When the bad mood cloud rolls in, give yourself a break

On Wednesday, I was in a bad mood for no reason. The bad mood cloud rolled in out of nowhere.

Just two days prior to that, Monday, I was actually in a fantastic mood. I gave a class presentation that went surprisingly better than I thought it would. I’m a terrible public speaker, so the fact that I was able to clearly deliver my point with just an occasional stutter meant a lot to me. I was giving myself mental high fives for the rest of the day. It was great.

Tuesday, my mood was still sailing high. I went to class, I contributed to discussion, and my professor asked me afterwards to give a presentation on a certain topic. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “I must seem like a confident person completely capable of this.” I agreed to potentially giving this said presentation and the mental high fives continued.

When Wednesday came, there were no mental high fives, no mental applause. I woke up feeling… depressed. It sounds overdramatic to use that term, especially coming from someone who actually went through a period of depression. But “depressed” seems like the perfect word to describe the feeling. I felt it in the pit of my stomach, like a weight dragging down the top half of my body. It weighed down my shoulders, pulled at the corners of my lips, bent my spine, congested my mind, and coaxed me to sink back into my bed sheets for just a little longer than I would usually allow myself.

I didn’t understand where this feeling came from, but it was there, and it framed the rest of my day:

In the morning, I walked into the living room and kicked over a cup, which my boyfriend had been using to trap a cricket he had found the night prior. I screamed and ran to our bed, refusing to move until my boyfriend located the bug and got rid of it. I did this. Me, she who usually isn’t so scared of bugs!

Soon after the bug fiasco, I walked into the bathroom where my boyfriend was brushing his teeth. I didn’t expect to see him there, and I was so startled that I jumped and burst into tears.

At class, my professor announced that she would be extending the essay deadline to another week. The rest of the class was relieved. Of course. That’s the normal response to an extension. I, on the other hand, was upset. I could only think of it in a negative way–now this meant I had to spend more time with the essay, longer than I had anticipated!

I went home feeling miserable. I tried to start my essay, but all I could do was sigh at myself. I tried writing a blog entry instead about some random topic, but even then I could feel the weight of my bad mood draw my fingers to a standstill at the keyboard.

My thoughts took a turn to then critiquing me for being sad. What’s wrong with me? Why am I being such a downer? How can an essay extension possibly upset me? Why did I act like such a pansy over a cricket and why did I, of all things, cry over finding my boyfriend in the bathroom? Am I an idiot? A crybaby? A Debbie Downer eternally cursed to always look at the dark side of things? What am I even doing now instead of getting work done! I’m just dwelling in my misery! Poor Eunice and her pitiful problems drowning in her little self-pity puddle. 

At this point, I realized that I was starting to bully myself. All this because of the Big Bad Mood that came out of nowhere. Because of this BBM, I was going through the day, looking at my world in blue filters. I needed to snap out of it. I realized that I needed to actively do something to make myself feel better.

For the rest of the day, I didn’t do any work. I watched a few episodes of “Bobs’ Burgers,” I drank a cider, and then I had unlimited sushi dinner with my boyfriend and my friends. That did the trick. While the TV show got me to start smiling again and the cider loosened me up (I’m a light weight), my friends really got the cheer-up ball rolling with their silly antics–ordering more sushi than they could handle and then making up contests and games in order to finish all of it.

I went home in a much better mood, and I was thankful to not only my boyfriend, friends, and to Netflix, I also mentally thanked myself. I’m glad that I let myself take a break from my stress and took the time to instead focus on getting my mood back on track. After all, condemning my bad mood was only making it worse. And sometimes, we can’t control how we feel anyway, especially if we don’t understand the source of those feelings. Bad moods can happen for no reason.

Except, my bad mood did happen to have a reason, I just didn’t realize it yet. On Thursday morning, my period came to say hi in the form of a stain on my underwear. At first, this made me happy. Yes, I finally understand the source of my random bad mood! But then, I felt the pain. And then, I wasn’t so happy. Back to treating myself with some hot tea and more “Bob’s Burgers.” – Eunice

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