Is lockdown making you feel irritable

Do you feel more irritable since lockdown?

Is lockdown making you feel irritable?
Is lockdown making you feel irritable? —Photo by

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

Irritable, bad tempered, cranky
Feeling more irritable since lockdown? Photo by Pexels

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:

  • bad-tempered
  • short-tempered
  • quick-tempered
  • agitated
  • put out
  • peeved
  • tetchy
  • snappy
  • angry
  • cranky
  • moody
  • impatient

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

Irritability at work can cause problems
Irritability at work can cause problems — Photo by Pexels

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

Times of uncertainty can make us feel irritable
Times of uncertainty can make us feel irritable — Photo by

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

Couples can become defensive and irritable with each other, for no good reason
Couples can become defensive and irritable — Photo by

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

discontented black couple arguing in kitchen at home
Small things make us irritable — Photo by Pexels

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:

  1. Those damn unsolicited phone calls
  2. Waiting on the phone for ages, then the line goes dead
  3. 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!
  4. 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!”
  5. When you call large companies and they play their favourite music while you wait — there’s a picture developing here! I hate phones
  6. My wi-fi going off for no apparent reason
  7. My parcels get lost in the post or the postman leaves a note saying I wasn’t in! I’m always in!
  8. Forgetting the millions of passwords or the new second authentication needed these days
  9. People eating with their mouth open, and making lots of chomping, lip slapping or slurping noises
  10. Trying to open the sellotape
  11. People rattling sweet packets or whispering loudly in the cinema
  12. Those drivers that think we’re all mind readers so they don’t use their indicators
  13. That person in front of you paying all their monthly bills with loose change
  14. 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!”
  15. Sales assistants chatting away to their colleagues, pretending that you’re not there
  16. Hubby talking all through my programmes, asking inane questions when he’s not even remotely interested
  17. 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
  18. Hubby slurping hot drinks and soup, smacking his lips and trying to talk with his mouth full
  19. Hubby leaving the top off the toothpaste and the bathroom mirror all smeared
  20. 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

Transverse Myelitis is a chronic disorder that causes me lots of pain and makes me irritable :(
Transverse Myelitis is a chronic disorder that causes me lots of pain and makes me irritable 🙁

But sometimes, feeling irritable may have nothing to do with life’s challenges according to 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.



Mum to two amazing sons. Following recovery from a lengthy psychotic episode, depression, anxiety and anorexia, I decided to train as a Mental Health Nurse and worked successfully in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager. I am a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Youth and Mental Health Armed Forces Instructor. Just started my mental health from the other side blog.

37 thoughts on “Is lockdown making you feel irritable”

  1. I spend most of my time at home anyway, so lockdown hasn’t affect me all that much. I sometimes get irritable as part of my depression. I’ve never been able to figure out what brings it on, because it’s not usually part of my symptom mix, but when it does show up, it’s ugly. I yell and swear and people and am really just not suitable for social interaction.

    1. I’m laughing, cos that’s me too — yelling, mainly at hubby, and swear words. He has to ‘hold me’ back when we’re out and people are bashing their trolleys into my already battered and bruised heels.

      1. The stereotype may be that we crazy folk are dangerous, but people don’t realize that this is where the danger actually lies… 😁

    1. Lol!!! Was I ranting? It was good to get it out of my system. Then after I posted it, I watched as hubby slurped, chomped and chewed his way through a large bowl of cereal — aarrgghhh!

      But this time I didn’t ask sarcastically “are you enjoying that?” I just felt my knuckles tightening 😉 I had to relax then, drop my shoulders and breathe……………

      It still irritated me.

      1. Seriously, there are so many things now where I have to just let it go. I suspect that is why I am okay with lockdown, but so many people I speak to are frazzled.

      2. That’s good you can do that – let things go. I’ve been trying since yesterday writing this post and I’m really going to keep trying to remain calm 😉

  2. Very informative! I struggle with irritability, and the main recipient of it is my dad. I was getting really irritable a few weeks ago when we had a massive snowfall and ice storm. Our dog needs constant daily walking, and walking her in that weather was so difficult. On top of the obvious reasons, we took her into the street, where the snow and ice was mostly cleared, and we kept getting almost run over (these were back roads with low speed limits and minimal traffic). And then the doggie was closer to the dogs across the street, since we were on the street and not the sidewalk, and she kept lunging at them to try to reach them, all ninety pounds of her, and by the time the snow melted, I was fit to be tied from it all. Fortunately, spring has come (for the most part), but golly, I was about to explode.

    Regarding your reference to #4 above, I’ve heard horrible things about your country’s healthcare system, and you have my full sympathy! Good grief, they need to try harder… or something. It just seems awful.

    If I’m too irritable to my dad, who has the patience of a saint, I usually try to mnake up for it by buying him a treat or acting extra nice!! 🙂 Hormonal issues can also make me a crab. Great blog post!!

    1. I think we all have someone we take it all out on lol. You did make me giggle, as always, being about to explode!

      Generally our general healthcare system is good but I think dentists have become really greedy and they don’t make much money from NHS patients!! I wrote to my MP who was really helpful and I was able to write to dentists who’d initially refused me an NHS appointment, telling them I’d informed my MP who would contact them. Ha! I got an immediate appointment offered by two dentists.

      When I saw hubby yesterday, after this post, I was really calm and nice – I’m sure he wondered what was up. I’m just really trying not to snap at him when he walks through the flat in his muddy boots just after I’ve had it mopped. And I tried to breathe through his slurping, lip-slapping and chomping at an extra large bowl of crunchy cereal 😉

      It’s not easy trying not to be irritated!

  3. Hey Caz,
    Good to see you writing again and great post.
    I think I’ve summed up my irritabilities in my last few posts. 🤣
    I’m on a better run I think.. 🤣 💖
    Take good care. ❤️

    1. Thank you Cindy. I’ve got a lots of reading other blogs to catch up on, and hopefully I’ll get to see what makes you irritable lol 🤣🤣

      You look after yourself too my lovely ❤️

      1. You’re so welcome Caz!
        🤣🤣🤣 life is a daily adventure as you well know.
        Thanks for the wish… all good … Today. 🤣 xo

  4. I have found this time of self-isolation to be helpful, actually, though the increase in noise at night and smoke filtering into my room from other apartments has been a problem that gets worse with the weather.

    I actually feel safer in isolation, since I don’t have to put forward the effort to socialize and look like I am enjoying being in crowds of people who are mostly superficial or self-interested.

    Stay safe,


    1. Hi Shira! Wow, you’re getting noise? Our streets are like ghost towns and we have no traffic racing down our streets, revving their engines and blowing their horns.

      Yes, I don’t actually mind the isolation as I’m used to it. But I’d still like the choice to go out, if I want to.. And I desperately need a holiday as the heat’s good for my condition 🙂

      Look after yourself my lovely,
      Caz ❤️

      1. Hi, Caz: yup, I live off off a major throughway, and I am treated to the sounds of revving engines rather often: which probably explains the higher death rate despite the lower levels of traffic, this past year!
        I like the heat too, though I miss the humidity of DC. Living in a semi-desert, I find, makes me feel chilly most of the time!

        But I am here, while I look for a place where people value protected cycling lanes and civility.
        Stay safe!

      2. Well Shira, I’m still enjoying the low noise levels and the sun’s coming out – though it’s still rather cold here. Soon as I can, booking flight to Spain 😉

        Our London Mayor has practically put in protected cycling lanes right through London, causing chaos everywhere!! People are up in arms as there was no consultation! Bring on a new Mayor — sooon lol.

        You stay well too — Caz x

      3. LOL!
        Apparently there was a huge debate in Montreal as well, before protected lanes were put in, but now everyone seems to appreciate them, a year or more after they’ve had time to get used to them, it seems.

        Warm regards,

  5. Even though I am an introvert, I do like to mix a little, or go out. But since lockdown 3, I am more frustrated and irritable.
    It doesn’t help with whats going on in my life, as well as restrictions adding to it. But I am now becoming where I am more at home and happy to be in four walls, because anxiety wise, its easier.
    I still though can get irritable regardless, restless and, fidgety and so after feeling restless recently at home, I find taking myself to bed early. For the other times when frustration high, dvd’s, or quiet, if I can get it.

    1. Yes, like me – a bit of an introvert with people I don’t know – I’d like to be able to go out when I want to.

      Aaaww, sorry to hear things are going on for you Liz but also glad that you’re feeling happier and safer to be within your four walls. I’m a bit like that, and I can also irritate myself lol. Like dropping and breaking things, spilling hot oil on myself , falling over and grazing my face, elbows and knees!

      I like the quiet time and I try to do my mindfulness 🙂 ❤️

      1. I was doing a lot of dropping things yesterday and I thought oh no, not that again. Luckily, the items were not breakable.

  6. The kids impacting my sleep has made me irritable along with a drop in job satisfaction. Honestly I’m looking forward to the gym reopening so I can slam some weights around again!

    1. Oh James, I can well imagine the impact of no sleep — and — poor job satisfaction. Hopefully that will change once we come out of lockdown? Or maybe it’s a good time to retrain? Yep, the gym would be good. The swimming pool and a holiday in the sun will do it for me 🙂

      1. I think the whole lockdown experience has reminded me how short life is! I do quite fancy looking into a job out the comfort zone along with a sunny holiday!

      2. Sounds good. I retrained at 36 to become a mental health nurse and it was the best thing (in terms of a job) I ever did. Twice the hours and half the pay but it was still the best job in the world 🙂 I wish you well and hope you get your holiday soon too 🙂

  7. Wow, Caz. Awesome post, almost lyrical in its cadence. I can certainly relate to the irritation, but not necessarily because of lockdown.

    When I get told I’m being grumpy, I just point to the picture of Grumpy on my t-shirt. Yes, and I also get called grumpa 😎

    How is hubby doing? We have a swear jar in place for Linda 😂

    I do feel disappointed when out and about and people aren’t respecting social distancing and so on. So, I like it when I walk into a place and it says: sign in with our QR code, sanitise etc – otherwise no entry.

    I think it’s okay to feel irritated, it’s how you handle it though and de-escalate. Sometimes, I do it well and other times it’s a disaster. Successful strategies for me include removing myself from the situation, taking a deep breath, or talking about it (if I can). When driving, sometimes it’s a case of read my lips.

    Being able to keep the garden alive and undertaking a complete revamp of the main bathroom has helped.

    Take care and keep helping us all stay sane 😊🥳😊

    1. Maybe it’s not Lockdown with me either lol. I might just be grumpy 😉 But only outwardly with hubby lol, he gets the brunt of it. After all these years, I know I should just accept he’s a messy so-and-so, a noisy eater and a creature of habit. He won’t be changing any time soon lol.
      Linda’s swear jar sounds great – perhaps I should get one for every time I think swear words lol.

      I tend to be quick to de-escalate and apologise but I just don’t like being irritated. I know if I had a garden, I’d be out there tending to it every day, so I’m happy to hear being out in your garden helps you too.

      Hoping you’re all safe and well, sending best wishes 😊😊

  8. I am mostly a stay at home kind of person anyway aside from the walks and playgrounds that the kids and I go to. We spent a lot of time at the library as well. I have actually enjoyed not having to see family or deal with unwanted guests. Holidays without the drama has been a blessing! With the small things like family walks taken away from us I had to get a bit more creative but we have been making it through.

    Lockdown affected me because I went from a very part time working mom (14-15 hours a week) to being away from home 50-60 hours a week who was also struggling with educating my kids, and helping them through all the confusion! I was constantly around people (angry, scared and mostly rude people) and my mental health took another hard hit from that. We have found a nicer groove now haha

    1. Oh Angie, I get you about having to meet up with certain family members, lol. I too am a homebuddy and like to sit in peace, no t.v. or music. That way, I can concentrate on writing.

      Oh wow, 50-60 hours a week away from home? That’s insane! And it’s no wonder it affected your mental state.

      I wish you well my lovely, you take care x

  9. Argh, phone menus! Even on days when I’m not already irritable, trying to get through the maze of numbers and hold music is a sure way to bring out my grouchiest side. 😣

    It’s unfortunate how one of the first symptoms of irritability can be the urge to deny it. I rarely recognize that I have become irritable until after I’ve snarked at a few people unnecessarily. By that time, my irritability has sparked an echo in those I’ve snarked at, and it just becomes even harder to get out of the tangled web.

    1. Mobiles aarrgghhh! I don’t get how people can chat then go look for some other app to pass on info to the person they’re talking to. I can only do one thing at a time on my mobile lol.

      Yep, that used to be my first response. “No I’m not moody” or “well you shouldn’t keep bugging me” and so on. I’ve ;earned to adapt a little. Tho’ hubby still gets the grumpy me 😉

  10. Honestly, most of those things drove me insane long before Covid-19 came along. I just find people who do certain things rude and ignorant. I’m also pretty sure I have misophonia, which doesn’t help haha

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