Snapping Out of a Bad Mood

Life is pretty damn good right now. My family is healthy, work is pretty good, and we’re living a dream I came up with less than a year ago. I should be smiling and whistling Dixie all the time, right?

Not exactly.

The kids still get whiny and forget to pick up their dirty socks. Jared and I occasionally get on each other’s nerves or snap when a civil response would have sufficed. We’re still human, after all. But even those irritations are minor and infrequent (well, except the sock thing – that’s still daily.)

And yet, yesterday found me in a horrific mood. A no-good, really bad, horrible mood, to be exact. Why? No good reason except for what was probably a shift in the female hormones. Apparently PMS does not go on extended vacations.

Once in a while, bad moods just happen.

They aren’t necessarily a sign of a bad life, a chemical imbalance, or a lack of self esteem. They just are.

Before we moved into the RV, I’d usually hole up in my room with a book or my Netflix queue when these moods struck, safely quarantining myself before my sucky attitude could infect my family. I’d let Jared know right away that I was best left alone, and he happily obliged.

It’s not easy to hole up and quarantine when you’re living in a one-room home with three other people.

I’m not entirely sure that a bad mood needs to be handled so much as endured, but I was curious to see how some of you coped with feeling pissy. I posed the question “How do you handle a bad mood?” in the forums.

David Spark said:

“I go for walks and listen to podcasts. I also like sitting in a cafe and doing a crossword puzzle.

I also live in one of the coolest cities, San Francisco, so it’s not too hard to find something cool to do. In fact, I live near one of the highest points in the cities and I often will walk up to it and check out the best view in the city. That helps you get out of a bad mood.”

I don’t know if it’s a holdover from my depression, but I always find it difficult to get out and do the things I know will snap me out of a bad mood when I’m in the middle of it. Yesterday, I thought about going for a walk, and I swear I got angrier at the idea. However, I do think sitting and staring at a really great view would be easy (and effective) even when I’m suffering from laziness induced crabbiness.

Clearly, I need to find a good view nearby.

Allison’s input was more in line with my typical habits:

“I watch Doctor Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog. True story. And I think it’s okay to be in a crabby mood somedays, as long as it doesn’t take over your life. You’ll get through it and be back to your happier self soon!”

Swap Doctor Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog with long-ago-cancelled-TV-series, and we’re the same people. I don’t have any good series in my Netflix queue right now, so maybe it’s time I checked out Doctor Horrible.

Lisa echoed my need for solitude, but attitude a little more:

“I have to take myself away from people when I’m crabby because bad things tend to happen. My favorite thing is to go for a drive with the windows down and the music loud. This doesn’t work very well in the winter, which is one of 100 reasons why winter is not my happy time.

Doing the grocery shopping by myself makes me happy too, don’t ask me why.

Sometimes all it takes is a big fat gumball from the grocery store. I love those things.”

You people are really freaking active when you’re in a bad mood. Am I the only one who sits and sulks, gorging myself on sweet and salty junkfood until the need to slap a stranger passes? Alas, none of my coping mechanisms are appropriate now, and all of these suggestions are suddenly more plausible. Damn it.

What do you do when you’re in a bad mood for no good reason? Or does that never happen to you?

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