Caveat: I probably should have explicated this before. I am not a doctor. I am not even that knowledgeable in most things. I know what my personal experiences are and I do tend to research most things outside my purview, but in nearly every case, what I write on this blogs are my personal thoughts, suggestions and ideas. They are in no way meant to be a diagnosis for anything. If needed, please seek professional help for whatever ails you.
In my last post I talked about mood swings, in particular, my mood swings. I also stated that I didn’t really understand what the causes of said mood swings were, but with all the research I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve read said that it’s not necessarily one thing. Nor is it necessarily an exterior cause; that it could be hormonal.
The bottom line is that there are many underlying reasons for mood swings. Both men and woman get them. More often than not, if it’s hormonal, it affects women more so then men. But it happens to pretty much everyone.
It’s when it happens all the time or are so severe that there is far more going on than the “standard” run-of-the-mill moodiness. I don’t believe that I fall into sweet-baby-Jesus-get-out-of-her-way category. My moods swing, sure, but based on everything I’ve read – I’m just normal.
Well, about that I’m normal.
Some of the causes of mood swings and grumpiness (and obviously some are not applicable to men), some of which would be considered more severe than others, and require medications, or some other method of control are:
- Perimenopause and Menopause
- Being bipolar
- Lack of sleep / limited sleep
- Drugs and alcohol
- Caffeine and sugar
But after all of that, it could just be that you’re having a bad day. Maybe nothing has gone right since you climbed out of bed and stepped on the furball your loving kitty left for you to find. Maybe the weather is miserable and it’s reflective of your mood (for example, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)). Maybe your boss wasn’t impressed with your project or you got into an argument with your significant other.
The important part is to determine if your mood swings and grumpiness is a condition to which you need alternative support or if you’re just hitting a rough patch. If it’s the former, than I can’t stress enough to talk to your doctor and get to the bottom of it. As we all know, some of those causes I listed above are not only severe, but dangerous – to you, your state of mind and your health.
If you’re just hitting a rough patch, try to get through it by looking at the bigger picture. I forget to do this sometimes and all my woes become ridiculously well…ridiculous. Where later I look back and wonder what the hell I was freaking out about. Sure, at the time, everything seems ginormous and doomsicle (there’s a new word for you Dr. S 🙂 ) but once time passes, you realize that not only was it perhaps not as bad as you thought, but also that in the grand scheme of things, did it really matter and did you just waste x amount of time you have left on this planet worrying about that.
I think we’re all guilty of this, sure. Some more than others. As a person who isn’t usually an optimist, it is hard to not picture this in my head every time something goes wrong:
Admittedly, I over-react often. There are even times I think to myself that I must be tripping to be over-reacting to some of things I do. It’s a SMH moment, for sure.
And the answer to some of the causes listed above are obvious. Get more sleep. Address and deal with your stress. Lay off the booze (and drugs!). Short of taking drugs for menopause or menstruation issues, there isn’t much women can do about what happens to their bodies hormonally because well, we’re women. Of course, some are easier than others. I, for one, am very stressed at my job. And I tend to bounce between an “oh shit I am so far behind I am going to die” mood to a “fuck this shit and the camel you rode in on”. Some days it doesn’t bother me that I’m behind, especially when I remember that I’ve been behind pretty much since 1998.
Other times, I stress because I feel like I’m not earning my pay and I feel like I’m a bad worker. Realistically, I know that there isn’t much I can do about being behind. No amount of organization (and I’m told I’m very organized) is going to fix that I am short-staffed and have been for five years with no hope of hiring anyone to help (other than Kimmy from her hire in 2014. Hi Kimmy!). I also realize then that I am working very hard and doing everything I can, but I’m not Superwoman.
And how goofy would this body look in that outfit??!
And after it’s all been said and done, the best things to do for mood swings:
- Drink plenty of water (add lemon if you want; it’s good for you too). I think this
- Do cardio exercise at least 30 minutes on most days. This increases your endorphines (your “happy” chemicals) and while you might be sore and tired (especially if you’re as out of shape as I am) but you’ll likely find yourself feeling better. Not just because you exercised but you stimulated your “happies”.
- Try to look for the positive whenever and wherever you can.
- Trying helping someone else with their problems/issues. By concentrating on them, you’re not only helping them but you’ll feel good about it as well.
- Take up a hobby. Or two. But for goodness sake, try not to pull a “Dani” and never finish them. But then again, you know what? If you don’t, I guess that’s perfectly okay too. I really shouldn’t be anyone’s measure of anything. 🙂 I’m just really quite easily bored (see posts on the hamsters) and tend to change up what interests me faster than most people change socks. It’s a sign of intelligence I’ve heart. *snort*
- Eat better. Even if you are one of those fortunate people (and I don’t know many) who can eat just about anything and not gain weight, what you put into your body affects it – and not just your weight. I am learning this every day. So even if you don’t need to lose weight, treat your body better and you’ll likely see your mood change. Junk food, fast-food, greasy type of foods including sugary soda/pop mess with your blood sugar levels and can cause moodiness. And alcohol is basically a depressant and can affect your sleep, which in turns can make you moody for the lack of.
And if after all of this, you still hit a rough grumpy patch, go with it. Don’t fret about it. Don’t stress about it. Deal with it in whatever works for you and move on. You’re human and it happens to everyone. And if you can (or are) one of those people who are perpetually happy even in some rough times, more power to you folks. That’s awesome!
Or…be a dog…
Blessings for health, happiness and beating those moody blues into the dirt.
Keep on keeping on.