DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel like I am always fussing these days. At work, everybody seems on edge, and I am, too. At home, my husband and I seem to go at it about the littlest things. It’s all too much. Being cooped up for a whole year without the normal ways that we could blow off steam is taking its toll on my mood -- and it’s not just me. Everybody around me seems to be affected. I don’t want to be stuck in this bad mood. What can I do? -- No More Bad Mood
DEAR NO MORE BAD MOOD: Good for you for calling out how you feel and noticing that it may be bigger than just a momentary thing. Many people are feeling tense right now. It has been a very long time that we have been either quarantined or dramatically limited in the ways in which we can engage others. And human beings need to be together, while too much togetherness, like your situation at home, can also feel stifling.
Some folks dream about things going back to normal, but as the great spiritual adviser Iyanla Vanzant recently told me, we have to accept “the now.” The past is just that: past, gone. Whenever the pandemic truly passes and the world opens up again, things will be different, and there’s no going back. So your attitude needs to change. I’ve started getting flowers at the grocery store and putting them on my desk. I practice remembering to be kind when I talk to everyone, including the people in my house. I choose more often to start every engagement with positive words and a smile. Try these simple ways of claiming joy.