Don’t Neglect The Off-Switch

Today I woke up and felt really low for no reason at all. I just woke up and didn’t want to do anything, didn’t want to speak to anyone. I just felt like being by myself and stare at a wall or sit in silence. I just felt like doing nothing…

Can you tell me what part of this statement is false?

The answer is ‘for no reason at all’. I’d be lying, or just plain ignorant, to believe that I am the only person with an “off-switch” day – a day where you feel low and mentally and physically exhausted – but they don’t happen for no reason.

Our bodies are innately trained to deal with everyday life and everyday life struggles. From reflex actions to purposeful movements. We work in ways that occasionally escape even ourselves. The way I see it is that we are capable of lying to one another, so surely we can lie to ourselves. I think our off-switch days come to us when we are consciously or subconsciously drained by events in our lives be it stress, worry, or even happy, and our bodies are basically saying, ‘hold on, you need a break,’ which are these days.

I’m going off on a bit of a tangent. These days definitely happen for a reason and I think they are to reflect, whether you like it or not.

So the next time you have an off-switch day I would like you to try a few things:

  1. Symptoms

What makes your day an off-switch day? Put into words how you feel physically and mentally. For example, does your chest hurt? Do you feel nauseous? Take a moment to understand how you feel. We all forget to do that sometimes. We are so focussed on getting a good grade on an exam, or finishing homework, or getting a job, or trying to not run late for a meeting, or trying to mend a relationship, or whatever,  that we don’t think we have time to take a minute and sort out how we are doing first. There’s always time. We just refuse to believe it.

  1. Talk it out

It doesn’t matter if you go to your parents, carers, stuff animal or pet; figure out how you are feeling but don’t think it. In the words of Edward Cullen, ‘Say it. Out loud. Say it.’ We are all victims of our thoughts. We try to think things through but have you ever thought something and then erased the thought for something else? We have the ability to stop and change our thoughts, but that’s a little harder when we are spouting the first words that come to our heads. It doesn’t have to make sense, but tell yourself or someone else how you feel on days like this, and do it in an outpour of words so you don’t have time to change what you say. So you can’t lie to yourself. It’s crazy what I’ve found out about my state of mind just by spewing words at my childhood toy fluffy cat I named KitKat.

  1. Linger on the feeling

How do you feel now that you’ve said all this stuff out loud? Embarrassed? Lighter? Wet from the pools of spit that has been emitted from your mouth whilst a blur of potential nonsense has been released? (Guess which one of those things I felt). If you don’t feel any different, that’s okay. There might be something else on your mind that’s making you feel down, but no matter how you feel, feel it. Take a second to see if that hit the spot. If saying what you feel out loud in that very moment has garnered some kind of insight into your feelings. Take this second or longer to figure out what you are gonna do from here. We all have people or things we care about that could be the cause or the solution to our off-switch day or hour or even year, but remember:

You’re only walking for you.

You’re only breathing for you,

but you are more than just you.

So take the time to understand what the rest of you is telling you.

I don’t know if I’m making sense, and I don’t care. I’m taking my own advice and saying what I feel on my off-switch day today and I’m writing exactly what I’m saying as I say it in the hope that someone else tries it and it works for them too.

Don’t neglect your off-switch because you might need it more than you realise …

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