Sometimes it is what I love most about myself, but oftentimes, I think it is my biggest personality flaw. You see, I simply did not come wired with the ability to say “no”. Not to anyone, not for anything. I am a relentless “people-pleaser” and as a result, I have grown accustomed to a life in which I wear far too many hats and try to do too many things in too little time.
From the outside, this makes me appear to be a kind and generous person. People call me “super mom” and ask me all the time, “How do you do it all?” The truth is, I am often drowning. I am spread too thin and my family suffers, my marriage suffers, my children suffer, and I tend to suffer most of all. As moms, there is so much pressure from society to have it all together. We get pressure from all sides to take on more than any human is truly capable of handling.
Well, enough is enough. I just turned 30 years old, and I think it is just about time for me to recognize that I am taking on too much and DO something about it.
5 Signs you are taking on too much
No time for hobbies
Do you find yourself wishing that you had time to do the things that you love? Unfortunately, when we find ourselves overwhelmed, the things that truly bring us joy are usually the first thing to get cut.
Doing many things, but not doing any of them WELL
At the end of the day, you may have a list of things that you accomplished, so why do you still feel a sense of failure? It may be because you are taking on so much that you aren’t able to put enough time and energy into each thing.
Stress takes a physical toll
Being stressed can effect your overall wellbeing in more ways than you know. The pressures of all of the hats that you are wearing can result in weight gain, hair loss, trouble sleeping, headaches and a variety of other physical issues. What you may see as signs of just being tired can quickly become serious health problems. You may even find yourself getting sick more regularly as your immune system suffers.
Stress takes an emotional toll
I can always tell that I’m burnt out when I am arguing with my husband or snapping at my children for really no reason at all. Anxiety, depression, irritability, and anger can flare up when tension is high.
Turning to unhealthy eating habits
Whether it is because “fast food” is quick and easy or you are turning to your favorite comfort food, healthy habits tend to go out the window when you are overwhelmed. On a busy or stressful day in our house, sometimes the thought of cooking a meal on top of everything else is just too much for me.
Regain control of your life
Schedule time for hobbies/ activities that bring you joy
As moms, we often push our wants and needs aside for the benefit of our families. The excuse that we often give ourselves is: “There just isn’t enough time.” The truth is, you only have time for what you MAKE time for. Be intentional by scheduling time for YOU to enjoy a hobby, activity, or mom’s night out. Tell your husband or call a babysitter and allow yourself time to rejuvenate. Not only do you deserve it, you need it.
Prioritize the most important things; Say no to the rest
The pressure comes at us from all sides. Everyone needs something from you, you have a to-do list a mile long, and don’t know where to start. Evaluate all of the things on your plate and complete them in order of priority. Complete urgent and time-sensitive things first (I call these my “non-negotiables”), and then work your way down the line. Think about how completing each thing impacts the life of your and your family. How TRULY important is it? Add the word “No” to your vocabulary, and learn to use it if/when you need to.
Make time for exercise and healthy eating
Exercising gives your body the adrenaline and endorphins to handle stressors more effectively. Not to mention, healthy exercise and eating habits will keep your body performing at its best. Something that I always try to remind myself is that our children are always watching us. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.
Getting enough sleep is my biggest downfall. I stay up late trying to accomplish things, but then I spend the next day exhausted and struggling. Sleep deprivation can zap productivity and takes a huge toll on your mental and physical health. Set a bedtime for yourself. Give yourself the power to set things aside. They can wait, I promise.
Remember that YOU are in control
When things seem like they are spiraling out of control, remember that YOU are in the driver seat. You have the power of deciding what you take on, how you prioritize things, and where you are going. Yes, there will always be some pot holes and bumps in the road, but you will get past them. Stop and rest when you need to, and fill your tank back up BEFORE it is empty.
What do you do to manage stress in your life?