I published the article “how to stop feeling grumpy and irritable quite a few years ago. But the following advice still rings very true today – so here is the revamped post on how to stop being grumpy and irritable.
Getting grumpy and irritable when things don’t go according to plan
This morning, I got up to find the mains power was off and I couldn’t get the trip switch to trip, if you know what I mean. The kettle broke, (probably the cause of the mains problem), and I then managed to burn the toast.
Result grumpy and irritable.
Lack of time
Once I had overcome these initial irritations, I urgently needed to sort out my daughter’s student accommodation for uni, as her offer was due to expire at 5pm. This became complicated, because she is back packing, and I can’t get hold of her and she can not get hold of the university. It took endless persuasion and many telephone calls, before the accommodation people would speak to me.
Even more grumpy and irritable
Feeling tired and running out of patience
Following this, I then embarked on a short argument with my youngest daughter, who had the audacity to lecture me about being snappy. (Yes I am snappy but actually not half as much as she is). And of course I am still feeling a little out of sorts from swine flu or as my daughter liked to tell me, wine flu.”
Now massively grumpy and irritable and it is affecting everyone else!
Getting control of being grumpy and irritable
We can’t always control what life throws at us e.g. the toast burning or endless irritating phone calls but there is something we can do about developing skills to tackle setbacks and frustrations.
There are many reasons that we can be irritable – some we may be aware of – others can simply some down to our reactions to particular situations which are simply are natural way of reacting to things.. Other times it may simple be we just have not been investing in ourselves enough.
Whatever the reason for us being grumpy and irritable there are things we can do which can help us tackle every day challenges without going into total meltdown.
Tips on how to avoid feeling grump and irritable. Also good for the children too.
Routines – Maintain fairly consistent routines e.g. meal times, sleeping habits. This maintains a steady “circadian rhythm,” and avoids a permanent state of jet lag.
Getting up and going to bed at the same time is something that can become a challenge during the school holidays. It is not just the children who are out of routine with later bedtimes and so on it is also you. Try to develop some new routines and embark on some summer holiday planning that schedules you for a bit of time-out too.
Exercise – we need activity and exercise and when we don’t get enough we get irritable. A common cause is spending too much time in front of a screen all day. Getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk will help lift your mood and gain perspective
Dehydration – lack of fluids is another way in which you are likely to feel tired, hungry and as a result irritable. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times and make sure your children are well hydrated too. Remember fizzy drinks which are full of sugar don’t really count if you are looking at ways to stop being grumpy and irritable.
Diet – eating lots of sugar rich food, which sends blood sugar sky high and then correspondingly low. The trouble is that many of us turn to comfort food which generally means sugar rich food. Actually a glass of water along with a few blueberries, nuts and seeds would be better.
Drugs – routinely consumed drugs such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as well as recreational drugs can devastate moods and even cause health problems. So keep make sure your coffee and wine habits are not feeding into your feeling grumpy and irritable.
Sleep – Getting insufficient sleep on a regular basis is also not good. If you have a young family who are awake at night this will definitely affect your moods. And no wonder you are feeling grumpy and irritable. Try if possible to have forty winks at some point during the day or early evening.
Stress – Having too much to do and too many pressures can take a severe toll on your moods. If you do feel your are drowning under a sea of things you need to do – it really is important to start prioritising what is important in your life and try to bin or delegate it.
Illness – For example viral infections can result in feeling grumpy and irritable. You are tired and run down. Ensure you are eating and sleeping well and if you don’t seem to be getting over feeling grumpy and irritable then it may well worth having a chat to your doctor.
Social factors – arguments with friends, relatives and workmates, bereavement, separation and divorce or just feeling lonely are just some of the social factors that can affect our moods.
All of these are difficult things to deal with and sometimes no one else seems to really understand or empathise with our situation. Sometimes it is a question of giving Time time. Good self help books can give a new perspective on life.
Finding a good confidante to talk things through with can also help, or if you are feeling really stuck then seek professional help. However this makes it even more important that you invest in your health and wellbeing by eating eating properly, having sensible routines with exercise and fresh air along with a good nights sleep.
Take overcoming being grumpy and irritable seriously
The list above may feel overwhelming to begin with but even just making small changes using the above advice can help. Remember the old adage “do the same as you have always done and you will get the same as you always did”. The same goes towards feeling grumpy and irritable. Whether it is drinking less coffee, getting out into the fresh air a little more, start to make those small changes today.