At some stage in our lives, we have all got to a point where we are taking on more than we can handle, and we tend to carry on and on until we are potentially at risk of breaking, either mentally, physically or emotionally. Taking on more than you can handle can be as small as having a never ending to- do- list to being a full on perfectionist or as worrying as suffering a panic attack. There are signs to look out for and ways to tell if it might be time to slow down and will help you to lead a more efficient lifestyle.
Your 'To Do' List Is Extremely Long
In school our planners or a simple list in our diary would be more than enough to get us through. Then we’d put 'meet up with a friend' on our list, and do it. Now, it seems life is busier, and that’s when your list can become never ending. If additional things or events are not on your list, but need to be added, then the list becomes more stressful. Now, you have no idea of how, or when to start this list along with that little voice in your head that keeps telling you, “You have more to-do than you have the time to get it done.” If this is the case for you then you are taking on too much. Take a step back and focus on the priorities and if possible get some help to complete the other easier tasks.
There’s No More ‘ME’ Time
Work, family or any other factor that keeps you busy in which you say ‘I need to do that but…’ or ‘sorry, I don’t have time for…’ are signs you over doing yourself. For example, if meeting up with friends for a couple of hours, or getting your haircut seems more stressful and time consuming than it is relaxing (as it should be) then that’s an issue. Breaks shouldn’t be stressors. Remember, the brain and body need to recharge. They must have that time to heal, destress, be happier, and relaxed. Take those times to let your body rest and be sure to get enough sleep. If your body is telling you to slow down, listen to it.
Can’t Do What Your Heart Desires
There could be tasks, activities or experiences that you will find interesting, but cannot think about doing them because your schedule is too demanding. You want to do many things, but your schedule disagrees. This could lead to feeling constantly overwhelmed and stressed. You can’t enjoy or perform well whilst feeling that way. You are taking on far too much if this sounds like you. Humans make mistakes. But, when taking on too much, and not doing the things you want to do either, then this could lead to bigger, and constant careless mistakes. Prioritise time for yourself. This will help you relax and function more efficiently.
Lack of Sleep and Poor Diet
If getting sleep has become difficult, or you’re in a season of insomnia then you are probably taking on too much. This usually is linked to increased stress levels. Not getting enough sleep on a regular basis will eventually catch up to you, and only in the worst of ways. It will make handling already taxing situations, worse. Make sure to get the proper amount of sleep. Your diet can also be influenced poorly if you are taking on too much. You know the times when you are over loaded, and your meals turn to quick snacks or you are always finding yourself eating on the go? Occasionally that is understandable, but constantly missing meals and snacking is not good for your health. If your work load can be shared or reduced, then just ask for help. Do what you can to get some of the load off and eat and relax well.
Forgetfulness, Panic attacks & Other Physical Issues.
Most of us have suddenly awoken at times to an intense reminder that we forgot to shut the oven, or that we had not yet submitted that paper due, and waking up like that makes our anxiety, and stress levels sky-rocket. Although, it is normal to feel stress now and again, it is not healthy to feel constant stress especially if it is taking over your daily regimen. If a person is overwhelmed they can experience on-going anxiety, migraines, back pain and some severe panic attacks. Sometimes, even causing nausea and vomiting. These are all physical ailments that can be caused by high stress levels and is not just a sign that you may be doing too much but could also indicate that you may need help. Seeking help and a schedule reduction could help reduce your stress, and anxiety. It will help you stay on point, and optimistic.
These five signs should help you put things into a perspective so you can see if there are areas in your daily life that you are taking on too much, and whether it is having a negative effect on you. If that’s the case then you must re-evaluate, reduce, and delegate. Rest is key. Prioritise well and include yourself as a top priority. Listen and trust your inner voice. Choose what matters, and what can go. Use your own initiative, and take control of your routine, and schedules by cutting them down.