When I ask myself “What’s off today? Why wasn’t today particularly happy or successful?”, there’s actually a good answer, surprisingly often. Here are some of the most common answers, and some corresponding symptoms.

  • Too long since last meal: Gnawing, distracting hunger, felt in the pit of my stomach. Brain fog/lack of focus.

  • Too much food: Sleepiness, bloatedness, not feeling tired.

  • Being cold: Lack of focus, restlessness, cold extremities, inc. fingers and feet.

  • Not enough sleep: Distraction, low motivation, lack of breaking away from amusements. Weight behind eyes. In extreme cases, irritability, snapping at people.

  • Nagging doubts about a project: Procrastination, avoidance, Lack of breaking away from amusements. Broken prioritization, such as “staying up to do work” which I avoid doing. Self-punishment via work.

  • Insufficiently valuing nontraditional work: Spending a lot of time in meetings, or thinking speculatively.