The ONE thing to cure a bad mood every single time

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I’m going to be completely honest with you today. I was pretty CRABBY for about a week and a half for what felt to me like “no reason,” but truth be told, I think the reason was a lack of reserve. I meditate, workout, run, go to yoga, chat with friends, go for walks, shut out the world, garden, etc and I help combat some of the negativity that happens in and around me, but I hadn’t actually built up a reserve; something I could tap into when the unexpected happens and suddenly I’m clawing for a way out.

That sounds a bit more dramatic than it actually is, I know, but when you’re in the moment and when you’re someone who is prone to anxiety or depression, that’s sure how it feels.

We lost our wifi at work a couple weeks ago; this is kind of the point when I started noticing this funk. We had internet as long as your machine was hard wired but not every station was set up for that and it took some time for people to get up and running. I immediately took the cord out of the phone in my office and was good by the time everyone else was getting into the office that first day, but when they got in, it was like this instant and insane panic. Even though every station was (eventually) set that first day, the panic continued the rest of the week as everyone tried to hop back on the wifi, access the server, lost their internet as our tech guys tried to figure out the cause of the issue, etc. The whole week felt like chaos and it was hard not to get sucked into everyone’s negativity.

One thing I know about myself is that I am easily affected by the energy of my environment and those around me and so I suddenly found the little things (and not so little things) to be a bigger burden on my mental energy. To say I was excited for the long Memorial Day weekend would be an understatement, and honestly, Saturday and Sunday were great but on Monday, I got triggered again by a well-meaning email so instead of heading back into the office on Tuesday feeling refreshed and ready for the short week, I was dragging. I climbed into bed Tuesday night at 7pm with the lights shut off by 8pm. I turned down a chat with one of my closest friends because I didn’t want to bring her down and I just didn’t have it in me to talk about it yet. I skipped my workout Wednesday morning, as when the alarm went off and I got up to brush my teeth, I realized I just couldn’t rally for the workout; I went back to bed, reset my alarm, and slept for another hour and a half.

All of my go-tos weren’t quite working.

I thought back to a conversation with a good friend and coach over the weekend where we talked about my “ideal” day. I thought about the things I was doing each day that were already a part of that day; I thought about the things I could add or what I could do in the moments when people or things started to get under my skin; I thought about what future me would look back and tell current me to do.

When it comes to curing a bad mood, bad day, or bad week, it’s not always so black and white. Sometimes it means chatting it out with a friend, going to bed early, getting in your workout, meditating, sitting in quiet and reading, shutting your office door so you can’t hear the coworker clipping his finger nails at his desk, listening to your favorite music or podcast, asking your friend to send you pictures or videos of her new puppy, writing, putting up sticky notes of your current mantra in a place where you’ll see it…the list could go on. But the ONE thing that we need to do every single time to cure a bad mood?

Be kind to yourself.

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I know it sounds so cliche and maybe it is, but it’s also true. It’s so easy to take a mood from bad to worse simply by making myself feel bad for feeling bad; how is that helping anyone?! (Spoiler: it’s not.)

So how did I turn this funky mood around?

I was kind to myself and whatever I needed in that moment, I took it. It meant a few extra spoonfuls in the peanut butter jar and then not letting myself feel guilty for it; it meant turning down a friend’s invite to talk and instead laying down on my living room floor watching The Bachelorette; it meant going to bed early, skipping a workout, and getting it in after work instead of before (bonus: I spent the entire day looking forward to my sweat session!); it meant shutting my office door for a few hours at work when I just didn’t really want anyone talking to me, bothering me, and heck, no I didn’t really want to hear anyone else. Some may call it rude or selfish, but when you’re in a bad mood, you need to be selfish and get yourself back to your high energy, high vibe, excited about life and the future self; you deserve that. You deserve to be happy; do what you need to do to get there.

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This is also important when you’re not in a bad mood, but you’re tired. I didn’t sleep Saturday night and was dragging Sunday morning. I skipped my workout (at first), meditated, made coffee and a pancake breakfast, cancelled my plans for Sunday night (dinner with a friend and yoga event), and after a little meal prep, I saw the sunshine outside and was craving time in nature. I laced up my Mizunos, put a podcast in my ears, and ran to the beach and back. It was simple, perfect and while I was sad to skip my planned Sunday fun, that run filled my cup, looking out on Lake Michigan, soaking up the sun, breathing in the fresh air, my cup was full and happy.

How do you snap out of a bad mood?