Identifying Mood Boosters
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: To boost my mood, I like to reach out to someone that I haven’t seen in years or an old friend from a work situation or neighborhood with whom I have lost contact. When you have lived in many places, there are often lots of wonderful people like this. It gives me a lot of joy to reconnect with them through email or phone or sometimes an old fashioned letter!
Also the Salvation Army boost my mood! I am a thrift store nut. This is a hilarious group project or wonderful solitary activity for me. Even if I don’t purchase anything, the thrill of the chase and the nostalgia of those styles-of-yesterday give me a thrill.
—Elizabeth Berger, MD, a mom of a 30-year-old son and a 29-year-old daughter, a child psychiatrist, and the author of Raising Kids with Character, in New York City
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Before having kids, I used to take a walk if I was down. That’s not as easy with two kids. Yet of course I still get irritated. I need to find some new coping strategies. For now I admit I do yell and scream a few times!
When I feel tired and grumpy, I tell myself that it’s going to get better. My kids are going to grow up. It’s not going to be like this forever! Then I remind myself that I’ll miss these days when they are gone. That gives me perspective.
—Bola Oyeyipo-Ajumobi, MD, a mom of five- and two-year-old sons, a family physician at the Veteran’s Administration, and the owner of SlimyBookWorm.com, in San Antonio, TX
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I find that helping other people outside my family really boosts my mood and spirit. The more I do for other people in need, the more I appreciate all that I have and my family.
Before my son was born, I worked for a week in a tent in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, with an organization called Partners in Development. It was a life-changing experience—like Oprah says, “An a-ha moment.” I realized how much people can do with so little. It really put my life into perspective, and it caused me to realize I can do so much more with what I have.
Now that my son is a baby, I don’t feel that I can pick up and leave for an entire week. So instead we “adopted” a family in need, via Partners in Development. We donate money and the program gives it to the family for their needs. It’s an AWESOME organization. They have no overhead operating costs like others where only about five cents of your dollar goes to the cause you were donating for. I saw with my own eyes the money that was sent from the sponsors for a particular child or family being distributed to that family-in full. I also donate as much as I can. Anything I’m not using, I give to someone who needs it more.
—Michelle Davis-Dash, MD, a mom of a 19-month-old son and a pediatrician in Baltimore, MD