Could You Use A Break?
Emotions run high every day. We live in a fast paced, digital, chaotic and stressful world. Everything seems to be traveling at lightning speed. That takes a toll on our emotional well-being. We barely have time to eat and sleep, much less to even think! We have become re-active to life, instead of living life. Our bodies are pretty much in a fight or flight mode continually.
When we experience this stressful condition for too long, our bodies, minds and emotions take a hit. Dis-ease starts to set in and we aren’t quite ourselves. You start to think…something’s got to give! And you would be right! It does and unfortunately, it’s our health that is at risk.
Stress Tends to Accumulate
As we continue on day to day, the stress that we are experiencing starts to accumulate and build up in layers in our bodies. The emotional situations that we face, begin to record themselves in our very cells. That’s why we don’t have a nervous breakdown or start having panic attacks from only one or two bad events. As we supress each issue, confrontation, or upsetting event…it begins to fill up until it reaches our body’s capacity to handle it. When that happens, it will show itself either in dis-ease or emotional upheaval.
How Can We Protect Ourselves In An Emotionally Draining World?
1. Conduct a life review
Take a look at what’s been going on in your life and ask the question, “What the heck is going on?” I mean seriously, if things are so bad that you never really feel rested, are constantly on edge or taking a Rx drug just to get through the day…then something really needs to change! Take it from me. I ran myself ragged and to the breaking point before I finally got serious about my health and lifestyle. Panic attacks and all!! So, please…don’t let your situation get to that point before you do something about YOUR life.
Write down a list of your responsibilities. Write EVERYTHING down! Even the things that you love to do. Because when you take account of everything that you are expected to do along with the things that you love, estimate how much time it takes to perform each, you will get a pretty accurate picture of whether you have crossed over the 24 hour period of time available. Include sleep and eating on that list too!
2. Select those thing that can go!
Truly not everything on the list absolutely has to be done by you and in the amounts of time that you have estimated. Some things can be delegated and some things crossed off the list entirely. If you were a super-hero, then maybe you could continue the pace that you’ve laid out for yourself. But since most of us are NOT…well, you know what needs to be done.
3. Choose only those items on your list that you absolutely can’t live without
This is where it gets sticky. Some items on the list are absolutely necessary, BUT maybe can be tweaked a bit.
- Like WORK for instance: If you are working an 80 hour a week job, maybe an assessment about whether that job is good for you or if seeking out other employment with less hours and/or stress would be an option to free up both time and energy.
- Extracurricular activities for the kids: Do the kids really need to participate in the number of sports, music lessons and ballet that you are currently doing? Or…could you choose maybe one sport for this season and save music for another time? (Just a suggestion…I know how dedicated most parents are when it comes to their kids) Better yet, ask your kids what they would like to do? Maybe they are feeling a little overwhelmed as well, but don’t want to hurt your feelings either. 🙂
- Or, as you look at the things that are crowding your schedule, you may realize that there is no time alloted to eat at home anymore or to take that much needed walk to unwind. And forget soaking in the tub with lit candles and some nice zen music playing in the background! But maybe you would like that! Or maybe some time to spend with your spouse or friends on a night on the town to let your “hair down” just for an evening. So don’t overlook what’s NOT showing up on your list as well!
4. So now what?
Now that you’ve given some time to review, discard and save what’s important, it’s time to IMPLEMENT! I know…that’s the toughest thing of all to do AND continue doing. Habits die hard, that’s for sure! But it’s totally possible and within your ability to do so.
The important thing to remember is to BE EASY on yourself. Change takes time. Start with something that would be quick to put in place and easy to do. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Baby steps! Take one thing on the list and decide whether to keep, toss, donate or delegate. Once that’s in place, move on to the next one and then the next and sooner than you think, you will begin to feel lighter and more free.
Comment below or find this post on my facebook page Ladybugs-A-Plenty! and join in the conversation and tell me your thoughts on giving yourself a break! I’ll be hanging out there!!