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10 Things To Do If You Wake Up Feeling Like a Grouch

Did you wake up feeling like a grouch this morning? Turn your day around with this 10 helpful tips!

Okay, so after writing the post about the Laundry Party on Monday evening, some of you might be thinking I’m an ultra-cheerful mom who turns everything into a celebration. Just to keep it real, I had to confess to you all: I woke up feeling like a grouch yesterday morning.

There were a lot of little discouragements that contributed to my attitude, but nothing that was worthy of my all-out grouch mode. Truthfully, I wanted to sit and sulk and nurse my grouchiness. And I did that for the first little bit of the day — even raising my voice at petty little things the kids did.

But then I realized where this would take me: if I didn’t buck up and get a grip on my bad attitude, I’d have a miserable day — and so would everyone else in my home! So, I asked God to please help me have more joy and then started my day looking for things I could do to help me have a more cheerful attitude.

Here are 10 things that helped me:

1. Turn On Some Music

I love listening to instrumental music — especially on days when I’m feeling a little uptight. Turn on whatever music helps to put you in a cheerful mood.

Want to take it a step further? Don’t just listen; sing along. It’s basically impossible not to feel better after a few minutes of singing!

2. Light a Candle

I love fall-scented candles, even when it’s not quite fall yet. Having a pumpkin-flavored candle wafting through the house today made me smile and look forward to the chilly fall days that are just around the corner.

3. Dress For the Day You Hope to Have

It might seem petty, but there’s something about getting dressed up that makes me feel a lot more motivated and energetic. Try it and see if it works for you, too!

(For the record, “dressed up” can mean whatever you want it to — a little makeup and earrings to go with your jeans and t-shirt or donning that cute dress and putting your hair in an updo. It’s up to you… just so long as it’s not jammies or sweats! 🙂

4. Clean Something

Pick a small task — not something overwhelming. It will make you feel fulfilled to start and finish something.

I chose to scrub down the top of my oven. Seeing it all shiny clean the rest of the day was very rewarding.

5. Eat Something Healthy

Fuel your body well. Sometimes, hunger can be at the root of a bad attitude.

Make yourself a plate of some cut up fruits, veggies, and protein (nuts, hard boiled eggs, chicken, etc.) to munch on. Eat these first before hitting the carbs or sweets and you’ll feel a lot better the rest of the day.

6. Drink a Cup of Tea

As I’ve cut back on coffee, I’ve started drinking a lot more tea. I’ve become a big fan of teas that are especially designed to relax and soothe you — such as the Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea. Put a dash of honey and milk in it and it’s the perfect treat for those difficult days.

7. Tackle a Project

Find a small project to start and finish. Set the timer and get busy. It amazed me how quickly I was able to get this basket of laundry folded and put away when I set my mind to it. It was such a simple thing, but tackling it and completing it was very fulfilling.

8. Try a Change of Scenery

Sometimes, getting out and going somewhere or even just taking a walk around the block in the fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your sanity. For me, that meant chucking part of my afternoon routine to spend an hour snuggling with my kids and watching a movie was just the change of pace I needed.

9. Count Your Blessings

There is always something to be thankful for. And it’s amazing how even difficult things can remind us of how blessed we are.

10. Do Something for Someone Else

Sitting and sulking never changes anything, but putting energy and effort into blessing and serving someone else might not change our circumstances or take away our burdens or struggles, but it can certainly help to lift our spirits.

What helps you feel more cheerful and joyful on days when you wake up feeling stuck in a funk?

Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

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  • Ashley says:

    I love this post! I could have really used it this morning. Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you Crystal!

  • Staci says:

    great reminders to me. Keepin’ it real and “REAL” encouragement is why I read your blog. Thanks. It also defiantly reminds me of the MOPS International theme–Beautiful Mess. I think you are in MOPS (or associated with it) do you ever talk about it on here? Id love to hear more about how you encourage other women (I know you write notes of encouragement). If you feel lead tell me more about your accountability partner (or mom friendships) and how that part of you is helpful. I am such a people person—I have learned lots from you as you have stretched yourself. I am interested.

  • Jen Sullivan says:

    Thank you!! Just what I needed today. Wish I had read it this morning and not at midnight! Great inspiration for tomorrow. Thank you for being real and showing the world!! You are making a huge impact on families everywhere. So appreciate you!

  • Anne says:

    Thank you! Great ideas! I do try to figure out why I am feel grouchy. Naming it seems to help me move on from there.

  • Jo Lynn says:

    I’ve found listening to some of my favorite music (The Seeds Family Worship, super upbeat songs designed to help kids memorize scripture. Lol I got their music for my son but found I love them too!) and taking a shower help me to shake the grouches. Getting outside and going for a walk does wonders for me too.

    Thanks for the honesty about waking up grouchy. I think social media can make it seem like that doesn’t happen to others so I thoroughly appreciate your honesty about it and also your ideas to help combat it when it does happen.

    • Crystal says:

      I think most all of us have days when we feel like we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed! I love the suggestion to take a shower — it’s such a simple thing but it can make a big difference!

    • You are so right about social media. It seems like everyone I know–particularly on Facebook– is in a perpetually good mood, never has a bad day, never gets frustrated, etc. And then there’s me.

      It’s okay to be grouchy and admit it. I can’t be perfect all the time. None of us can and it gets exhausting trying to pretend. But these are great strategies to turn it around rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.

  • Carrie says:

    My favorite is #8. When I’m feeling grumpy, I remind myself to take care of my inner toddler. I go outside. Fresh air and sunshine put me in a better mood instantly. I try to spend some time out of doors, barefoot, every day but sometimes I forget, and I feel the grumpiness set in after a couple of days of that.

    • Crystal says:

      I had to smile at the “inner toddler” and at the suggestion of going outside barefoot… I don’t think I’ve done that for awhile. Maybe I should try it soon!

  • Victoria says:

    For me just a little extra quiet time sometimes does the trick. If it is nice I will take 10 minutes on the front porch rocking on my porch swing with a cup of tea. Just breathing in the calm, quiet as well as the fresh air. If it is not nice weather I retreat to my room lie on the bed close my eyes and just try to deep breathe my troubles away. Prayer also helps and I usually do that as well in those moments of silence. When the children were little and silence was harder to grab, that is when I would get them going on an activity like simple puzzles or cars or dinosaurs (can you tell I had boys) before retreating to a spot nearby to grab a bit of a mental break.

  • Lacey says:

    This was a great post. I have to admit I never picture you grumpy so it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that wakes up at way sometimes. Usually I can recognize it in myself and know that it will pass so I lay low. These were great suggestions though that I will definitely try the next time it happens.

  • Sara says:

    I too needed this when I woke up today! I have a 2.5 yr old daughter and a 5 week old and woke up feeling exhausted and grouchy! I’m using your list to lift my spirits so I can enjoy my Saturday with my little ones and husband instead of bringing them down. Thanks !

  • Jillian Kay says:

    Oh yeah. I had one of those days this week. I felt like if my five year old didn’t stop chewing with his mouth open I was going to crawl out of my skin. Time outside roller skating helped us.

  • Dana says:

    Thanks for sharing. I had a funky day yesterday. I agree with everything you said. You just have to get up, shake yourself and take some action. I pinned this for future reference!

  • Guest says:

    So glad I’m not the only one! I’m not a moody person by nature but sometimes I do wake up ready to snap at anything and everything.

    I’ve found that I usually (not always) get that way because things feel chaotic or disorderly. Kind of like you cleaning your stove, I find something/somewhere that can be made more orderly. It calms my mind. It can be cleaning or organizing the pantry or even paying bills or getting through correspondence.

    Laughed about the fall candle – I’m the SAME way! It’s a splurge but I absolutely love the Leaves candle from Bath and Body Works.

    A walk is another great way to get out of a funk or grumpy mood. The fresh air is good for me and getting my body moving just puts me in a better mood.

  • What great ideas! I like all of them but I think the dress for the day you hope to have is the hardest. The one I liked best was the clean something that will make you feel satisfied each time you see it. Great job!

  • Varsha says:


    Thanks for this wonderful post.. Thanks a lot for being real which makes me come and read this blog everyday.. This make me feel I am not alone ..I love your kindness and your encouraging spirit.. Thanks for putting your thoughts into words and helping the world…Music and taking a walk and admiring nature makes me feel better..I am a very emotional and sensitive person .. getting upset easily.. working on changing that attitude… Thank you for everything .. May God bless you and your family..

  • Meredith says:

    Too funny about the candle. I am in SC and it’s supposed to be rip roaring hot here….yet, we are at a high of 68 and it actually feels like fall! We use a wax warmer instead of candles and we lit a candy corn one yesterday!

    Thanks for this post though. The best one in my opinion is the music one. I am a musician and people often forget the power of instrumental music. Sometimes words in music jog our memory and it can make things even worse. There is so much out there to listen to to make your day brighter!

  • WilliamB says:

    I appreciate your sharing the things that don’t go well. There’s a natural tendency to keep our negatives to ourselves. But when one is a blogger and has invited the rest of the world into one’s life, it becomes easy for we (the rest of the world) to think the blogger’s life is only the good parts. Then some of us feel badly or down on ourselves that we’re not that put together either. In short, your sharing your grumpy morning is good for your readers. Thank you.

    Me, when I’m feeling grumpy, it’s often because some unpleasant task is looming over me. Once I realize that, my best bet is to tackle the task head on. Last week it was organizing the freezer and making a list of the contents and their locations. It’s a disfavored task for me. So I enlisted a friend to help. The whole thing took maybe 30 minutes but I felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

    Another go-to for me is to tidy up. Put the dishes away, take the worn-once clothes off the chair (I air them out) and put them away, and so on.

    Per your #10, I find that doing small nice things makes me feel better. Helping someone load her car, letting a parent with kids in line before me, letter a car change lanes in front of me.

    I’m interested to see what ideas your readers have. Maybe I can find a few to add to my list.

  • Anna says:

    I needed this posting a week ago! My hips became misaligned and my ball was coming out of my hip socket (cause unknown). I started having unmanageable pain; nothing touched the pain (pain medications, ice, heat, exercises, muscle relaxants). We thought it was back pain. I got into PT and the therapist manipulated my hips and spine and I got some instant relief. I feel like I am on the road to recovery but for several weeks I have not been able to do anything, work, clean, care for kids. Needless to say I was very grumpy.

    I am still frustrated at not being able to do things but I need to take it slow. Kids have been good but puzzled. My oldest made me lunch each day and when I started going back to work part-time, I would come home to find unch made for me.

    What I am finally understanding is that a hip misalignment is much easier to fix than a bad back and that my pain problem is a reminder I need to take care of myself so I can enjoy what I have–family and health.

  • Oh my word…this was my day EXACTLY yesterday! I did all of those things you listed because I did not want my bad mood to trickle down throughout the day and into my words to the kiddos. So thankful to read this because I know I am not alone!

  • Kimberly says:

    Thank you for the tips. They are very good ideas. I used to struggle BIG time with this, I mean more often than not, I was grouchy. Going for a walk or outside, accomplishing something around the house, or doing something for someone else were especially helpful to me. For those that are Christian I might add praying to you list. If I take the time to start my day off in prayer giving thanks and asking for guidance and asking God how I can serve him and my family this day, I am much less likely to start the day grouchy or even get grouchy during the day. And if I do turn grouchy during the day I just try to take a prayer break someplace quiet (even if it’s hiding in the bathroom at work) and put things into perspective. Since I got into the habit of praying more it’s completely changed my attitude.

  • Michelle says:

    You mean yelling at the kids and then feeling guilty about it after their asleep isn’t a good idea??? Thanks for this post, I’ll have to implement some of these ideas!

  • I have to admit, I’m sitting in my pjs right now and feeling a bit behind and overwhelmed (not quite cranky yet, but I could see it on the horizon). I think if I hurry up and get dressed, tidy up the living room, and follow a couple other tips on this list, I’ll feel a lot better. Thank you! By the way, I’ve been reading your blog for over a year, and you’re my favorite! I followed your link a couple months ago to take Blogelina’s class and was inspired to start my own blog because of you. Thanks so much, Crystal!

    • Crystal says:

      Thank you so much for your kind encouragement!

      • Molly says:

        I know what you mean, Crystal inspired me to do my own blog as well. This is one of the greatest sites on the internet. By the way, I visited your blog and it’s great, I am trying to find my way back to the Lord. I have questioned my faith alot and I am starting to find my way back. There are things that I cannot control, only he can. I question alot of things, but I know, if I trust in him, everything will be great. I will be visiting your site more, actually, I am going to put you on my blog list.

  • Lynn says:

    Great list and greatly needed! Sometimes getting outside for a few minutes helps clear my head, even if it’s just for five minutes on a gloomy day. There’s something about fresh air!

  • Heather says:

    This post was PERFECT for me today..thanks so much for the reminders 🙂 Your timing was a HUGE blessing for this tired mom of 6 🙂

  • Brenda says:

    The other day I actually put jewelry on and my kids asked me where I was going. Since then, I’ve decided to at least wear earrings every day. I am amazed at how much just that one thing affects me mood. Weird, but handy. 🙂

  • Karyn says:

    Snuggle with my children, tell them how special they are. Or connect with a friend – sms or facebook message. It always lifts my spirits to connect with others and helps me to reset.
    Thanks for the great ideas, Crystal!

  • Very, very good list! I definitely have my grouchy days too (too often I think!), but I do many of these things to help turn my attitude around.
    This goes along with your point on changing scenery, but I usually like to say phooey with my to-do list and go outside for a while. A little fresh air and exercise can clear my thinking and help me realize things aren’t as bad as they seem. It also gets my eyes off all the little messes inside that are driving me nuts and gives the kids a chance to burn off some of their crazy wildness which contributes to my agitation when we’re all inside our tiny house.

  • Mary says:

    I love this list! Thank-you!

  • Deb says:

    Great post! Thanks for keeping it real and also some great ideas!

  • Thanks for the great tips! Something that often lifts my mood is to read an inspiring story about someone who has overcome challenges.

  • Molly says:

    Wow Crystal, this is a great post. I think I am starting to think like a blogger more and more each day. I started doing the pointers you gave on “How to Never Run out of Blog Posts”. I’ve started jotting things down on my notepad. I was going to do a post on my blog about how I am usually grouchy myself in the mornings and how I never have any energy and what I started doing to get myself out of that rut. I actually did Number 7 yesterday. I had tons of laundry to sort through and I must say, I felt so much better, because, it got done and I accomplished something instead of just sitting there feeling grouchy. Alot of times, I do what Jo Lynn does, I take a shower and it feels great and I feel so much better. I am going to get started on my post and I am going to put a link to your story so my readers can read your suggestions!

  • Bobbi says:

    Wish I would have seen this yesterday! Maybe I wouldn’t have been so crabby when my husband got home last night. I was just so exhausted and I need reminders to take care of myself! You’re so right, listening to music, lighting a candle/diffusing some essential oils/eating something healthy are great ideas, nothing difficult or too time consuming, even on really busy days. Thanks for the reminders!! Should make the rest of this week go much more smoothly!! (o:

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! You are so right!!!!! I get on pity partys, and have thought of some of what you said, but got some great pointers. I have been disabled and am now housebound. Before that, I worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs, made crafts to sale, took care of my parents and my 2 children. My husband left when they were 12 and 6 (of course left all the bills), but with God’s help, I made it and was able to bring them up in a Christian home. They may not have had everything they wanted, but they had everything they needed. And they both (they are now 42 & 36) have said they didn’t realize the ways I was cutting corners – they thought we were having fun. They both learned how to save and manage money which they are thankful for! And the Lord blessed me – He brought me and a man who I had gone to grammer school with togher (his wife had done him the same way). We have had a wonderful marriage for 17 years and I thank God every day for him! I now have cancer, and without my husband, I couldn’t make it – he is disabled with arthritis (bad!), we both help each other and we have a church family who is good to us! I have so much to be thankful for! I am so blessed!!!!! God Bless You and Yours and Thank you for all the hard work you do to help me and everyone else!!!!

  • Amen. I am so not a morning person. I am a grouch and I hate that my kids see this. I find if I just get motivated and wake earlier to have some time with God, it’s all easier. Getting dressed with makeup and jewelry does help. As does eating well. I have a routine with essential oils to help my mood balance. It works! And then when I’m all dressed, my kids ask, “Where are we going?” sigh.

  • Rebecca says:

    A couple of things that help me when I’m grouchy are to remember that–if it’s a problem with my kids, they didn’t wake up planning to sabotage my day. I think it’s easy to take their bad attitudes/issues personally! Sometimes just having a spanking stick nearby helps me not to lose it! (God has given me the tools and the wisdom I need to “deal with them”–to teach their hearts instead of yelling at them). Also, I currently have a newborn and it was recommended in Rachel Jankovic’s “Loving the Little Years” book not to calculate how much sleep I got (or didn’t get)–i.e. how many times I was up with the baby and for how long, etc. My hubby and I are the ones that take care of our kids; don’t make them feel bad for it! A cup of coffee and the Word (even in bits and pieces) always helps, too, and trying to figure out when I can close my eyes for at least 10-15 mins sometime later on in the day!!

  • What a great post, thanks Crystal! These all help. Music (the right music, that is) is amazing at changing our moods… I love listening to beautiful music in the car (especially when I’m in the car alone – I get to turn it up really loud and immerse myself in it 🙂 )

  • Michelle Owings-Christian says:

    I do many of these things as well, Crystal, to set my mood. Music works really well. One thing that I have determined is my most non-negotiable of Big Rocks is the fact that after testing my sugar (I’m a diabetic) and taking my meds, and then doing the Make Over Your Mornings course, is to do my journal work. That work consists of a short “what’s up” in my life; a spiritual meditation (currently, Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily meditation) and my comments, responses to it; a card pull; MY NINE WAVES OF GRATITUDE; and then a short list of people who have asked me to pray for them, or have been on my heart. Then I “pray over my planner”, and ask for the grace to accept what God thinks is important, even if I didn’t plan for it. The Nine Waves of Gratitude is nine things for which I am grateful. Nine is a very sacred number in Celtic Spirituality, which is a big influence on my spiritual journey. That’s why it is Nine. It can be as many things as you want, I suppose. I’ve been doing the Nine Waves of Gratitude for two months now. It really does set my day up well. When I get frustrated, I can stop and breathe for a minute or two and remember that I am still able to be breathing and above dirt. (I almost died three times in 2014, so that is a very real thing to me. I still have medical issues — and I am still here to talk about them!)

  • Rachel Nielson says:

    Hi, Crystal! I am an editor for Power of Moms, and I would like to feature this article as a Power of Moms Pick this Friday. We will publish a short excerpt and then send readers on to your site to read the full article. We will also include a link to the podcast you did with April Perry and the presentation you gave at the Mom Conference. I know how busy you are, so need to respond unless this is NOT okay with you. Thank you for your great work! I did your Makeover Your Mornings course, and I loved it.

  • Cassie says:

    I have recently gotten a new phone and blue tooth speaker. I love playing fun stations. a driving dance beat is such fun!! 🙂 Helps with my slow grumpy mornings. I am a nurse and a hard day is one with very little sleep, I am talking a few hours or less!

  • Wendy Briscoe says:


    There are times when we need to check our health and hormones and realize where are moods are coming from. I had to go to my Dr and get some extra “happy pills” and it helped tons. Just a touch more estrogen made all the difference. When I know that one week I won’t have any I really try to watch what I say, and do. We are human, we can and will be grouchy, but sometimes just knowing our bodies may be lacking something. (Hormone levels gone up or down, or poor diet, not enough water.) it all factors in to how we feel and treat ourselves. Are we getting enough sunshine? Enough water etc? Simple things like that can make a huge difference. Love this post!

  • Elga says:

    I have just started your Makeover Your Mornings course and it is just what I need! I am one of those moms who started having my children late . Being in my mid 40’s with 2 toddlers in kindergarten. There are certainly occasions when I feel really swamped and overwhelmed with it all. Your course and your blog are stepping on my toes. But definitely in a good way. It really is the wake up call I need right now. And I hope it will be the catalyst I need to turn my situation around by bringing me to a place f discipline and organization in my spiritual and family life that causes me to feel more fulfilled and productive. Bearing good fruit in every area so that I can be a blessing to my family and to others. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and giving me a peek into your life. It lets me know that even though managing a full time job, and being a wife and mother without losing who I am may seem impossible, It is certainly doable. So God bless you and your family, Crystal.

  • I just (finally) got make over your mornings this weekend, and I am so glad that I did. I struggle sometimes with waking up grumpy, and I hate it because I feel that it really sets a negative tone for everyone in the house. These are some great strategies to combat grumpiness. Sometimes when I am angry or upset, I tend to clean and as things start looking nicer, I start to relax. I am so glad I got this course, because my mornings have been a hot mess since we moved back to Nashville about 4 years ago. I used to have a great routine, and I can’t believe I let it take this long to get back on track. Thanks Crystal!

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