One of the unexpected side effects of having a much steadier state of mind is that when a massive mood swing does hit, it is easier to identify what the possible cause may be.  Noticing that my low mood yesterday & today came exactly four weeks after my last bout of the blues, I can only conclude that hormones are the cause.  I have PMT. 

I don’t like to wave the premenstrual flag very often as it seems to be the terrain of really naff birthday cards (the kind with jokes that rely on some very dubious gender stereotypes) and an excuse for women to be badly behaved.  This month, however, I am unable to ignore the signs.  As a result, I have resorted to a bizarre mix of wallowing in my ‘woe is me’ feeling (complete with crying big salty tears for no reason whatsoever) & trying to employ every trick I have ever learnt to help boost my mood – and there are a lot of them. 

Whilst hurtling through this hormonal rollercoaster, I have been able to hold onto the reassuring sense that this up-and-down is really all about me & the chemicals inside.  I know that it bears absolutely no relation to the world outside of me, which at least means that I’m not tempted to resort to anything drastic like jacking everything in & joining the circus.  Instead, it’s been about small changes.  Like moving where I keep my chequebook.  A seemingly insignificant change, but when you feel no control over what’s going with your internal chemistry, it’s good to feel that you have at least some say on something in your life. 

Furthermore, to direct my attention away from my own teetering moods, I thought I’d share my top three tips for being less stressed.  They may seem completely self-evident or trivial, but maybe they’ll be of use to someone, somewhere.  And that would make me feel a whole lot better.

So here they are:

1) Keep a book of stamps in your purse/wallet.  There’s nothing more annoying that wanting to post something & not being able to get a stamp.  One less thing to think about.

2) Store lots of numbers in your mobile.  You may only ring your dentist’s surgery twice a year, but how much time do you spend trying to find the phone number when you do? 

3) Give up trying to fill your petrol tank with a round total of fuel.  Is the amount of effort & nervous tensions expended in trying to stop the pump at .00 ever worth it?  Just go crazy & let it be 29.94 or 30.08 or whatever!  Maybe it’s just me, but not trying to get it to a round amount always feels very liberating, like I’m socking it to the man.  And that always makes me feel better.

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