What to do when you’re feeling cranky

Posted on January 30, 2018 by Heather

Cranky, grumpy, “discombobulated” (a brilliantly British way to say “out of sorts”).

We all have those days when we wake up on the metaphorical wrong side of the bed, and things just seem to go downhill from there. You realize you’ve forgotten to stock up on coffee and you can’t get your usual caffeine fix. You find your favourite outfit, the one you NEED to wear for an important meeting, at the bottom of the laundry basket. And to add insult to injury, you snap at your partner, and he leaves the house in a huff.

First world problems these may be, but a morning that starts off like this can put you into a bad, or “off” mood all day long.

There are a few things you can do to find that “good space” again, and bring all of those positive vibes flooding back. Here are a few of my go-to tricks for getting myself out of a funk :

1. Get some physical exercise

This one works for me every time. It’s impossible to stay grumpy once those exercise endorphins start flowing through your bloodstream. Exercise is like a drug, energizing a frazzled mind and body … but in a good way. Even if physical activity is the last thing you think you want or need, try it and see how you feel afterwards. If you’re headed to the office, with no time for the gym, then pop into a meeting room for a quick workout

2. Reach out to your friends

A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. A coffee and catch up, lunch or even just a phone conversation with a bestie can work wonders to give you an injection of optimism. Pick a friend who you know you can rely on to offer you a positive perspective, or better still, someone who you know will well enough to offload onto. Avoid the energy vampires though, they’ll only make you feel worse.

3. Have a cup of coffee (or a herbal tea if you prefer)

I know I should be cutting down, but there’s nothing like a caffeine jolt to put me into a better frame of mind, even if it is temporary. With the ensuing energy boost comes a flood of activity, which in turn makes me feel useful and puts a halt to the lethargy which usually accompanies the down days. If you’re not a caffeine lover, then a herbal tea will probably have a similar effect. Soothing, warming and calming.

4. Read something motivating

It doesn’t have to be worthy, or “self help-y” but reading can be immensely useful. Not only does it take your mind off your immediate concerns, but it can help to give you a different perspective. Losing yourself in a good book is a great way to “escape” from immediate pressure, which will all seem more manageable once you return to reality. Or if you’re not a reader, then Netflix will have a similar effect!

5. Take a power nap

This may not be an option if you’re in the middle of a busy day in the office, but sometimes a short power nap can really help. Niggling problems, the ones which sour our mood, can often be exascerbated by a lack of sleep, and small issues can seem insurmountable when we’re exhausted. See if you can schedule a short nap at some point in the day (isn’t this what office beanbags were invented for?!!).

6. Avoid alcohol

Reaching for a glass of wine is an easy and obvious way to alter your mood, and it usually works … temporarily. Unfortunately, it is almost always followed by a downer, which can take you back to a place even darker than where you started from. A drink can help you wind down after a long day, but avoid using it as a mood enhancer or as a way to forget your woes – they’ll come back at you twice as hard the next day!

7. Write it down

Writing about your angst can be an incredibly useful way of draining the negative energy. When you read your words later, from the perspective of a happier mood, you’ll be surprised that you could have felt that way. Some people advise writing your thoughts down, freeform, first thing in the morning. Once your negativity is expressed in writing, it no longer needs to sit in your head.

8. Count your blessings

This may feel like the equivalent of putting a band aid on a broken leg, but it can really help. We all take our lives for granted, and sometimes it just may help to pause and reflect on all the amazing things we actually have in our lives. However bleak life may seem, or whatever niggles have conspired to throw our mood off, there’s always something to be thankful for.

9. Keep your blood sugar stable

A lack of food can lead to to that “hangry” feeling, when the world seems as though it’s conspiring against us. When you feel irrationally angry or frustrated for no reason, maybe it’s time to add some fuel to your system. Choose high protein, low or complex carbohydrates like almonds, fruit (berries are particularly good), yoghurt or eggs on wholegrain bread. Avoid sweets or chocolate, which will give you a temporary “high”, followed by a crashing low, and leave you feeling worse than ever.

10. Clean up and remove clutter

There’s a whole movement around decluttering with people like Marie Kondo making millions from advising others on how to clear out their cupboards. There’s method behind the madness though, who hasn’t felt that sense of deep satisfaction when a particularly untidy space in the house is transformed into a useful area. Pick one space to tackle, and do it well. Set aside an hour, if you can, to throw out or recycle all the stuff which you’ve been clinging on to for no apparent reason, and feel the effect it has on your mood.

These are a few ways you can tackle those blues and bring yourself back to your happy space again. If nothing is working, and you need some help to find your mojo again, then please be in touch. One on one coaching can help you rediscover your purpose in life, and build an action plan to get you back on track.

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