Remember that morning when your panty hose ripped and your shoe heel broke on the way to an important job interview? What about when you were about to go on a first date with this great guy and your mom called to remind you that you better find a man soon because you are not getting any younger? Certain events seem to put you instantly into a bad mood. At other times, we might wake up in a blah mood for no particular reason and it seems to linger, hovering over us and coloring the entire day. As a birth and postpartum doula, I am constantly surrounded by maternity mood swings but no matter what the reason for your bad mood, you can empower yourself to take charge and turn those moody moments around to a good time. Here are 4 simple suggestions you can use as quick bad mood-busters:
1. How Do I Love Me?
How many times have you heard the cliché you must love yourself before you can truly love anyone else? But how does one love oneself? Here are some simple quick tasks that can point you in the direction of self-love. When you feel a bad mood bubbling up, close your eyes and think about a recent accomplishment.
Let’s say you finally joined a yoga class and are committed to it but a year ago you had a membership at a gym you never used. How about that promotion you had wanted and worked on for a long time and finally got it. You can also find mood busters in the little things. Like you finally have learned how to delegate more or to say no at work, instead always people please and overwork. How about when you at last decided you were worthy of hiring a housekeeper to clean your home? If you need to go back all the way to your childhood and rejoice in the trophy you won on the local soccer team, go ahead there are no time limits set for accomplishments.
If you are in a really bad mood before a date, get the sexiest outfit you got, get yourself in front of the mirror and remind yourself of all the compliments you have received in the past. Ok this might seem silly but truly works, repeat the compliments to yourself out loud. If nothing else it will make you crack up and despite your mood.
Create a compliment’s journal: start writing down the compliments you receive and store them for a rainy, teary day. Think of how people have complimented you on a particular recipe. What about how your friends always tell you they can count on you, or how you never seem to forget a birthday. What do friends and family tell you they appreciate about you? You don’t want to forget these things and if you have them stored in a journal you can turn to them when you need them most.
2. Have A Bad Mood Buster Kit.
All those of us who live in earthquake, hurricane, and flood prone regions are familiar with readiness kits. We have been taught to be prepared for all eventualities. Why not be ready with a bad mood buster kit you can have handy at home, in the office and yes even in the car.Kit supplies:
Go to a card store and write yourself a few “You go girl!” cards, make sure your compliment yourself on your accomplishments you have just come up with in the first mood buster tip. Now post them, send them to yourself and finally store them in your kit.
How about a few photos of you and your honey on vacation? Of course at times you might be in a bad mood because of your honey so make sure you also have a picture of your kitty or dog smiling at you, anything that inspires in you an immediate smile. I’d also add a picture of you looking and feeling great. Make sure when you look at those pictures you close your eyes and go back to the feeling you felt at that exact moment and try to bring that feeling into the present moment.
Add your favorite CD, and in your home kit add you favorite DVD. Add some mementos from the exotic courtiers you have visited, or a cut out beautiful pictures from magazines, like jewelry you love, clothes you adore or places you want to visit and let them transport you far away from the nasty mood.
Don’t forget “emergency” phone numbers a list of all the friends you can call to feel better.
3. Have A Silly Party.
If your mood is not budging get on the phone and call a few funny people to come over and help you out of the funk.
How about inviting over that crazy single-mom friend that tells riotous story about her dating life? Or your buddy who knows a million jokes. Include your traveling buddy that can reminisce with you about some of the silly things you did on your last trip?
Think about what food you will serve. If you really don’t feel like cooking how about pizza or take out? Get a few tubs of ice cream (or non-fat yogurt) several toppings and invite your guest to make the most outrageous Sunday.
Be sure to play some fun music you can dance to and shake those blues away. Rent a couple of hilarious DVDs.
4. Look Around – How Good Do You Really Have It?
Comparing ourselves, our lives, our jobs or families, to others is not really good, especially when we are looking at how much better they are from us. But when we are in a bad mood it might help to realize how good our life really is compared to the less fortunate.
Drive around your neighborhood and rejoice at the amazing homes, front lawns and beautiful people walking around. If you need to there is nothing better then a ride downtown (or to a poorer area) to remind you how lucky you are living where you do.
How about volunteering for a great cause? After all serving others ends up ‘serving’ us. Visit volunteermatch.org type in your zip code and find out lists of volunteering opportunities.
Volunteer at your local school or your kid’s school by becoming a mentor. Go to your library and see if they need volunteers to read children’s stories.
Remember the movie Fried Green Tomatoes? Kathy Bates’ character had a major life changing experience just by visiting and elder woman and listening to her stories. Go to a retirement home and see about reading to the elders.
I found this wonderful program called Fostering Imagination recruiting mentors for its adventure program for foster youth between 13-19 years old. They hike, bike, kayak, sail, and lots more. Check them out www.fosteringimagination.comBeen in a foul mood, even if you are righteously indignant, will not change the situation you are in, so you might as well bust out of it and feel good. We cannot always control what happens, what other do and say, but we are in charge of our moods. I feel good, I feel great…
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