Cranky days happen to all of us. As a stay at home mom, they can seem like extra long days straight from hell. First, you wake up and roll out of bed only to discover that your toddler has taken off his poopy diaper and made a mess every where. Then, there is only enough breakfast cereal for one of the kids. Next, your school age child can’t find his sneakers and you can see the bus coming down the road. To make matters worse, you happen to step on a Lego in your bare feet. From there, the day just gets worse.
If the whole day heads downhill, sometimes the only thing you can do is try to get through it as quickly and easily as possible. This can be tricky, but here are 10 steps to make it a little less challenging.
1. Find your sense of humor. I admit there are some days when my sense of humor seems like it is on a rocket ship to Saturn. But, I have, at times, been able to call it back to Earth. Seeing my toddler smearing yogurt in his hair, trying to spike it up like his big brother, is cause for laughter, even though I know it is also time for an unscheduled bath. If I can see the humor in it, I can be okay with sidetracking my other chores for the morning.
2. Make time for an extra cup of coffee or tea. Spending a moment to relax can reset your mood for the day.
3. Count your blessings. I know this seems trite, but it does work. Take a few minutes to think of 20 or so things that you are grateful for. Then, if you still feel cranky, write them down.
4. Eat some comfort foods. Comfort foods earned their name for good reason. They bring us comfort, or, in simpler terms, we feel good when we eat them. So, grab your favorite, whether that be homemade macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, dig in and enjoy.
5. Take a nap. Sometimes we have cranky days because we are short on sleep. Taking time for a twenty minute nap can catch us up on some much needed rest.
6. Get creative. Gather the kids around the kitchen table and put out glue, paper, old magazines and scissors. Make a collage with your favorite pictures. Or, better yet, make a collage with pictures of things that you dream of achieving. Not only will this activity refocus you, but it will keep the kids busy for while.
7. Snuggle with your kids and read a story. Nothing helps everyone relax as much as a good story. Being snuggled up with your kids on a bed or on the couch is relaxing for everyone.
8. Eat some chocolate. Most people know by now that chocolate releases endorphins in our system. Endorphins are what are responsible for our feelings of pleasure. So, eat a little or a lot of chocolate and let the endorphins do their job.
9. Watch a movie. If all else has failed, put a movie in, turn off the lights, curl up on the couch with the kids and relax. A movie that you know they will enjoy can be worth its weight in gold if you use it occasionally. If you are lucky, you will even be able to get your nap in at the same time.
10. Go to bed early. Sometimes the best way to end a cranky day is to simply end it. Go to bed as early as you can. Snuggle under the covers, count your blessings and know that tomorrow will be better. It always is.