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Low Power Mode #30BrighterDays

When the iPhone battery loses most of its charge, you get a prompt to switch to “low power mode.” Low power mode costs you brightness and speed, but it saves the phone from dying.

What great advice for humans; downshift to safeguard our energy before crashing.

Since humans don’t come with convenient displays and toggle-switches, it isn’t always easy to identify when we need to conserve our power. Certain signals might catch our attention in the short term (hunger, exhaustion, bad mood, impatience), but symptoms of a longer-term deficit can prove harder to detect (general depression or dissatisfaction, social/emotional withdrawal, a lack of curiosity/passion, illness, chronic pain).

An interesting thing about low power mode for me; when I slow down, I often feel more anxious or agitated. Keeping busy running on a full battery often allows me to ignore anxiety, and my battery naturally runs supercharged for a good long time. However zippy and hyper-productive this charge feels in the short-run, avoiding anxiety hasn’t served me in the long-run because it simply waits for me under the surface. In full power mode I never learned to sit with anxiety, not to mention work through it.

You know how if you don’t power down your phone occasionally it glitches? Sometimes it even crashes, and when you plug it in it won’t charge at all. In those cases you need to perform iPhone CPR–a hard reset–if you hope to revive it.

After several years of keeping myself plugged into a constant state of full power mode, I needed a hard reset too.

Resting** in low power mode hasn’t come naturally to me . My circuits feel slow to fire, and my ability to multi-task is definitely compromised. I kept myself in near constant motion this summer with a long list of projects, until that list and my last yellow-light reserve energy waned. This fall, without anymore energy, low power mode forced me to sit** with the anxiety that comes with doing less**; to learn to live with it. ** “Resting, sitting, and doing less” still means managing my home, family, carpool, calendar, volunteer commitments, finances, and (heaven help us all) managing my son’s soccer team–but I have cut way back on my professional life.  For now. And guess what? I think low power mode works. I feel my brain readying and responding again.

Six months into low power mode and my yellow battery indicator approaches the day it will turn back to green full power mode.  I have no expectations of returning to super charge soon, but if you’ve seen the schedules my siblings and parents keep it’s pretty clear that a bionic battery comes with my bloodline. In the meantime I’m happy to sit here preserving brightness for another day.

This post is part of #30BrighterDays; a thing I made up to brighten each day of November


4 comments… add one

  • Cheryl November 9, 2017, 12:22 pm

    A year ago today, I woke up to find that tragedy had struck our country while I slept. This was also my first day with a new therapist to treat my PTSD. I walked into her office, sat in a chair, and sobbed for an hour. It’s been a long damn year of riding this roller coaster of pain and anguish. My body finally crapped out and gave me pneumonia to slow me the hell down. It’s been hard to not doing but I’m finally feeling well enough to be practice observing what’s going on around me and to notice just how big a toll this lunacy has taken on my mental health. As they teach in 12-step programs, we need to HALT every single day over and over again to avoid complete meltdown.


  • Ann Imig November 9, 2017, 7:33 pm

    I’m so glad to know you are resting and healing. Sending light and love.

  • Vikki November 9, 2017, 12:40 pm

    Great analogy.

  • Ann Imig November 9, 2017, 7:34 pm


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