There are a few major symptoms that start to surface when your schedule is over-packed. For the lucky ones, these crazily busy times come and go, allowing for rest and recuperation in-between. For others, being too busy is just a fact of life. Whether you’ve taken on too much and don’t know how to prioritise your commitments, or your job happens to be an extremely demanding one. Whether it’s simply the impossible balancing act of work life, love life, social life and home life. When too much is going on, it really starts to mess with our chi (life energy force). From the physical, to the spiritual and mental, the havoc that being “too busy” for too long can cause, is just not worth the risk. So how do we know when we’re hitting the danger mark for busyness?
These are the 10 tell-tale signs to be aware of:
1. Exhaustion becomes a permanent state
A good night’s rest is just not enough to amend the sleep debt you’ve piled up over the past ‘insert any amount of time’. When someone cheerfully asks “Hey, how are you?” You answer “Good, good, busy, very busy! ” But inside you’re thinking “Exhausted, no time to chat, too busy.”
2. Irritability becomes a new personality trait
You’ve got things to do and places to be. Planning and projects that need finishing, or starting, or thinking about starting. Meanwhile there’s life in-between and you’re wondering how you’re going to fit it all in without losing the plot. You find you simply don’t have the energy to manifest the patience necessary to deal with even the most minor of inconveniences. You’ve created a zero tolerance for circumstances that before would barely bother you.
3. Self-care is minimal
When we’re busy and overloaded, we don’t prioritise our needs as much as we should. You’ve been scheduled for a pedicure for 6 months, the hairdresser is a distant memory and you can’t remember the last time you flossed. Your exercise routine might be what’s taking the flak, or healthy eating, or your personal “me-time.” Maybe you’re forsaking all of that and more.
4. You lose track of other people’s lives
You forgot to call your brother and wish him a happy birthday, or ask your best friend how her honeymoon went. You’ve realised you’re not really listening as your child tells you about their school day, and miss out on the little moments that help strengthen important personal relationships.
5. The non essentials become essential, and vice versa
Whilst the important things in life start slipping by, like self-care, being present in important relationships and finding the time to have fun, the non important things are taking over. You may find yourself obsessing over the details of something which doesn’t really require that much attention.
6. Your thoughts are in disarray
Lying awake in bed going over checklists, imagining scenarios or replaying events. Putting the butter in the drawer and the knife in the fridge. Messing up in traffic, over and over. You may find yourself making more mistakes, getting more stressed and wasting more time in a vicious circle which ends up contributing to how busy you are.
7. Romance is non-existent, and it’s taking it’s toll
If you are in a relationship, the romantic side of love is the first to fly out the window when you’re really busy. No time or energy left for special dates, or little acts of chivalry or any courtship at all. The problem with this, if left unattended, could potentially lead to some serious problems down the line. You also may have noticed your libido is at rock bottom. If you’re single, you’re inadvertently keeping it that way.
8. Those closest to you have stopped asking for your time
They know what your response is going to be, because they know your busy schedule doesn’t allow for any breaks or play time. What’s more, they rather not add to your stress by making you turn them down once again.
9. You’re in survival mode
Wake up – > Survive – > Sleep – > Repeat.
Something’s gotta give. Time to rearrange your priorities, consider some big changes, take your sick days off work, heck, falsify your death certificate if that’s what you need to do to catch a break. If changing your job role is not an option, what other aspects of your life are clustering your world? There’s always a way to minimise.
10. You haven’t had a day off since… You can’t remember
You’ve been too busy for too long and you’re missing out on valuable moments each and everyday. After checking out to check in, eventually you can begin to make room again for your friends, your family and most importantly, yourself.
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