It’s been a rough week. I’ve tried to stay calm, smile and just not let things get to me, but this week it just didn’t happen for me. My adorable little Mogwai turned into Gremlins and I finally lost it. This was not the week for winning Mom of the Year. That dusty award was taken off the shelf and passed to someone deserving with calm children, a clean house and her voice intact from lack of yelling.
After every temper tantrum this week (whether from my kids or myself) I would give myself the pep talk “Ok, we got through that, let’s handle things different next time. Deep breath! You can do it! They are just kids. You are the parent. Focus on the positive. Smile. Happy thoughts! Annnnnnd…BREAK!” We’d get back to being happy and then 5 minutes later we’d be in the middle of another catastrophic (to me) situation. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when we went to get my 2 year old son who was playing nicely downstairs (or so we thought) and found him smiling and having a ton of fun in a flooded bathroom. He had discovered how fun it was to fill a cup full of water and throw it at the mirror, on the floor, in the air, and at the walls. There was so much water on the floor that the paint peeled off the baseboards and it had soaked through to the carpet outside the bathroom. As I cleaned up the mess I finally broke down. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I caused some of the water damage with my own sobbing mess of tears.
Now I’m fully aware that this is NOT the end of the world. We got some towels and wiped things down, then turned on the space heater to dry out the carpet. A little paint and we should be as good as new. It’s all fixable, it’s part of life and kids will be kids. But sometimes little problems on top of little problems just turn into more than we can handle. So how do you break the slump? How do you keep yourself from getting to that place of frustration where you finally lose it? I’ve decided what I need is a list of instant mood boosters. So whenever I’m feeling frustrated or upset I have a plan to switch it up. Because if I keep letting the little stuff get to me then these little problems will always eventually turn into big problems.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
1) Turn on the music. Music is always something that can make me smile and turn my mood around. Whether I decide to just sing along at the top of my lungs or turn the family grumpiness into a dance party, it’s almost guaranteed that this one is going to help lift the mood. When my son was screaming at the top of his lungs the whole way home and I felt like I just couldn’t take it anymore, I decided to blast the stereo to drown out the cries. It happened to be a station playing Christmas music and as I’m angrily singing along to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” it just struck me how completely ridiculous and hilarious the situation was and I burst out laughing. Crisis averted.
2) Exercise. I wasn’t feeling so hot Saturday morning (it was a late night on Friday) but I decided that I needed to get my run in. I couldn’t believe how happy and full of energy I was when I was done! Talk about a runner’s high! I’m sure my children thought I had lost it as I turned on the crazy and started doing random dance moves, funny voices and just being all around giddy. Running IS my Prozac.
3) Talk to people. I’m a social gal so social events are always a mood booster for me. I went to my husbands Christmas party on Friday night and just being out with other adults chatting the night away did wonders for my mood. (Ok the wine helped a bit too :)) And even though by the end of the night my feet were swollen to the point where they were not even recognizable as feet, I still left there smiling after meeting new people and having great conversations. And no, you can’t always go to a party to lift your mood, but you can talk to people. I think that’s why I love Facebook so much. I don’t have time to always sit down and have one on one chats with people but I can at least throw a little social interaction into my day that way! How about picking up the phone or sending a text? It’s almost guaranteed that I’ll be giggling after a few texts from my bestie.
4) Damn You Auto Correct If you haven’t heard of this website you’ve probably been living under a rock. But for all you cavemen and women out there it’s a website full of screen shots from iphone texts in which autocorrect has taken innocent messages and turned them into something hilarious. Although many of the screenshots are ridiculous and I think a lot of them are fake, I still can’t help but bust a gut every time I check out that site!
So there are 4 of my instant mood boosters. Perhaps I will update when I think of some more. But for now I’m going for a run while blasting my music, checking facebook and reading DYAC.
What are YOUR favorite instant mood boosters?