Getting Out Of A Bad Mood

IMG_1245Can I let you into a secret?

Right now, this very second, I am not feeling so good. I am tired. I would like a break. Preferably, I want some sort of hot tub, wine, and chocolate combo, followed by a nice, long, and above all, uninterrupted snooze.

I do not feel like picking up the kids, or accommodating my husband in his conference schedule. I do not feel like being sociable or caring. I cannot seem to find the stuff about bodies and minds (fascinating, I assure you) that I was about to turn into a blog post today.

What am I going to do about it?

Well, nothing.

In a minute, I will stand up from my computer, and I will go with the flow. That will probably involve hopping in the car to collect the children, or I may lie down and shut my eyes for several whole minutes. Maybe I will do something different. Who knows! That’s life in the moment, baby.

I am going to notice that I am experiencing the feeling of my thinking. My life, my children, my husband, and my body are all fine. It is only my thinking which is not.

I am OK, even though I have not had a whole night’s sleep for two years, and at this rate, won’t do for a good long while. Broken sleep is a bit of a challenge sometimes, but it is doable.

I am OK, even though I find it overwhelming sometimes looking after three children, with their own ups and downs.

I am OK, even though I cannot jet off to some exciting foreign location, with little notice, like I could before we started our family.

I am OK, even though my husband, who does not breastfeed our daughter, can leave her behind without depriving her of the comfort and nutrition which my body provides, and I can’t.

I am OK, even though there is not a scrap of chocolate in the house, no hot tub, and I cannot drink and drive.

I am OK, because I am this incredible collection of substances, which happily coincide to create my body and brain. I am part of the huge, pulsating energy of the multiverse.

I am OK, because I am full of love for my husband, and my kids. I love our life, and I am grateful for all that is around me (except flies). I love my family and friends, and their families too.

I am OK, because I have the privilege of first world wealth, and I am very lucky.

I am OK, because I know my mood will lift, if I let it. No ruminating, worrying, or whining. In fact, this is already happening, because the act of writing is helping my thoughts to shift, which ushers fresh ideas and brighter feelings.

I am OK, because I can see that it makes sense that experience is constructed through thought, that thought, in turn, creates feelings. I see that because our thoughts are always changing, so too are our feelings. I see that my mood had dropped, but is now rising.

I am OK, because I am not a Pollyanna, but I can also understand that life is what you make it. There is much I cannot control, but I am responsible for how I respond to what happens in my life, and able to own my feelings about it.

I am OK, because the problems I see in a bad mood are only significant within that mood. They will disappear when it changes.

I am OK, because I know that it is OK to not know how I will handle certain circumstances, or the unfolding of events. I am delegating that to future Alexis, should she need to figure out a plan of action.

I am OK, because inspiration for a new blog post popped up, the moment that I stopped looking for my lost draft, and took a breath or two.

So, I hope you are all feeling OK too. If you are, then enjoy your time in the sun. If you are not, then I send you my love and kind regards.

Slow down, give yourself kindness, and don’t do too much, my friend.

Perhaps find a quiet place.

Now, just because a bad mood is created by thought and lifts as thoughts change, it doesn’t mean you can’t help that process along. You can do that by letting go of the analysis and/or problems which occupy you. You can be mindful of not feeding the mood.

You could do something which you associate with relaxation and pleasure. Not because you have to in order to feel OK, but just for the joy of it.

Is it possible to just prioritise yourself for a while?

If so, then what will float your boat, fill your cup. I am not talking about coping mechanisms like wine and chocolate. I am talking about the small pleasures in life, which are different for each of us, and never too far away. For me, writing, drawing, walking, or taking a bath.

If you are fresh out of personal space, your mood can still rise, as soon as the thoughts which are working mischief have passed.

It is harder to get away from whatever you are thinking of, when you cannot actually leave ‘it’ behind, which is part of getting caught up. When you break the spell, and recognise your thinking, even for an instant, you can find the mental space for new ideas.

What can you focus on, just for a second?

You might take a few deep breaths or stretch. You might concentrate on the feel of the seat beneath you, or the look in your baby’s eyes, or the smells which hang in the air. Even the nappy-related odours, especially the whiffy ones, can ground you in the present moment.

You can anchor yourself and allow yourself to settle down for a minute.

Even surrounded by babies and tantrums and bodily fluids and mess, you can do this. Even when you are tired. Even when you are overwhelmed. Really you can, because none of these things dictate your sense of being OK.

Well. Do you know what? I feel better already.

I also just found a couple more things to read about lifting a mood here and here.

It is a truly amazing thing, the connection between reader and writer, and visa versa. Whether there are a thousand heads together or just a couple. You cannot feel alone when you are reaching across time and space with words. Thanks so much for being here with me, for listening.

I am curious what challenges you in your life? What brings you joy? What do you hope for? What do you worry about? What fills you up?

The Mamajestic Facebook Group is a place for sharing the inspirations and consternations of pregnant ladies and mothers to young families! Come and join us, we’d love to have you.

Because, connection is so important, and just saying ‘hello’ is all it takes.

Lots of love,

Alexis xxx

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