Strange, that bad mood of yours won’t disintegrate with someone shaking you and shouting “Snap out of it!” That alllllways does the trick.
Just in case that foolproof tough love bit doesn’t work its magic on you, there are some quick mood-boosters you can try on your own. A few tactics for instantly improving your mental state:
1. Just get physical already.
Whether your go-to is deep breathing exercises, a quick walk around the office park, a few sun salutations in the break room, or backing up from the screaming child for a quick second, step away for a physiological boost. Some form of exercise, even something quick, can have a powerful effect on your feelings.
2. Stuff those sorrys in a sack.
Unless you’re a mistake-free human, it could be lingering guilt from something you think you mishandled, whether you actually did or not. This may be a big deal or something almost laughably small. While you’re fresh out of plutonium for the flux capacitor that would enable you to time travel in order to act differently in that moment, you can attempt to remedy the situation in the present. Send a note or a gift or go out of the way to help that person the next time you can.
3. Cue Don Henley and get to the heart of the matter.
Determine the core issue. What’s really getting you down? You may be getting upset about something surface-level because you're avoiding a gaping emotional chasm. And who can blame you? Or it could be a buildup of teeny, insignificant occurrences. Either way, identifying the root of the problem is incredibly empowering in and of itself. Then, you can tackle actually addressing it.
4. Let’s be real about that list of responsibilities.
If you need to clone yourself about five times in order to sufficiently conquer your to-do list, you may need to lighten the load. Not even making a dent in the day’s obligations will give anyone a major case of the grumpies. Prioritize, simplify, add some items to your calendar for later in the week (or month... or year) and see the light at the end of the task tunnel.
5. Umm, you might just be hangry.
We don’t want to over-simplify here, but the solution you have for your toddler may also apply to you. Partake in a snack and see what happens. The more protein in that snack, the better. Low blood sugar can make even the most peaceable among us want to go all Tarantino on innocent bystanders.
6. Make like an AC unit and ventilate for a moment.
Get all of your complaints out, whether you’re alone in a closet somewhere, you unleash on a trusted coworker, or you call up your mom. Fully vent for five minutes at the most. Giving yourself a time limit on the whininess will respect your feelings, but might also provide the perspective you need.
7. Own what you can and move on.
Recognize what you can control and make steps in a positive direction. Refuse to own anyone else’s feeling or actions that are outside your realm, but be willing to assist others when you’re able. You have enough baggage without tacking on emotional duffels from others. This is very different from empathy or actively caring for others, which could actually lift your doldrums (and is highly recommended as another mood-boosting activity).
Since you’re a complex being, that Monday morning feeling can hit on Wednesday afternoon or (gasp) a Friday night. Prepare yourself to buck against it with these tactics, and refine them until they’re tailored to your own personality. And if all else fails, just pull a Ross Gellar.