Go On, Get Mad – And then get over it – 10 Tips To Beat A Bad Mood

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.

 

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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:

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

I will NOT apologize for my body.

I’m just not interested in having guilty conscience. I work too danm hard, love too damn deep and give too much of my attention to the good parts of my life to live with a sense of guilt about the way I look, or the way that I don’t.

And yet here we all are, or at least a good large number of us, apologizing for the way we look. Making excuses for why we haven’t lost the last ten lbs or worse yet, why we gained weight during and/or after a pregnancy.

Girl you were hungry. You were working really hard and you were exhausted and your body asked for food and rest so you obliged. There is not a thing in this world that is more important that knowing your body and listening to its needs.

#noexcuses can go fuck itself. 

I have two kids, I have a house to take care of, I have food to cook dishes to do, floors to clean, kids to snuggle, a husband to love on, a business to run.. oh yeah and I’m 5 months pregnant.

I have #alltheexcuses. And I do not have an ounce of guilt about pulling one or two out, when it suits me.

But here’s the thing, I shouldn’t need excuses. I should not need to excuse myself from a societal prejudice about women and their bodies and how they should or not should not look at any point in their lives.

I don’t need excuses because my body is none of your damn business. Not the way it looks, not the way it feels, not the way it smells or tastes or how much or little it jiggles.

my body, looking one way at one point and sometimes another. bored yet? me too. let's move on.
my body, looking one way at one point and sometimes another. ….bored yet? me too. let’s move on.

I am not my body.

My body can not and will not define me as a person.

At this stage in my life, I am a mother first and foremost. By which I mean it is my most important role.

So in this, I think of my own mother, and my own childhood.

When I think of my mother, and my childhood, and being a child and the good and the bad and all that came with growing up I NEVER EVER assoicate any of it with my mother’s body. Or my father’s for that matter. My mother’s physical appearance had absolutely zero to do with the kind of parent she was, and more importantly with the kind of mother I percieved her to be.

My love and admiration for my mother came from the time she spent with me, the trust she built with me, the ways she taught me to be a woman and the way she let me become that woman on my own.

It terrifies me to think that my daughter will go through life thinking that her appearance – specifically the size and shape of her body – are the most important part of her. It has become increasingly apparent to me that we live in a society where young girls are spending more time working on their appearance than their education, career, and the mark they will leave on the world.

I know this because I lived this.

I spent way too much of my young life thinking more about my waistline than my bank account. More hours a day thinking about what foods would make me lose weight than about where I’d like to travel next. I spent way more money on clothes and diet fads than I did on my education.

Because if I wasn’t keeping up with the trend, if I wasn’t up to the current standard of society, I wasn’t good enough.

I created and lived in a reality that dictated what size I should be, and if I wasn’t that size, I felt the need to apologize and make excuses for why I wasn’t.

I had a #noexcuses mindset about my body but I was not too concerned if I couldn’t afford rent or food that month. 

 

I am going to change the conversation in my home, and hopefully in others’ homes too. My daughter will never apoligize for the way she looks. And her appearance will never matter more than her brain, her strengths or the kindness in her heart.

It has taken me until nearly the age of 30 to realize I am more than my looks, more than my body. I missed out on way too many experiences, even ones I was present in, because I was thinking more about how I looked than how much fun I could be having.

I want to be remembered for my skills, my mind, my family, my contributions and my accomplishments. Not the size of my jeans, or my ability to pose for a selfie.

But I truly didn’t always feel that way.

There were way to many days when I thought whether or not I had visible love handles would decide whether I was deserving of love or not. 

 

And I don’t want my kids to miss out on their youth because they’re worried that fries might affect their figure.

I do feel the need to make one apology, to myself. For letting my insecurities ruin perfectly perfect beach days, camping trips, and girls nights worrying about my belly fat. I will make sure the next 30 years have no such concerns.

But through those experiences, I learned a lot. Most importantly,  not to waste another minute caring what someone else thinks of my body.

THAT – I will not apologize for.

Sex, Lies and Peanut Butter: The First Trimester

 

Hiding a third pregnancy is kind of hilarious, at least it was for me. First of all, my body was really excited to round out, and I had a bump in the first couple months. Second, I already have 2 kids, ergo I drink. I don’t drink large amounts of alcohol, but I drink a small amount of wine often.

 

These were pretty easy tells for anyone who knows me, or has ever met me, or has ever run into me at the liquor store. But alas, I still feel safest in knowing I am out of the first trimester to share our exciting news with our friends and families.

 

It was even harder to hide this time, especially since I share so much of my personal and family life online, not to let it show how much my life had changed. I was a dead giveaway to a mom-friend of mine who noticed I had been sending a lot of NapChats rather than SnapChats(@jillybrittany) and knew how out of character resting was for me. But I made it through, all the way documenting the oddities and cravings that came with the first trimester of my third pregnancy, so that now I can share it all with you. Do you care? Maybe not. But I’m going to tell you anyway. Cause that’s just the kind of girl that I am.

 

What I ate:

I managed for the first 8 weeks or so eating pretty normally. It took me about that long to realize I was even pregnant and I think the lack of change in my diet had a lot to do with it. I was still eating salads for lunch, eggs and bacon for breakfast, lots of protein. I had no problem drinking coffee, which is usually my first sign. Once coffee starts to feel more like crack then I know something is off.

But then somewhere around 8 weeks, everything got blurry. As in I slept as often as a girl with 2 toddlers. I ate exclusively peanut butter and toast until about 4 pm every day because nasuea had become my whole life, and I had developed an unquenchable thirst that left me dizzy if I even went 30 minutes without a glass of water. Ugh. It was bad. This lasted more than 6weeks, right into my precious 2nd trimester(which I will tell you ALL about too of course, at a later date).

 

I supplemented my sad diet with smoothies packed with greens and just kept on keeping on. Even my beloved bowl of oatmeal made my stomach churn. So toast and PB it was, at least until I could stomach a few bites of dinner around 6 or 7 pm.

Who I told

 

The only people we actually told in the first trimester were our parents and siblings. No one else seems need to know. Oh and the couple we did the Tough Mudder race. Since I skipped a couple of events and I was feeling very competitive, I wanted them to know I had a legit reason for not wanting to get electric shocked in a pool of mud – and not just the obvious.

I could tell that some of my friends had figured me out, but I appreciated their discretion in keeping it to a knowing nod rather than an all out I KNEW IT!! Or worse. Thank you friends, you know who you are ;).

 

What I did for workouts

 

It was funny this time, it took me so long to figure it out this time that my workouts remained pretty difficult. I was training for a Tough Mudder so I kept up a routine of 3 strength workouts/week, plus 2 short runs, a mile or less per week right up until the 8 week mark.

Once we got back from the race and I knew for sure I was expecting, I stopped working out for a few weeks. I had already intended on taking a break and focussing on healing and restorative yoga, but even that didn’t happen. After the race and two weeks of travel with the kids I was ready for a big break. I did very little other than walking for a couple of weeks, then started adding in one or two workouts a week in the last couple weeks of the first trimester.

I didn’t always feel good enough to exercise but I get really cranky when I haven’t moved my body so I knew I needed to do it for my own sake but also for my poor kiddos. I wanted to and would have loved to just stay on the couch, but I knew the bigger picture needed me to be a not-s0-scary mommy so I did the absolute minimum to keep me and the kiddos alive happy.

 

What I Wore

 

This part was actually pretty easy for me. Since my regular wardrobe is already baggy T’s and yoga leggings. Not much had to change, until the summer began and I didn’t fit into my shorts, and oh boy was it hot. I love to wear as little clothing as possible, I just like to let my skin and body be free, so when the gals that know me saw me in black leggings in 20+ degrees I could tell they were a little skeptical.

And of course, at home. I never got out of my favourite PJs. I lounged in the softest cotton T that I own paired with my favourite joggers and was so grateful for their comfort.

 

Now the part you really care about, and the question we ask all pregnant ladies, as though we could actually do something about it.

How did I feel?

 

Honestly, I felt like shit. Once the nausea kicked in, I wondered if I would survive. I was so exhausted I was asleep at 8 pm every night the second my head hit the pillow and sometimes before. There were days I thought I would not make it to my kids bedtime. When one or both of my children wouldn’t sleep at night, I would wonder if I was somehow being punished by the universe for my greed. If my desire for another child had left me out of balance with the Gods and I was being sacrificed as an example of extreme selfishness.

There were days I wondered if I had made a mistake, if having another child really wasn’t such a good idea and could I handle it? I’m just one woman, am I really capable for caring for  children all on my own? ( For reference my husband works out of town most of the year so no, this child is not the product of immaculate conception, but I do most of the heavy lifting myself when it comes to the kids. )

For about 6 weeks, in the haze of exhaustion, nausea and peanut butter, I went back and forth between whether I was the happiest girl in the world about to have my third baby or if I had made the mistake of a lifetime and was ruining my perfect little family of 4. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. There were some shitty days in there. And I share this truth with you in hopes that I am not alone in this.

I am at peace now. This is what I want, it’s what I have always wanted. Anyone who has met me knows I would have ALL the babies. I love being pregnant, and I love raising babies. I even love staying up all night with them. I love everything about being a mom and even thinking this might be my last pregnancy terrifies me (and i’m only about 6 weeks out of morning sickness) so I know this is my path.

 

But the first trimester sucks, it bites the big one. I am so glad to be out of it, but I’d do it all over again (and I have) to get the gift of a beautiful baby and the addition of another child to our family. I am so grateful for my life, and getting over the first trimeser makes me even more grateful, specifically for the things that got me through it: Sex, Lies,  and Peanut butter.