We’ve all had them: those "off" days where you just don’t feel like your usual self. You don't feel sick, but you don't feel completely okay, either. There isn’t anything specific wrong, at least nothing you can immediately identify. It might even be hard to pinpoint exactly how you're feeling.
But something definitely feels a little different, and not in a good way.
When you find yourself having an off day, the last thing you want to do is overreact, as that just lays the groundwork for things to get worse. Instead, use the following tips to help you get back to your usual self as quickly as possible.
Don’t stress out over your day.
Yes, you’re having an off day. You don’t feel like you’re on top of your game. Maybe your energy is running a little low. Or, perhaps you feel a little down, maybe slightly more low-keyed than usual. It’s simply how you’re feeling on this particular day. It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not a cause for panic.
It’s easy to become overly concerned about an off day, especially when you're not sure what's causing it. If you think you're falling short from some standard or ideal you should be living up to, that can add to the pressure and concern you're feeling.
Keep in mind that unlike the picture-perfect images we see online or on movie screens, real life isn't perfect. Real life comes with ups and downs. Some days are better than others, and there are bound to be some days where you just don't feel like your usual self. That's completely normal and totally okay.
Be kind and respectful to yourself.
Listen to your body and honour your feelings. Show yourself the same kindness, consideration, and respect you would show anyone else. What does that mean in practical terms?
Don’t berate yourself or get down on yourself for failing to meet an unrealistic standard of perfection. An occasional off day doesn't mean you're inadequate; it means you're human.
Relax and take it easy. Grab a moment for yourself, if possible. If you can lighten your schedule for the day, do so. Try to get outside for a walk and some fresh air. Turn in to bed a little earlier, if you can.
Talk to someone.
It's amazing how talking to someone else can totally turn things around when you're having an off day. Articulating your thoughts and feelings often brings clarity so you're less inclined to "catastrophize" a situation. As the other person listens to you, their feedback can cause a shift by helping you see things from a different perspective. Beyond the feedback provided, simply being listened to is often enough to leave you feeling better.
Putting things into words can even allow for some humour to bubble up to the surface. You can find yourself going from frustration to laughter in a matter of minutes, totally transforming your mood.
Keep an eye on the big picture.
One off day usually isn’t a cause for concern. Remember that an off day reflects a point in time, and it will pass. However, keep an eye on the big picture. For example:
Recognize when an off day is indeed more than just a one-off event. If you're regularly having off days that are interfering with your well-being and productivity, that warrants a closer look. A series of off days is a warning sign that some area of your life needs attention. Be willing to take a look; and be willing to reach out for help when you need it.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.