Learning To Switch Off


I’m writing this post from a friend’s bed. I’m wearing one of Chris’s t-shirts (HEY BOO, SURPRISE) and a pair of leopard pants and I’m sipping coffee and drinking in the creativity with words that comes from placing yourself anywhere that isn’t your usual working spot.

Know what I mean? ‘Cos I’m telling you now, you wouldn’t find me up and at ’em at half seven on a normal morning in Ipswich. No bloody siree.

So anyway, switching off.

It’s a bit of a stupid phrase really innit? It’s not like you’re a robot and can be like corr mate, it’s all got a bit too much, someone mind turning me off for a day and giving me a reboot and a system update?

Switching off as a young, busy, I’ma take over the world just you watch, feisty woman IS hard.

Before Easter I had a mental few weeks. I mean, don’t get your girl wrong, they were the sort of weeks 16-year-old me would have probably sliced out her own kidney for.  All working and travelling and takeout coffee.

But, despite working and travelling and pushing myself more than ever, I just couldn’t, no matter how many times I tried to visualise bloody fluffy white sheep jumping over fences, get to sleep at night.

My mind was whirring with YouTube numbers and edited videos, of Instagram ideas and emails to reply to, of posts to be written and tweets to be scheduled.

I need to clear something up now. I am the queen of sleep. I am the nap nagini.

Nah, I dunno why I had to add a Harry Potter reference in there either. But I think it worked, maybe?

I was the one who fell asleep at pre-teen sleepovers before 10 Things I Hate About You was four minutes in – the one who got her hands put in water and LOLLIPOPS – EFFING LOLLIPOPS – put in her hair.

I was the one who used to thoroughly piss off her first boyfriend because FFS why are you curled up asleep at half nine, your dad isn’t even picking you up for another 45 minutes, come onnnnnnn Hannah, let’s play darts.

(Yeah, I used to play darts sometimes, there I said it).

I was the one who’d tumble off the school bus at 4pm and curl up on the sofa with the last few rounds of Countdown playing out on the TV only to wake up and sweet Jesus, is that The Simpsons on already?

I think I’ve made my point here.

Sleep sleepedy sleep.

But recently, in re-finding my passion for words and the internet, I lost my ability to switch off the minute my head hit the pillow. Even my sleep spray didn’t work and I felt thoroughly let down by the entire beauty industry. WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME?

Which is why, I was like fuck this shit, I’m going to live like a normal human being over this four-day weekend. It’s why I didn’t vlog. It’s why I didn’t write any posts or even touch my computer, aside to look up party train times to Cambridge to drink cider on.

And guess who slept like a little baby kitten with a belly full of milk?

Point is, it’s easy to get absorbed by the excitement – the likes and the retweets and the comments and well, the drama – of this online community we’ve set up around ourselves. But it’s not as easy to detach yourself from it.

Sometimes the online community is a good thing that makes you feel inspired and motivated and omg maybe you’re good at this and ALALALA new digital friends and the internet <3<3<3

But sometimes it does the opposite and drags you down in tidal waves of self-comparison which kinda makes you loathe yourself because hey my selfie two weeks ago got more likes and maybe I’m ugly and worthless and meh maybe no-one likes me and hey is there a cave around here?

I think what I’m trying to say is that for a lot of us the internet has entwined itself into our emotional wellbeing. Like a house that’s slowly become engulfed with ivy. It is often the reason why we feel happy or sad.

And, once you’ve admitted that to yourself, it’s far easier to find balance. To notice when your body and brain needs to step back and acknowledge the real world again. To do things like go for walks and have phone-free date nights, to bring an element of physical living into your life to go alongside the virtual living.

And in doing so, in forcing yourself to switch off, if only for a few hours or a day, I think you start to stabilise your emotions and the sometimes erratic WHO AM I AND WHAT AM I DOING thoughts that ripple into your brain. You start to gain perspective on life and everything seems clearer.

It’s a good, stable place to be. I think you’ll like it.

Over and out, sweet thangs.

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