Feeling a bit of crabby coming on...how to stop?
April 16, 2017 7:51 PM   Subscribe

I've been feeling a little down/crabby the past day or so. How do I nip this crabbiness in the bud?

I am not always feeling super friendly towards my fellow man/woman during normal times, but the last day or so it's like the volume got turned up on thoughts like, "oh great, now we get to listen to this old self-important dude talk" or "I hate meeting new people" or "nobody respects me or listens to what I have to say," etc. etc.

What do you find helpful to get yourself to snap out of mostly "I hate people" oriented bouts of crabbiness?
posted by sacchan to Human Relations (20 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Take a nap.
posted by The Toad at 7:55 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

Me: go for a run. Smoke quality weed (um hi I have a medical card). Draw and listen to beautiful music. Bathe in lavender scents. Watch comedy. Share snarky jokes with friends who know I'm misanthrope. Watch heart warning media ie animals and old ppl. listen to punk rock and revel in my irreverent angry feelings.
posted by elke_wood at 8:06 PM on April 16 [4 favorites]

Make sure you're getting enough sleep. Nothing turns me into a crabby human-hating person more quickly than lack of sleep.

Take breaks as you need to and re-frame your thoughts as necessary. If the first thought is negative, try to make your second through from a compassionate POV.
posted by bunderful at 8:23 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

When I get this way, it's sometimes because I haven't had enough alone time. So, maybe escape for some alone time if you can--go for a walk by yourself, for example.

HALT is a good checklist--are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?

I find that watching cute animal videos helps bring down my blood pressure. (MeFi member Johnny Wallflower often makes excellent posts for this purpose, and coincidentally, he's got one on the front page right now!)
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:27 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]

Seconding getting enough sleep, and enough alone time. I get this way when I'm feeling tired and stretched too thin. Make sure you're eating well, and drinking plenty of water. Schedule some downtime to spend doing a relaxing hobby, taking a walk, etc.
posted by sarcasticah at 8:32 PM on April 16

1) See old friends that fit like old shoes, 2) leave town for a change of scene, 3) see/hear something inspiring (look for it).
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:37 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]

Go here, try some things on that list. It has helped me in the past.
posted by old_growler at 8:38 PM on April 16 [9 favorites]

When feeling similarly, I seek out inspirational stories of people doing acts of kindness. Those "restoring faith in humanity" accounts never fail to soothe bouts of misanthropic cynicism, while oftentimes making me to be a better member of society.

Hope the feeling passes quickly for you! :)
posted by Amor Bellator at 8:41 PM on April 16

Sometimes it's low blood sugar and I just eat some carbs.

Sounds like you're feeling underappreciated. Go somewhere where you can brag or just be in your element of expertise.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:42 PM on April 16

I've found one of the biggest effects on my hour-by-hour happiness is my diet. I don't always eat a great diet, but if I feel a crabby spell coming on, I try to get some good food into my system - vegetables, fruits, nuts and entrees without cheese or meat usually do well by me. Indian curries are A+.
posted by LSK at 9:42 PM on April 16

Good friends who you reliably have fun with, and happy (or at least not tearjerker) movies to put you in a different world and another character's mind for a little while!
posted by tapir-whorf at 9:46 PM on April 16

To truly snap myself out of it, generally meditation and trying to practice loving-kindness/metta meditation in particular.
posted by Dimes at 10:45 PM on April 16

Often this is because I've been spending too energy time caring for other people, and I get irrationally crabby at all people as a result. Take some time for yourself, or with friends who are in a place where they can give back to you.

Other times irritability is a surefire sign of depression coming on for me, and exercising, being outside, eating better, and using CBT techniques with respect to negative thoughts about others/myself are in order.
posted by lookoutbelow at 10:51 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]

Seasons changing can be a factor, too. Daylight increases at its most rapid rate per day this time of year. That aside, I second finding a quiet place where you can decompress, which could simply be your room with the understanding that you won't be disturbed for a weekend. A long walk or bike ride can help too.
posted by SakuraK at 11:31 PM on April 16

Spend some time in nature if you can. Exercise, sunlight, being away from people and from screens, and beauty: each of these can help by itself, together they're awesome.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:36 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]

Do something good for someone, secretly, and don't tell anyone. I should do this today too, since I am feeling really crabby.
posted by chocolatetiara at 6:09 AM on April 17

Yes to all of the above, but when you're in these situations, when you notice yourself having a critical thought - say something to yourself like "I notice I'm having the thought that X is a jerk/I hate everything"(this depersonalizes it, gives you some space from it) and then move to awareness of your breath, just notice breathing in and breathing out - this is to short-circuit the thought creating more judgmental thoughts.

Judgmental thoughts are just a thing that we all have, it's wanting them to go away or feeling bad about having them that causes more issues, so try to just think of these crabby thoughts as just something passing through your mind but not taking up so much mental space, then move to something pleasant or neutral you can focus on for a few moments.
posted by lafemma at 6:51 AM on April 17

When my thoughts tend to go spinning negatively (usually focused on one person who's Done Me Wrong) the easiest and most effective snap-out-of-it is to quickly list off 5 or 10 things I am grateful for, right then. Usually if I have to think of 10 there will be both big ones and small ones on the list. It stops the mental spin by re-orienting its direction.

(they did do me wrong though)
(but I don't need to re-live it and this way I don't have to)
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:56 AM on April 17

Thank you everyone for all the suggestions! I have this page bookmarked. Been keeping an extra close eye on diet, water and today tried thinking of stuff I'm grateful for while running , which seemed to help. May I soon win this round against the crabby monster rearing its head!
posted by sacchan at 6:07 AM on April 18

When this happens to me (I'm in a helping profession so need to be vigilant around this):

Nthing get enough sleep (this is the biggest one for me), or even a little extra sleep, eat healthy things like veggies, take time alone to journal, do crafting that is meditative/soothing (right now my thing is weaving), lots of baths with my LUSH stuff, and working out EVEN if I only do it for 5 minutes. I have a poster of 5 minute exercises for just this purpose.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 1:50 PM on April 18

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