15 Apr 2020

The “At-Home” Diaries: Dare I Mention Mood?


There is an elephant in my room?
An enormous, frequent and looming trying-to-pretend-it’s-not-there MOOD. There, I said it.

My mood and its swings, roundabouts and 360degree loops are the elephants I am referring to. Yes, there is more than one.

Please tell me you are suffering from mood swings?


Here is the truth.

Under normal circumstances – whatever they were – I am not a moody person and fairly even-tempered. Life runs to a calm hum and most gets taken in my stride.  I feel happy and contented, have nothing to complain about and am extremely grateful for my wonderful life. I have been married forever to the same lovely person and we really do work well together.


Fast forward, in the time of Corona, I feel every ratty mood and then some and for absolutely no reason. The moods don’t last thankfully and I recognise them for what they are, reactions to a stressful and unfamiliar environment. I can be annoyed at the way my home looks, irritated by the way David sits quietly working away; I could berate myself over nothing. None of it makes sense and none of it “real”. He seems to be kinder, more placid and gentler than ever. If he has found a new and challenging moody side, he is concealing his demons well.


It is unusual occupying a body with an unknown personality.

Temper and I aren’t familiar and I wouldn’t say I am a picky person; a perfectionist, yes. Now there are moments when I feel irritable about the smallest detail and fractious at the sound of a footstep.


I suspect it is to do with nervous anxiety, deep-seated fear for our future and the changes it will inevitably bring, and while not visible is playing with my emotions. I’m breathing deeply until these swings disappear as quickly as they came. The content of my disharmony is irrelevant and I am recognising it as such; I keep to myself and let it pass. Deep breathing is a life saviour and one to practice on a regular basis.


The flip side of my disharmony is creativity.

I feel so energised and motivated to create in all ways. Today I ordered the ingredients to start baking; I have never baked anything in my life. Who is this woman? She doesn’t bake or even like cakes but feels like the challenge of a simple but unfamiliar task. Do stop me if my delusions go too far. ;)


Please follow THE EMPORIUM Instagram, Amy is helping me create the most beautiful A-Z of flowers and gardens and we have so many ideas for this series. The challenge of finding both the informational and visual content is such a joy. While my next collection is waiting to launch, I love this hiatus to really think about how far I can take this. Ideas and words are flowing so the erratic state of mind can’t be all bad?



Are you suffering from altered moods? I won’t let them get me down, I refuse and nor will I give credence to their paltry subject matter, but a bit of a roller coaster they certainly are. xv

 

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30 Comments

Sunflower

Vicki, I think we all swing with our moods but it is how we decide to resolve which mood to stay in is the answer. Myself and my family are well, I have a lovely peaceful house and garden and yet at times I do feel slightly disturbed by thoughts which I feel can be impacted by the news whether this be television or radio. So I limit myself to listen to one a day. I’m sure many of us have thoughts of those families that have suffered and of the fabulous and brave people who are working to support the vulnerable but for our own peace of mind we cannot dwell on this for too long. I do sometimes lie on our bed which as full sunshine in the afternoon and do some deep breathing as I feel it grounds and calms me and I do not feel overwhelmed. The simple things in life are what we must focus on and try with all our might not to let anything that makes us feel sad, anxious or unhappy as we all must keep our spirits up and strong for those who for whatever reason feel they can’t. I do send you positive, happy vibes and love Vicki.

Reply
Vicki

Thank you and I am touched by your always very thoughtful responses… I do appreciate them and the time taken to read my words. I agree,
I read what news I need to know but don’t dwell and enjoy the more simple elements, which I did take for granted. I’m about to wander in the garden, take a walk and breathe… Sounds the perfect remedy for now…

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Linda B

Dearest Vicki, how I love your honesty about all this! It is apparently totally normal now to be moody. I think your advice to breathe deeply is truly the answer, both at the physical and soul levels. Filling the lungs slowly and fully with air does wonders. . . and deeply engaging in creative activity lifts the soul.

I love that you are about to try baking! Please let us know how that turns out. A bit of friendly advice: I find that baking is a place to really follow recipes down to the letter, usually, unlike cooking where one can be inventive.

I think we all are suffering from mood swings right now, despite our best efforts; I hear this from all my family and friends. Personally, I have to confess that I have a moody side, and always have. I continuously strive for equanimity, and often succeed (partly down to having learned to use the tools of breathing and creative endeavor!) Oddly, all this extra time at home has been a balm to my moods quite often. But there are days I am just sad and/or anxious. Sometimes there are real reasons even–like yesterday afternoon, when I received a phone call that let me know that there are now three residents of the memory care where my father lives that have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and one has died. . . It is all too possible that my father will not make it through this, and makes me so sad that I have not been able to see him for weeks now, and I fear I may never get to give him a hug again. Of course I am sad. But I am still seeking acceptance, and calm. Breathing deeply. . . My father’s life–or death– is not in my control. . . but my emotional state is at least partly something I can affect. Trying to be gentle with myself this morning.

Reply
Vicki

This breaks my heart to hear of your father. You are wonderfully stoic and right of course, Linda… acceptance of those circumstances beyond your control. You are a wise woman and I admire that.
Thank you for the baking tip… I shall.. although knowing me I will think I can “wing it”.. Promise I won’t.
Thinking of you.. I had very elderly parents who only died in the last few years and I can imagine how you must feel… it’s tough enough in ordinary circumstances.. Stay gentle…

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Michelle à Détroit

I am so very sorry to hear this, Linda. I’ll he thinking of you and your father and hope that he will be spared.

As for my mood, here in the US we have been tragically let down by those who should have the welfare of the people uppermost in their hearts and minds. To be frank, I have to fight rage-every minute of every day. Political discussion is inappropriate here, so I’ll say no more on the matter.

Reply
Vicki

I hear you Michelle… I am not sure where we are heading in the UK either… it has been such a tumultuous time with Brexit and now this…

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Mona Turner

Same! Vicki, I assure you, you are not alone! When this occurs, I am happy to have the awareness of it, and say to myself, “there it is again.” Then I try to focus on being thankful and then those small irritations seem to drift away from me.

Reply
Vicki

That is the word, Mona.. “small”… they are silly and irrelevant but it’s odd to have a personality shift!

Reply
Jane

Hi Vicki, and yes I am also feeling “every ratty mood” as well! (I love that line!) I have become tearful more often than I’d like to admit. On top of the pandemic, winter is lingering where we live in Canada. We still have snow and chilly weather. I am an outdoor kitty and am longing to get outside for fresh air and sunshine! It’s going to be a loooooong year. Hang in there, we can do this! Xoxoxoxoxox

Reply
Vicki

We can, Jane!!!
Actually now you mention it I haven’t been teary… only once… more like a meltdown… but I am “ratty”. Lucky only you know and I’m hiding it from my housemates… hopefully successfully! Thinking of you and hoping for sunshine shortly…

Reply
Teddee Grace

And I thought it was this latest diuretic my doctor has me trying in what seems to be a vain attempt to reduce the chronic edema in my feet and legs I’ve been suffering with since early last fall! Irritability is one of the side effects….so who knows! But, yes, I’m with you. I have lost patience with anything that is the least bit challenging…such as learning to use Zoom for my Tuesday afternoon exercise class…trying to figure out a way to get my aging cat to take her meds! I thought I was dealing with our stay-at-home order fairly well since I am a homebody anyway, but perhaps it is stress. I’ll try deep breathing! Stay well.

Reply
Vicki

Good luck with the breathing Teddee and I am sorry you are experiencing these issues with chronic edema… not the time for it. Take care and look after you…

Reply
DD

Absolutely! That is why I am reading your comforting blog at 0223am on the other side of the world….cannot sleep!!!
It is that little anxiety of the “unknown” lurking in the background, and that this situation we find ourselves in, is completely out of our control. I am just trying to dwell on the positives in my life.
Stay well and enjoy the baking….

Reply
Vicki

Thank you for reading… and I hope I am helping by voicing my own reactions to unchartered territory. Talking out and feeling in tune can only help :)

Reply
Rosa Alfaro

I think the uncertainty is causing a lot of anxiety in all of us, we are navigating the unknown. We all have better days and days where we are moody, it helps me to just acknowledge it, and go with the flow… This is the new normal for some time, and the world and our lives will permanently change.

Reply
Vicki

Yes so true, Rosa… the moods are our way of coping and as long as we recognise they will pass, they won’t hold any weight… Our new normal is a time for reflection and I feel we are all doing our best at that.

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Kate

There is so much sadness and grief throughout the world right now and we are feeling incredible helplessness, which must be taking its toll personally no matter what our normal nature is. Ratty is such a good word to describe our frustrations, I read that and thought, yes that’s exactly how I feel. Slow deep breathing and if possible a walk admiring a flower or trees helps such a lot. Kindness to ourselves at this time is so important.

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Vicki

Yes, Kate… definitely. Helplessness is not something we know and I am sure these are the reasons. Knowing why helps and realising they are very insignificant fears in the scheme of others suffering. Every day I am thankful to know we are safe so far at least. I take nothing for granted anymore.. Look after you :)

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Lisa

You are not alone , Vicki. I too have been moody , and I am typically not a moody person. I think we just have to keep reminding ourselves that God is in control and we have to keep the faith. Blessings to you.
Lisa

Reply
Melanie

Oh my goodness yes…definitely feeling ‘out of sorts’ at times and experiencing mood swings that I rarely, if ever experience. One day perfectly calm and happy and the next empty with an overwhelming sense of dread and uncertainty. I am hoping and praying that once we have a better sense of the road ahead much of this will past. For me personally its the not knowing when some sense of normality will return. Long baths, walks, baking (I hear you Vicki regarding the sudden desire to bake) and cuddles with my wee dog are helping. Keep safe everyone. x

Reply
Vicki

You are doing all the very best things, Melanie… give that little dog a cuddle from me :)

Reply
Sami Muirhead

Dear Vicki. Thank you for another honest and a post I can relate too easily. I have moments where I am in bliss with my 3 kids at home all the time and other moments I just feel sad at the thought of the world. I have been picturing you in your lovely home and hoping you and your family are okay – the United Kingdom has always held a special place in my heart. How good was The Queen’s message and then a bonus Easter message. Lizzie makes me feel calm. So do my four dogs. So do candles. So does sitting in my lovely reading chair. I have time to do more of the lovely things that make me feel calm and spend more time with my dogs and books. There truly are positives. And as for baking – I am not a baker yet either – but we made glorious fish tacos for Easter – served with lashings of lemon and coriander and sour cream. I was inspired by Netflix show Ugly Delicious. We had the tacos with cold rose wine and it was of course a balmy tropical day in Queensland – we almost ate away our fears! Stay healthy and thank you for your balm you give us of your lovely updates. Samille x P.S I have taken to wearing my gorgeous rose gold locked secured from The Emporium with the horse shoes on the front as it brings me comfort too- to know one day Portobello Road and all its glory will re-open again.

Reply
Vicki

The tacos sound delicious Sami… we are all fortunately well and managing the situation in all the ways we have been talking about. I’ll let you know how my baking goes next week… I’m not holding out for any beauties but as long as it tastes good :)

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anitapelayorivera

Good morning Vicki!

Yes. I’m all about moods at this moment, teaching from home through new technologies that I’ve never had to use. But all of us at some level are having to do things we “NEVER DID BEFORE” and that is frightening territory. Lately, I feel as if I have ended my “school day” here at home on a failure. That is NOT a good mood to lay my head on at night. But as a teacher, I reverse the mirror I hold up to the world and see that I am and always will be, a student. What have I learned? That any small accomplishment, no matter how awkward and messy is an effort worth building on. I need to model this for my little charges, and if I don’t know what it really feels like to learn through mistakes, I shouldn’t be teaching.

Therefore, let’s rise and try new things, unafraid.

Reply
Vicki

Yes, Anita… you are so wise and I do value your insights. It is not failure… it will never be in your nature… to be learning and learning as they are will give you added empathy and understanding for your profession… You have reminded me of my early years in teacher training – yes I did the 4th year of university allowing me to teach modern history to senior school and special needs. Anyway.. as I write to you I am remembering my fear, my confusion, the tiredness as I tried to teach “adult” teenagers. It was possibly one of the hardest lessons in my life.

Rise and be unafraid… love that :) Good luck today.

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jeanne..c.

You have explained the emotional aspect of covid-19 well. I tried to comment the other day and even got my subtraction wrong 2 times on the box below. It was a bad day indeed! I am picky as well as a perfectionist but only with myself or so I thought until I told my husband the other day the comforter was crooked on the bed…haha. These are the things that I work on..those little nit-picky things. I will say that there are good things that has come out of confinement such as not sweating the small stuff. Even though there is an elephant in the room sometimes I remember well the time my parents moved back up north and left with 2 suitcases. That was their life in 2 small suitcases. This thought always keeps me grounded as to what in my life is important.

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Vicki

Yes Jeanne… when I think of the extravagant things I am so aware that others won’t have choices and retreat back into a grateful zone. It sounds a bit trite and “goody goody” but it’s the truth. Many are faring so much worse and others have really important work… I know my place is a small one.. :) Our moods are little reminders and mean little.. but in a way they are reminders of what is worthy.. :)

Reply

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