I’ll never forget the day I walked into my ‘massage man’s’ room and burst into tears. He was taken aback, clearly wondering what had happened and gently, calmly pressed me for more information. “I’m just so, so busy. I feel totally overwhelmed, like I’ve lost all control. I’m stressed, I’m… overloaded,” I sobbed.
He nodded, as most healing types do, understanding that he was dealing with yet another one of those. Those people who, as I like to call it, had overloaded their life.
This was about 3 years ago now and since then, thanks to Glenn’s (AKA massage man) advice and my own determination to change the course of my life completely, I’ve managed to hop, skip and jump my way out the corner I’d painted myself into. Glenn suggested in his nurturing way that I needed to reassess my priorities. Look at ways to clear out the ‘clutter’ of my life and in my head and, if needed, make some serious life changes in order to not be so busy.
I have a theory about stress levels. I think that everyone has a natural ‘stress range’ that they can comfortably sit in without feeling totally overwhelmed. For some, they can handle buckets of stress, they thrive of it, love the fast-paced lifestyle of busy jobs and find inner strength from working this way. For others, such as myself, there’s a resilience there, but pile too much stress on and anxiety skips into your life with its long-haul luggage and checks-in. For what seems like forever. And for another set of people, stress is totally out of the question; their tolerance level is at near nothing.
So why don’t we consider these factors when we’re deciding what to do with our lives? When we’re wondering if that $20,000 pay rise will actually be worth the added stress that comes with it, or if that ‘dream job’ is really as dreamy as it sounds, because from what you’ve heard, they take your soul as well as your life.
From someone who’s been there and come full circle, here’s my two (ok, fifty) cents:
– Be mindful of your ‘stress range’ and try to keep within it in everything that you do. Be it job, family life, commitments…everything. Don’t take on so much if you can’t handle it. It’s not worth it.
– Clear out the unnecessary stuff. Be honest; are you a control freak? Are you someone that takes on everything so you know what’s going on everywhere? LET GO! Delegate all the unnecessary parts of your work, home life, social commitments so that you can free up time and more importantly, space in your head. Think about what you can let go of (the jobs you don’t like, the menial things that take up more time than they’re worth) and give them to someone else to do. Someone who perhaps loves these tasks, is looking for more responsibility or has a higher stress range than you do. Don’t have anyone to pass them onto? Consider whether they need to be done at all.
– If your stress levels are so high that anxiety has checked-in, try this: 1) Become aware of your feelings. Awareness is the first step to success. 2) Consider seeing a naturopath, dietitian or health coach to guide you through your busy times and support your adrenals with herbs. 3) Start thinking about those BIG LIFE DECISIONS that can change the course of your stress and your life forever.
– Lose all sense of fear. I often find that these times of severe stress and overloadedness (I’m sure that’s a word) brings up more fear than normal. Your body is overwhelmed, all your senses are being pushed to their limit and you can’t think correctly. This is the perfect environment for fear. Fear of making changes, low self-esteem, thinking you can’t do it…all these things eat away at you. Don’t let them.
– Meditate. Of all the times in your life when meditation and yoga are essential, it’s when you’re at your busiest. Don’t make excuses about not having time, I guarantee that 20 minutes in the morning will save you hours during the day and gain hours of ‘sleepy time’ at night.
– Nurture yourself. Now is not the time to start reverting to bad eating habits or neglecting your passions. Life is simply too short to waste it doing something that makes you unhappy, stressed and tired. Shift your perception to make diet and daily activities that you LOVE as much of a priority as work. Take a warm bath when you get home, set aside dinner time to devote 100% of your attention to your partner, nourish your body with the best food possible and most of all, always make time to laugh.
Tell me Happies…
Is your life overloaded?
Has it been in the past and you’ve turned it around?