I like to talk about mood, because I think it’s a touchy subject, and I get a real kick out of touchy subjects.
And mood is definitely one of them.
People are very sensitive to their moods, and about their moods, and more specificaly, their moodiness.
Last night, I noticed my husband getting tired and I said to him
“You’re starting to get grumpy”
for no other reason than that I noticed it.
He responded with “well so are you”.
And you know what happened? I got mad at him.
Here’s your sign! He said next “You know how I know you are? Cause that was a joke and now you’re upset.”
Okay so we were both a little over-worked and exhausted from yet another too short and too busy weekend.
The point is, our moods affect us big time. And the people around us. And that includes our kids. Which means we might be thinking they’re having a bad day, they are overtired, cranky, or extra sensitive today, when in fact it’s more likely you are the one with the bad attitude and your poor kiddos are just mirroring you, the same way they do with everything else you do.
But a bad mood isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t have to define your entire day. There are a number of ways to turn that frown upside down. Some of my favourite are enjoying a glass of wine, reading a good book, a little one-on-one with my hubby or a long hot bubble bath.
NEWSFLASH– I have two kids at home. And a business. And responsibilities piling up higher and higher the longer I pout about whatever isn’t going my way. I can’t just drop everything for a passionate make-out session, although there are days when that would be the perfect antidote.
So I have to get creative on how to nip a bad mood in the bud, before this tornado destroys everything in its path.
Honestly, I haven’t mastered the art of being a chipper and cheery Stepford style mom, always ready for anything and positive attitude. And the truth is that’s just not me. I’m a real person with real feelings and I need to feel them sometimes. And other times, I need to get on with my day.
So here you have it, a list of the top ten things I’ve found effective for turning a bad mood into a better one:
- Go outside – You can go for a walk, or just sit in the sun. Your kids would probably rather be outside anyway. Nothing like fresh air and Vitamin D to brighten your mood and make a crappy day look a whole lot lighter. You don’t have to do anything special when you get there. Just take your coffee and your kids and walk out the door.
- Eat some healthy food – Chances are your crappy mood is a reflection of the way you feel inside. I am always in a bad mood by lunchtime if I didn’t have enough food or enough good food for breakfast. Ever notice that your kids are cranky at 5 o’clock? When was the last time they had some protein or a vegetable? I know now to prevent this crash with a big plate of veg between 3-4pm. But I sometimes still forget and when I do I know what went wrong and how to fix it!The same rules apply to us adults. The food we eat affects our brains as much as our bodies. We need good food to keep us feeling good and in a good mood.
- Drink some water – Along with the theme of #2, our bodies and brains also need water – and a lot of it – to function properly. Are you cranky? Short with your kids or angry at your partner for something did or did not do? Drink a glass of water. Chances are being dehydrated – a state most of us live in on a regular basis and don’t even know it – is a factor in why you are in a bad mood to begin with.
- Put on some good music – Act silly for a few minutes. Whether it’s a dance party (our family favourite) or not, anything that will make you smile and laugh will lift you out of your slump. The responsibility of Mom life and house work and everything else we do can get heavy, and it’s OKAY to remember that it’s OKAY to just have fun.Your kids will definitely appreciate the break from the norm and you will make some seriously special memories at the same time.
- Phone a friend – And VENT. Get it out there. Whatever it is that IS getting you down, letting it stew and build up inside you is not the way to deal with it. Phone a friend or a sister and get it out of your system. Chances are they’ll sympathize, and even better, you’ll likely end up laughing by the end of it. Saying it out loud, whatever it is that’s bothering you, will take a lot of the weight out of the problem and give you a better perspective for dealing with it.
- Exercise – Need I say more?Your body needs to move so move it. Pick up something heavy, do a few sun salutations, take a walk. Get out of your head and into your body for a few minutes.
- Clean something – No I don’t mean like rage cleaning with the rubber gloves and Clorox. Unless that makes you happy, then of course proceed. I just mean organize a drawer, or tidy up your pantry. Clean up some toys or fold some laundry. Beginning and finishing a task can be extremely satisfying, as well as distracting your mind from whatever has got you down!
- Build something – Or bake, or make, or create something. Similar to #8, to start and complete a task is incredibly satisfying psychologically. Just don’t take on a huge task that will add to your to do list when you don’t have time to finish it. Maybe some muffins, or a craft with your kids, something to make you feel like you’ve “done something” and can stop dwelling on whatever has you grumped up.
- Take a deep breath and count to ten – This actually works. And you can do it with your cranky kiddo too. You may need to do it a couple times, of course, but it works. There’s a reason people keep saying it, it has a seriously calming (and distracting for kids) effect on the mind and body.
- Get mad – and then get over it. I tell my son all the time when he gets that ragey look in his eyes. “If you need to get mad, go in your room and be mad, and then come back when you feel better.”It is okay to be in a bad mood, but it’s not okay to dwell on it all day. If something happened that upset you, or if you are feeling completely out of control of your life ( totally normal mom stuff hellooooo ) then go ahead and get mad. Or sad. Have a cry, let it out. But then move on.You have big responsibilities to get back to, so have a pity party, then pull up your big mama panties and get on with all the important shit you have to do. Cause people need you. Mind you they’re annoying stinky tiny little people, but they need you, and they need you at your best.So don’t stay there long, or they’ll follow you down that rabbit hole and they can cry and scream and moan way louder than you can. You’re no good to anybody in the rabbit hole.Stay strong mama. You got this.