Do you feel more irritable since lockdown?
Do you feel irritable, particularly since lockdown? Are you feeling more irritable than usual?
It might be lockdown, but there could also be a health condition, medical reason, or medication that’s causing your irritability. More of that later.
I’m so easily irritated these days. Anything from hubby leaving three pairs of footwear in the living room to the lady in the post office who appears to be paying all her bills in pennies…….. and I’m tetchy!
It can’t just be me? Surely? I don’t know if it’s the lockdown; not having the freedom to do as I wish or am able to. Like going to visit family (though I have been known to bend the rules a few times), just going out for a coffee or to the pub for a glass of wine.
Okay, I can drink coffee, and wine for that matter, at home. But I’m a people person, a people watcher and a social butterfly — I like to be doing.
While I continue to do things, it’s mainly cooking and baking. But this is having an adverse effect on my weight, and that’s making me irritable. Not to mention how hubby’s lip-smacking, slurping and chomping on these homemade goodies is making me even more cranky.
What is this irritability
Irritability is the tendency to get upset for reasons that seem – to other people – to be pretty minor. We might not even be able to explain it or know what we can do to reduce our snappiness. But we know it’s there. We might feel, or come across as:
- put out
Most of us have been snappy with others at some time or other, which is often followed by a wave of guilt because we’ve upset someone.
Address your irritability
But, if we’re not careful, our being constantly tetchy could cause massive issues in our lives. If we’re always saying things we don’t mean it can harm our relationships. We might become unproductive at work because we’re easily ticked off by our colleagues, so it’s essential we begin to address our irritability.
If someone calls you “grumpy” or “moody” there’s no point in snapping back “No I’m not!” That’s your opening, they’ve given you a chance to recognise how you’re coming across. You can accept it and apologise with “Yes, you’re right, and I’m sorry. I’m having a bad day,” or “Sorry, I’m feeling tetchy because……”
Maybe you don’t want them to know why you’re “grumpy” so you could just say something like “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Instead, hubby puts out the cutlery, and you remind him (again) that the knives go on the right-hand side! He takes a huge breath and swipes all the cutlery to the floor, yelling “do it your effin’ self then!”
Yes, an ex of mine did this! It was a really minor criticism and technically I was right. But he just erupted! He was cranky and angry. Still, I felt guilty for having criticised him in the first place.
Stressful situations like lockdown make us feel irritable
In times of uncertainty, it can be easy for emotions to run high and you may feel like you’re at the end of your tether; like a volcano ready to erupt!
Stressful situations, like the USA Presidential election, Covid and lockdown or economic hardship etc can trigger feelings of dread, anger, and anxiety, which can also increase your risk of irritability.
I think most of us are feeling the effects of lockdown and all that goes with it. Even our little ones are fed up, not being able to see their friends, have birthday parties or go out to the cinema or old McDonald’s.
Friends report having moody teenagers, slamming doors and being more obnoxious than usual. Some say their little ones are fed up constantly sitting in front of the t.v.; they’re bored with the cartoons, and they’re cranky. Meanwhile, mum’s in another room trying to work from home, and she’s also tetchy.
What’s really going on for the agitated person
I love this excerpt from The School of Life — Behind most outbursts are cack-handed attempts to teach the other person something. There are things we’d like to point out, flaws that we can discern, remarks we feel we must make, but our awareness of how to proceed is panicked and hasty.
We give cack-handed, mean speeches, which bear no faith in the legitimacy of the act of imparting advice. And when our partners are on the receiving end of these irritable ‘lessons’, they of course swiftly grow defensive and brittle. Our suggestions seem more like mean-minded and senseless assaults on their very natures rather than caring, gentle attempts to address troublesome aspects of joint life.
Small things that can make
us me irritable
When I haven’t slept for two or three days and when I’m in pain I become really cranky and I’m quick to snap at people. I can’t stand:
- Those damn unsolicited phone calls
- Waiting on the phone for ages, then the line goes dead
- Those phone calls that tell you to “press no.1 for sales, press 2 for accounts, 3 for……. and after you’ve pressed the number for whatever service you need, you’re told, “press number 1 for …………………….” Aarrgghhhhh!
- The smarmy receptionist who tells you “No we don’t have any NHS patient appointments for three-four months” I’ve called back and said I’ll go private and I can hear her smarminess, “Oh, that’s great, we have an appointment this afternoon!”
- When you call large companies and they play their favourite music while you wait — there’s a picture developing here! I hate phones
- My wi-fi going off for no apparent reason
- My parcels get lost in the post or the postman leaves a note saying I wasn’t in! I’m always in!
- Forgetting the millions of passwords or the new second authentication needed these days
- People eating with their mouth open, and making lots of chomping, lip slapping or slurping noises
- Trying to open the sellotape
- People rattling sweet packets or whispering loudly in the cinema
- Those drivers that think we’re all mind readers so they don’t use their indicators
- That person in front of you paying all their monthly bills with loose change
- When people allow their kids to misbehave in theatres, the cinema or restaurants — then they smile at you like “aren’t my kids so cute!”
- Sales assistants chatting away to their colleagues, pretending that you’re not there
- Hubby talking all through my programmes, asking inane questions when he’s not even remotely interested
- Hubby putting yummy foods in front of me when I’ve already said I’m not hungry or I’ve had enough for today — see I have this terrible habit of eating whatever’s in front of me — you’ll always find me by the food at parties. That irritates me too
- Hubby slurping hot drinks and soup, smacking his lips and trying to talk with his mouth full
- Hubby leaving the top off the toothpaste and the bathroom mirror all smeared
- Hubby shoving sweet packets or socks down the side of the sofa? What’s all that about?
Maybe it’s just me who finds hubby’s quirks odd?
Irritability can be caused by many things
But sometimes, feeling irritable may have nothing to do with life’s challenges according to Thehealthy.com. Everything from a lack of sleep to certain medications could be to blame.
So, the next time you ask yourself “why am I so irritable?” understand there could be a medical reason for your moodiness. You could contact your doctor who’ll ask you some questions and let you know if there’s an underlying issue for your irritability.
I’m in constant pain due to Transverse Myelitis and I get tetchy easily and quite often 🙁 So I’m constantly having to apologise to hubby. But what irritates me is that, even when he knows he’s in the wrong, he won’t apologise! He’s a sulker 😉
Next time, let’s take a look at ways to relieve our irritability.
Over to you
You’ve seen how tetchy I get, so what makes you irritable? Can you share with us? And how do you relieve it?
I look forward to hearing what you think and I’m always happy to answer any questions. In the meantime, stay safe and well.