Do you struggle with being a grump? Does your mood switch from sunshine and rainbows to a fire-breathing dragon in the blink of an eye?
My kids will give you the truth around here. I am a grumpy mother more often than I care to admit.
Today, I’ll share my tips for getting yourself out of a funk.
If I start my day in prayer, it’s like putting on the right shoes for running a race.
It’s not a special tonic that makes my entire day magical, but a reminder that in the grand scheme of life, many things that annoy me aren’t that big of a deal. Twenty years from now, I’ll look back on things like the Great Oven Incident and smile.
I rarely get the opportunity to say an entire Rosary before the kids get up and rolling. Instead, my prayers are short and sweet. “Lord, give me the grace to make it until 10am.” or “Blessed Mother, please help me to follow your lead.”
I lean heavily on my board of directors – saints that have a special significance in my life. Many of them have struggled with the same temptations and pitfalls that affect me today.
Legally Blonde is not considered a film classic, but there’s a scene that sticks in my head when I consider the benefits of exercise.
Elle reminds us that endorphins make you happy.
If I’ve run 10 miles, my frame of mine is completely different from when I laced up my shoes. I feel powerful, I’ve had time to clear my head, and I’m too tired to pick a fight with my husband or kids. Win-win for everyone.
You don’t have to train for a half marathon Just find an activity that you enjoy and start sweating.
3. Get out of the House
This may seem a bit counter intuitive if you’re in a bad mood, but hear me out.
I never want to be ‘that mom’ — the one yelling at her children and making them cry. If I’m in public, there’s a better chance that I’m going to ‘fake it ’til I make it.’ In other words, I’m going to pretend to be a joyful mother until it takes hold for real.
Getting out of the house also offers you a change of scenery. Instead of looking at the 15 loads of laundry that need washing and folding, I can enjoy some sunshine and up my Vitamin D.
4. Lower Your Expectations
I’m the master of the month-long to do list.
Never heard of it?
That’s the one that looks like Santa’s list, only nothing ever gets crossed off as being done. You simply move unfinished items to the next day, over and over, ad nauseam. That’s so discouraging.
Instead, pick 3 tasks to get accomplished daily. If you get those finished, great! Move on to another one, or rest and breathe easy.
5. Say Yes to Your Kids
If you’re in a bad mood, is it fair to ruin everyone else’s day?
Instead of snapping at your kids, let them loose. Encourage them to have some fun, instead of tiptoeing around a grumpy mom.
Watching and listening to my children laugh always puts me in a better mood.
6. Check Ahead and Dial it Back
Last week, I felt anxious and on edge, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. When I took a serious look at my calendar, I soon realized why.
We had sign ups for Rachel’s volleyball, riding lessons, a birthday party for my husband, taekwondo testing for the boys, and my oldest daughter’s high school graduation, all in four days’ time. It’s no surprise I was feeling frazzled!
Take a look at your calendar in a monthly format. For your sanity, you’ve GOT to build in some down time. You need days with NOTHING planned.
7. Get Enough Rest
I’ve burned the candle at both ends and worn it as a badge of honor for years. Looking at it realistically, it’s taken a toll on me, my marriage and my children.
If I’m short on sleep, that’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be a grump. Instead of staying up all night working, I need to focus on getting myself and the baby to sleep early, so that I can get up and start my day well rested.
It’s a work in progress, changing years of bad habits. But, I know I’ll feel better and be kinder to those around me.
8. Eat Right
I called one of my best friends in a panic about deadlines I hadn’t met, the giant list of things I still had to do that day, and how frustrated I was feeling. As we chatted, I realized I hadn’t even eaten all day!
No wonder I felt horrible!
As mothers, most of us are hyper vigilant about good nutrition for our kids. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your own nutrition.
Lean proteins, good fat, and plenty of water will help to keep you sharp and ready to tackle the days ahead.
9. Time Alone
If I’m feeling particularly out of control, I just need time by myself. I’m an extrovert, but I still need some time alone to decompress.
If I’m feeling particularly on edge, I know I should get away. If my husband is home, I know I can ask him to take over for 30 minutes while I head to the library.
If he’s busy, I sneak away to my room, putting Rachel in charge for ten minutes. Just being away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of my house helps to recharge my batteries.
10. Check With Your Doctor
Chronic grumpiness or feeling moody can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years, and have learned that regular visits with my therapist are key to keep my moods on an even keel.
Talk with your doctor. You may need to have labs drawn to check for thyroid imbalances, anemia or vitamin deficiencies.
Do you have a great cure for the grumpies? Be sure and leave your thoughts in the comment box.