The Inability To Switch Off And Why It Needs To Stop

When I read, I’m either reading to learn, or I’m reading to switch off – Paolo Bacigalupi.

It is the Thursday afternoon before my trip to Ireland, before the unofficial birthday celebrations begin (a bottle of prosecco and catch up with my best friend), and this is the third blog post I am writing today, after also applying for five jobs, packing up yet another box of stuff, and deciding what to take to Ireland for said trip. I have a bit of a problem. I like to be productive. All the time. I feel guilty if I go to bed at night without crossing a single thing off my to do list. That is, if I go to bed at night at home. I don’t seem to have as much of a problem when I am on holiday, or having a bit of a break from life in general. That being said, I usually do have a couple of blog posts already scheduled for my time away which I then promote whilst I’m on holiday… so maybe I do still have a bit of a problem no matter where I am.

This inability to switch off was first clarified to me by my best bud in work. After I had listed all the things that I had to do during my day off work, he told me that I needed to actually take a day off. A day off means no stressing, no typing, no blogging and no to do lists. I, however, feel great after a successful day of productivity and so, I kinda didn’t listen, or take his advice. It has become a little bit of a problem though. Instead of enjoying this blissful unemployment blip by taking it day by day, I am making countless to do lists in order to get everything done that needs doing. Don’t get me wrong, I am currently (as time of publishing) on my third holiday of the past month so I can’t say I’m not taking full advantage of my new (short) lady of leisure status. However, with days like today, I just don’t know when to stop. I get this irrational sense of panic if I don’t complete something on my to do list that I have created myself, which is just a bit ridiculous really.

This topic coincides with a conversation started on Loose Women yesterday. It was the link between the declining of intimacy in millennials and the social pressures of today. Each presenter made a valid point, about stresses from work, trying to get on the property ladder, even anxieties in the bedroom from pornography and ideals of sex. Work is an ongoing thing these days. It isn’t as simple as 9-5, come home and switch off for the evening. Now, the emails are sent to our mobile phones so that we are on top of any work-related crisis straightway, the side hustle exists, the second and third jobs to save money for our future. We don’t have time to slow down and enjoy the moment, because there is always something going on at one hundred miles per hour. As for the property ladder, it is nearly impossible for people of our generation to buy a home due to inflation and the rise of costs. I know people who have bought houses, and I know the struggles they have since buying said houses. I have no idea when we will buy a house because quite frankly, we have not got the money for a deposit of any kind, let alone the house kind. Another point that was made is the attachment our generation has to our phones. They make it impossible to switch off and relax. The news is literally at our fingertips when it breaks, there’s that old monster of comparison online (and so we must work harder to do better) and keeping up to date with family, friends, the latest trends etc. It just consumes so much of our time.

I put why it needs to stop in the title. It is obvious why it needs to stop. I was borderline having a panic attack yesterday just looking at the boxes in my room and having everything swirl around in my brain. It doesn’t need to stop just for me, but for every single person who worries about their never-ending to do lists and their inability to stop and breathe for just one second. Life gets on top of us, and it is no wonder that we never want to return home after a holiday. Out there, somewhere in the world, we can finally relax and break free of the spiralling rollercoaster called life. We need to be able to have those feelings and those moments in our own homes, away from our phones and our to do lists. A book is a good answer for me, but even reading turns into a point on my to do list that needs to be ticked off these days. One of these days, this generation will hit the burn-out stage, and even then we’ll carry on doing everything we possibly can to make our lives the best they can be whilst trying to do our parts in our community and for the world, because let’s not forget that the world is dying and our generation is its last hope… not to stress you out any further…

What do you think about the inability to switch off? Do you have this incessant need to tick things off your to do list? Or, are you more of a go with the flow kinda person? Tell me your secrets if you are!

Love, Faye xo

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