'll wistfully say to my husband, "Remember that one time, back when we lived in the apartment, and we went to sleep that one night at like 9? That was so amazing." I hate going to bed that early because I feel like I'm screwing myself out of an hour or two of "being off" at night, but I know a lot of times bad moods are induced by a lack of sleep. 

Hope everyone is having a good one. If not, hang in there. We've all been in your shoes.

*Obviously there's a differences between bad moods and something more prolonged and serious, like depression or anxiety. So, if you think it's more than that talk to your doctor or a loved one for guidance! 

1 comment:

  1. I love this! Exhaustion-induced (or at least exacerbated) bad moods happen more now I have a toddler who is a bit of an erratic night sleeper lately -- he could be up for 5 minutes or an hour (or not at all) depending on the night, and I can't always get back to sleep easily once I've been up with him. Then he's got that boundless-toddler-energy-thing going on (regardless of how he's slept!) and it's pretty easy for me to get grumpy when he is then being particularly stubborn, uncooperative, or whiny (yea, he's 2, I know, par for the course). Just recognizing why I feel the way I do does tend to help and my #1 remedy is going for a walk outside. Just getting us both out in the fresh air helps so much -- it really feels like a reset button to me most times.

    I totally get the not wanting to give up your "time off" too. Doesn't matter how much we love being with our kid, we need that break. Sometimes it's worth using it to get extra sleep, but I'm really bad at choosing that myself. No matter how tired I am, I usually have a hard time falling asleep if I'm too far off of my usual routine.