Most days. But some days… are just rough right from the beginning. Either I, or one of the kids, or all of us, wake up on the wrong side of the bed and it snowballs from there. I can usually tell within a few minutes of waking up if it’s going to be one of those days. And we all know, once you start on that trajectory, it can be a disaster of one thing after another. So I’ve developed a few “tricks” for getting the grumps out of our house when we’re on the verge of meltdowns all around. Try a few, try em all, watch your day get better. (Or not. Some days just are rough. That’s why there’s wine.)
- Open the window blinds! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been feeling gloomy and realized that I hadn’t opened the windows yet! A little bit of natural light, even on a cloudy day, does wonders for your mood.
- Turn on some music. Breakfast used to be particularly challenging for us, and I kept finding myself frustrated and on the brink of losing it before 7 am. One day, I turned on some light, fun music and it was an instant game changer. The kids sing, hum, and dance along, and it does wonders for me, too. The key is finding something you all like. I love my Elizabeth Mitchell pandora station for non-annoying kids favorites. We also all really love Reggae and it puts us in a great mood. Go figure.
- Diffuse some essential oils. Something bright and citrusy, like lemon, sweet orange, or bergamot are particularly happy-making. But pick what you like and roll with it.
- Get outside. There are days that I’ve had to force my children on a walk with me. They kicked, screamed, acted like they would melt in a lake of lava if they were forced to step foot our of doors. And then, well shocker, after some exercise and fresh air, we all come back much happier. Even if the weather isn’t great, it’s worth it to get outside, if only so everyone isn’t on top of each other.
- Drink a glass of water. Or 8. Dehydration is real, people, and it’s a real downer. So often when I’m feeling jittery or just worn out, I later realize I wasn’t drinking enough water. True story.
- Keep it simple. Sometimes, I have the temptation when we start off not so great to really “redeem” the day with some kind of fun outing or Crafty McCrafterson art project. Sometimes it works and everyone is happy. Most of the time it doesn’t and we crash and burn in the middle of Chipotle. Lesson learned: when everyone’s out of sorts, stick to what you know if going to soothe frayed nerves and keep everyone off each other’s backs… whatever that looks like for you. For us, it’s reading books, nature walks, and yes, sometimes, many many episodes of Super Why.
- Pray. When all else fails, say a prayer, either together or on your own, for peace and home in your family and the grace to deal with a grumpy outlook. Sometimes my prayer sounds like this: “God, give me the grace to guide my children with patience and kindness and teach them, though my example, about your holy love.” And sometimes, my prayer sounds like this, “Dear God, please please please just keep everyone alive until Kevin gets home. Amen.”
*Linking up with Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum. Check out what’s happening over there!*