Monday, July 11, 2011

10 Things to Try When You're in a Foul Mood

Screaming in digital - Day 27
via rutty on flickr

There are bad moods, and then there are desperately foul "get the #@$$%*^I%^#! out of my way if you remotely know what's good for you" moods. The kind of mood that descends from grumpy and irritated into into unfathomable hatred and rage, without any single identifiable reason (which, of course, makes it even worse). The kind of mood where you have to stop yourself from throwing your cat across the room because she dared to taunt you with her contentment by proffering a fuzzy tummy for you to rub. The kind of mood that makes you want to shred your partner to pieces, even when you know they haven't done a thing to deserve it, because you're that angry and you're assuming that they love you enough to eventually forgive you (ummm, don't try this unless you've recently saved up a LOT of good partner points.)

When you are in the sort of dark place that inspires a violent emotional response to fuzzy pet love, there's no sort of "walk it off" remedy. Thinking about a relaxing drink on the patio with a cold drink would probably lead to shattered glasses and not calmed nerves.  And punching a pillow is a sad joke of a rage-relief method. So instead, you might consider some of the following instead:
  1. Turn on your I HATE THE WORLD playlist to just past acceptable neighborly levels, "singing" at the top of your lungs, and getting into serious elbow grease cleaning mode.  At a minimum, this playlist must include: Hole, Bikini Kill, the Hives, Rage Against the Machine, and whatever random assortment of punk songs you have on your ipod. (btw, I hate cleaning. But there's something cathartic about literally attacking crud while howling to a battle hymn f*ck the world playlist.) 
  2. Kick fallen peaches into the street. Repeatedly. Aim for the car that is using TWO spaces to park (there's always one, f*cker), and no doubt was the reason you had to circle for 20 minutes to find a freaking parking spot.
  3. Take out the recycling, making sure to HULK SMASH each and every glass item as you hurl it into the bin.
  4. Turn the playlist music up full blast and scream for 20 seconds. Turn the music back down to normal levels and headbang, air guitar, or otherwise jerk around in energetic dancey motions. Make sure to jump on the couch as part of your routine. 
  5. Cry. Make sure it's a deep sob fest of red-faced chest-wrenching crying-so-hard-you-go-silent wails. Wimpy everyday weeping clearly won't do.
  6. Work out, as hard as you possibly can, while watching terrible reality tv. Make sure it's the sort of show that lets you feel smug and morally superior while also offering you the opportunity to scream epithets and insults at the screen. 
  7. Take some time with your post-workout shower. Get creative.
  8. Cancel all plans that night. Tell yourself it's not because you're considerate enough to not inflict your friends with your mood. Tell yourself it's because you're an *SSHOLE D*MNIT.
  9. Make bread. Knead and punch that dough down. Pretend that the smell of fresh baked bread is not actually making you feel better and give yourself permission to tear off chunks of bread and stuff your face with every morsel of sweet delicious carb.
  10. When you've finally exhausted yourself, indulge in pizza/thai food/insert weakness here, a hard drink, and a movie or tv marathon of something that has received your partner's eye roll of dismissal. Brush crumbs onto the floor. Just because.  
The next day, after you've awoken hungover from both booze and rage, tummy still distended from your carb fest, with embarrassing memories sending you groaning back under the covers, apologize to your partner. Profusely. Snuggle and heal, consoling yourself (and your partner) with the knowledge that these tazmanian devil furies very rarely happen but that, when they hit, you need to honor the crazy emotions with a safe, worthy, outpouring to match.

Additional suggestions for foul mood activity tips and playlist songs are more than welcome in the comments.


  1. Fallen peaches? Oh, Southern California.

  2. Walk, with purpose like the five year old who is upset and has maturely decided to run away from home. Slap your feet against the pavement hard and loud. Walk until you've exhausted your rage, after all you are running away. Then turn around and slowly walk (or public transit in extreme cases) yourself back home to indulge in the carb fest movie marathon. Bonus points for walking with hot angry tears streaming down your face.

  3. I want to let you know that I alternated between this and wallowing on the couch for about 6 weeks after the wedding.

  4. @Robin - they might have been apricots. Theoretically, speaking, of course. Also theoretically speaking, it would have been hard to tell the difference after you've already kicked them.

    @Rosa - Ah yes. The tantrum walk. Bonus bonus points for scowling at kind-hearted strangers who butt into your tears and ask what's wrong.

    @Mouse - Oh goodness. I know it's been nearly a year, but I'm sending after-the-fact sympathy hugs because that sounds like hell.

  5. Oh, I am having one of these days today. I think I will channel my rage by giving blood, because dammit, I don't want to work out and I went on a six hour bike ride yesterday.

  6. Playlist suggestion: Run this town by Jay-Z

  7. Oh, I heart you for even mentioning Bikini Kill. Also ...

    Cleaning the fridge and slopping the old, gnarly food into the trash then slamming all the tupperware into the sink. It's plastic, it won't break. And batting cages. Always batting cages.


I love active conversations, including (civil) disagreement. I don't love spam or people who use internet anonymity to be rude and disparaging. Spam and rudeness will be deleted.