What can Alexander (the one who had the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day) teach teachers about keeping your moods in check?

When you find yourself starting the day in a bad mood there are some things you can do.Have you even woken up with metaphorical gum in your hair?  Sometimes you just know the moment that alarm rings that it is going to be a bad day.  What is it? Not enough sleep? Hormones? Real gum in your hair?  Whatever the cause, it happens, and as a teacher you cannot let your funk get in the way of kids learning.

When you find yourself starting the day in a bad mood there are some things you can do.  First off, if this happens to you often – see a doctor.  There may be a medical condition at play here.  Secondly, if you know your foul mood is from a lack of sleep – vow to get more sleep.  Sleep deprivation can really mess up a normally sunny disposition.

Let’s say those two scenarios have nothing to do with your dismal state of mind. Don’t worry, here are some tried and true mood lifters for you to try:

1. Force yourself to smile
– seriously.  Even if you tripped on a skateboard and dropped your sweater in the sink.  Studies have shown that smiling produces a feeling of happiness within your body.  Check out the work of Paul Ekman if you don’t believe me. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/26/science/one-smile-only-one-can-lift-a-mood.html

2. Listen to music – The benefits of listening to music abound.  There’s a reason the dentist plays music in the patient rooms.  It can distract you and keep you calm.  There’s also a reason the high school band plays music before the big game. It can rev you up and get you ready for action.  So, pick the mood your shooting for and crank up the tunes.  Sing along for even better results. Don’t worry it you can’t carry a tune in a Cindy tote. If Alexander can count without a 16 (who needs 16?), then you can sing any way you want. I’ll take mine in P!nk. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20031022/music-improves-mood

3.  Do something kind for someone – Just because you didn’t find a toy in your cereal box this morning doesn’t mean that you can’t give to others.  Even an act as small as thanking someone, washing someone’s coffee mug, or opening a door for someone has been proven to elevate your mood.  If you really need a pick-me-up you can always do my recess duty for me, really, I’ll let you! http://drjohnhealthalert.blogspot.com/2012/01/acts-of-kindness-mood.html

4. Exercise – Your body will release endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine and you’ll feel better.  You don’t have to have brand new shoes with colorful stripes  those plain boring white ones will do just fine. Hop into those workout clothes and start moving that beautiful body. http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongfitness/a/exercise_mood.htm

5. Get a good laugh – It’s hard to laugh with soap in your eye, but the stung goes away eventually. And laughter is known to help your body release serotonin which makes you feel more content.  My son installed the app iFunny on my ipad mini and when I need a good laugh, it’s the first place I go for a quick fix.  If you are in the mood for a longer laugh, check out Kid Snippets on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDFD0284A5DA24371   “Math Class” is my all time favorite. There is no way I’m in a bad mood after watching that – I can so relate!

6. Play with your cat (or dog, if you must) – Even if you become someone’s third best friend you’ll always find unconditional love in your furry friends.  Playing with your pets releases all those feel-good hormones in your brain and lowers the stress hormone cortisol.  Pets get you moving too. Just try to forgive and forget those little hairballs “presents” that they leave for you once in a while. Oh yes, they are worth the trouble aren’t they? http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/pets-depression

So please don’t feel that you need to move to Australia in order to escape your bad mood.  Just try some of these activities first, please.  We need our wonderful teachers here!

Some Alexander Books for you:


10 Lessons from Storybook Characters