I live my life in a constant state of internal battle - either I am feeling too busy or feeling too lazy. I don't do middle ground. I tend to function pretty well when I'm on the busy side of the spectrum...at least for a while.
But there comes this inevitable moment in every busy season where I find myself on the brink of destruction. At that moment, everyone who looks at me is sure to recognize me as the classic overworked, overwhelmed girl with a Superwoman complex. I may be a little slower to catch on, but I do eventually clue in.
If you, like me, have the tendency to get a wee bit too busy, here are three warning signs to watch for. Picking up on these signals and acting on them may help keep you just this side of the brink of destruction.
1. Irritability and/or emotionalism.
I like to write off my moodiness as PMS. And, unfortunately for my family, I really do suffer from terribly emotional PMS. However, I've discovered that this excuse is not valid for every week of the month.
Do you have an irrational desire to scream at people when they annoy you? Does your tone of voice sound sharp and angry, even to your own ears? Do you feel frustrated with the requests and needs of your family or co-workers? Do you find yourself in tears when a friend asks, "How are you?"
Your emotions are trying to tell you something. They are saying, I can't control myself because life is too far off-kilter.
2. Physical symptoms.
Tummy upset, headaches, cold sores, acne breakouts - these symptoms are often brought on by stress. Not only do the stress hormones in your body bring on certain physical reactions, but being stressed brings on bad habits that also elicit these same symptoms.
I don't know about you, but when I get all stressed out, I feel too busy to cook or choose nutritious snacks, so I fill up on junk. I also feel too busy to sleep, so I stay up too late. Add poor diet, lack of sleep, and a barrel full of stress hormones together, and you'll end up with a woman who appears to be suffering illness.
3. Missing appointments.
Girls like us, we live by the schedule. We pride ourselves on our ability to manage a full calendar...and punctually! Sure, everyone gets overbooked occasionally (you do, don't you - everyone else?), but missing a couple appointments over a short period of time is not "normal."
If you need a good laugh, here is a beautiful example of an overworked and overwhelmed day in my life.
So, what's a imbetterbusy kinda girl supposed to do to stay in balance? When we see these warning signs creeping up on us, how can we stop the momentum before we plunge over that cliff and come crashing down?
I'm sure you guessed that I have a few suggestions (based on numerous crashing experiences). Come back tomorrow for part two. But while you're here today, let me ask you a quick question.
What are some other warning signs (in yourself or that you've seen in others) of being overworked, overwhelmed, and on the brink of destruction?