“Had a bad day, don’t talk to me, gonna ride this one out…” -Unwritten Law
We all have them on occasion. Those days when you simply wake up in a shitty, rotten mood; you can’t pinpoint the rhyme or reason behind it and often times, it’s a bitch to shake. I woke up this morning, having one of those days. It could be because I’m worried sick about my pup, Dexter, who doesn’t seem to be feeling well. Maybe it’s because I’m stressed about work and money and all sorts of things you worry about when you’re an adult. Perhaps tripping down my basement steps with a cup of coffee in hand on my way out the door to head to work egged this black cloud on. Either way, I got to work in a shit mood. Zero patience and customers who are just as shitty a mood as I am = AWFUL combination.
As I sit here on my lunch break with my mood slowly but surely improving, I figured I’d give you all MY solutions to shaking a shit mood without hurting anyone (no matter how much you may want to).
- MUSIC. By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out I prefer my life with a soundtrack. When I get into moods like this, I will either listen to angry, angry punk rock, or some sort of upbeat stuff to try and rock myself out of said mood. I find that silence only allows me to think more than I should, so cranking something with a solid tempo keeps me from getting too over-analytical. The type of shitty mood generally dictates the musical selection, but this one worked pretty well for me today:
- SOMEONE ELSE’S MOOD. Often times, when we’re in a shit mood, we allow ourselves to wallow. We don’t WANT to feel better because… well, who the fuck knows. It’s human nature. Some of us (myself included) don’t enjoy seeing others in a good mood when we’re down – misery loves company and all that. I’ve found, however, that letting someone else’s good mood rub off on you is a better idea than trying to bring them down with you. The only person who can keep you in a shitty mood is yourself – this is something I often forget. Two of the guys I work with are the happiest people I know – so it’s my mission today to let their positivity rub off on me.
- COMFORT FOOD. As I’m sure you remember from my “Fatty” post, I love food. A lot. In fact, “eating my feelings” is something I do quite well. For me, food can be a mood booster. This is a mood fix that I don’t recommend leaning on as a crutch -it’ll get you plump in a hurry. However, the handful of Teddy Grahams I just munched on (less than a listed full serving) were a solid pick-me-up. All things in moderation – I find that one or two Hershey’s Kisses an boost my mood even just a little.
- MAKE A PLAN. If there is something that is stressing you, lay out a plan to fix it. Simply working out a solution in your head and/or putting it on paper can make a problem that much less scary – it lets you see it’s manageable.
- SOLITUDE CAN HURT OR HELP. Depending on the type of bad mood I’m in, being by myself can either improve it or it can only make it worse. Sometimes a bad mood is simply the result of needing to recharge – I think that’s where mine came from this week. I didn’t really have a “day off,” and dealing with people day in and day out at work can be taxing. In the 40min I’ve been sitting here in the backroom on my lunch break, my mood has improved ten-fold. I’ve got my headphones in, and I’m ignoring the world. Other days, when I wake up in a bad mood, surrounding myself by good company is the best medicine.
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Or three or four or five. Close your eyes while doing it, and focus only on the breath. I know this sounds all kinds of new-agey, but in my experience, it’s a fantastic way to center yourself.
That’s all I’ve got for the moment… and I’m feeling better already. I guess I should throw “writing” on that list up there, huh?