Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Allowing yourself an off day

Time after time you see some people who are always bright, always in a good mood, always optimistic and we are often lulled into believing these people are always in the green and completely in control of their lives. More than once I’ve seen people who have told me that in fact they are not OK and when I ask why they post positive things, there are two responses I typically receive.

On one hand, some people are afraid of showing that in fact they’re not Ok. They don’t want people to know they’re not Ok and for the sake of appearances, they write happy go lucky things in the hopes that no one notices that there is grit, pain, and frustration along with the happy go lucky. That has always been a worrisome answer because people worry more about how they are perceived than how they feel and that leads down a destructive path where you continuously do things in the name of your “image”. Some people might think this is laughable, but this is actually very common.

Actually, people often want to project an image to elicit a reaction. People show that they’re awesome to hear things like “you’re amazing”, “I’m proud of you”, and “you’re something else”. Other people crave attention to the point of always putting negative things to elicit the “there-there” reaction from people. They crave being cared for and would rather always feel poorly and write that they’re not doing well to see that people do in fact care. Then you have the righteous people who fight the good fight on social media but not much else. The people who keep you in their thoughts or prayers but who aren't there for much of the rest of your lives and those who always comment on posts if only to cause someone to smile and feel useful. 

At one time or another, it’s possible we’ve all written and posted things like this, but going back to those positive posts; there is a second reason for that type of content and it's because some people write those things to get in a better headspace. If you want an example, then take me. Some days I’m not doing great and I try to write something positive in the hopes of getting to a better headspace. Sometimes it works while other times I keep slamming into a wall of frustration. And guess what, sometimes you need to have an off day and to feel the freedom to not rejoice in it but at least process it and understand what you’re feeling rather than bury any frustration and ignore it. I'm also not saying I haven't done any of the other things, I'm pretty sure we've all vented, or voiced an opinion, or written something to have an impact and elicit a response. But for my part, I often try to write what I need to process to better understand and accept. It's not because I'm awesome, though. It's because I've tried the alternative and didn't like the results much. 

Ignoring emotions and feelings is something we are wayyyy too good at and during this season, it’s actually very common. 

You’ll deal with it in the New Year, you don’t want to ruin Christmas and countless other alternatives instead of allowing yourself an off day… as if it’s a crime or sin to have a crappy day. 

And by the way, crappy days can just happen, they don’t even need a motif or reason why. Maybe you need to drink more water. Maybe your colon is a bit blocked. Maybe your hormones are doing the emotions cha-cha-cha and you take two step forwards and three steps back. Whatever the case may be, acceptance and understanding shall always be the best options.

To clarify, I’m not saying embrace the crappy day and wallow endlessly. I’m saying accept them and make the most of it. We’re Only Human and although we have the potential for a great many things, we also have a great potential to feel. Denying pain or any sort of malaise is almost guaranteed to be counterproductive and end up setting you up for more pain.

So what to do? Write honestly about it on social media? How about no? In the end, we have the right to feel and we also have the right to share what we want to share. We don’t need to write anything positive just for the sake of it and we don’t have to pour out our emotions either. It’s all a matter of choice and sometimes we forget that we have the choice to feel, to understand, to explore inward, and to NOT post.

Your life is not a social media thread and you don’t have to document every single thing you do, think, believe, or feel. But if you do feel the need to do so, make it a conscious choice, not a kneejerk reaction. In the end, the more you take control of your life, the happier you’ll be.

Peace, love, and maki rolls


  1. Well said. Yes, a good reminder then and now. :)