"Dear Carol, I don't get enough sleep and it's putting me in a bad mood!"
I stay up late, get tired and then let it out on other people, like my family. When I'm feeling energized and I'm not too stressed, I'm happier. Do you have any suggestions on how to not let my anger out so much?
A good night's sleep can make such a difference. It's summer, which means you don't have to get up at dawn to catch a school bus. So instead of staying up 'til all hours, catch up on your zzz's. You'll be amazed at how much more patient and cheerful you feel when you aren't sleep-deprived. Seriously. When you were a little kid, your parents tucked you in. Now you have to tuck yourself in. So do it. Take a nice hot bath or shower. Turn off your phone (it will be there in the morning). Read a book for pleasure. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and let yourself drift. You'll be glad that you snagged that extra hour of sleep rather than staring at a screen waiting for one more text or liking one more photo. It's also important to accept once and for all that even when you are stressed, that doesn't give you a free pass to yell. In fact, if you start yelling, a family member might start yelling back. Ugh! But if you are pleasant and rational, others may stay calm too. My point? You, yes, you, have the power to reset the family thermostat. While it's human and normal to have moods, it's adult and mature not to take them out on others.
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