I was having conversations with friends recently and most times, we talked about life and work during this prolonged lockdown and rising Covid-19 cases daily. It was not surprising to hear how many of us feel overwhelmed, beat, tired, and burned-out due to having so much to attend to each day in our various roles as spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, manager, business owner, etc.
Are you also one of us who have so much on your plate and can’t seem to find a moment to stop?
Stress From Work And Life Happens To The Best Of Us
Everybody feels overwhelmed and stressed from time to time. Since it tends to feel uncomfortable, if not downright unpleasant, we tend to view it as negative and as a weakness. We don’t dare to admit we are overwhelmed or dare to talk about it, which can leave us feeling isolated and alone, further exacerbating the feeling. We often deny we are overwhelmed because we do not know how to stop the frenetic behavior that leads to this feeling. So we do nothing. Our employers, colleagues or friends often do not help support us to stop overworking.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Primarily, this syndrome occurs in our work life but it can carry over to our personal and family life, and it frequently does. Focusing on projects often begins with good intentions but we can quickly and easily be overwhelmed if we do not have a plan to minimize and balance our work. Getting the project finalised for your team, writing the copy for your website, designing the new sales brochure or completing the 90-day marketing plan are extremely important – but having a balanced, healthful life is equally important.
What To Do Or Not Do When You’re Stressed
This stressful pattern is telling you to change your lifestyle. Once you accept this message, it is easier to identify the steps you need to take to shift out of the behaviour quickly.
Below are some helpful strategies to help those who are burned out, feeling frustrated, and even depressed. These strategies immediately diminish feelings of being overwhelmed so you can refocus and make some work/life balance decisions.
6 Helpful Pointers To Destress
- Stop what you are doing for a few minutes and take a break. Go for a short walk, sit outside under a tree, meditate, watch a movie, call a friend to have a chat and share what’s going on.
- List down all the things you think you have to do. Separate them into two columns – things that you have to tend to yourself, and things that you can delegate to others or hire someone to attend to them.
- Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Unsubscribe unnecessary emails, organise your desk and work space to decrease clutter, stop attending meetings if you don’t need to be on them.
- Do not spend time with people whom you do not like. Assess your friends and business colleagues. Do they support and honor who you are? If they are negative and don’t share your vision for your dreams, don’t spend another minute with them.
- Decide what is most important in your life. If you want a balanced life, you will have to make changes in your life to allow this to happen. That takes some time and planning but it will be well worth the improvement in your life!
- Take an action step today to make change in your life! Call a friend who will support you, take a class to get organized, or work with a coach who will support and motivate you to have a more balanced life.
Just Be, And Do Less!
This is not an exhaustive list. As you do some of these and eliminate what doesn’t serve you anymore, you may derive some of your own things to do and not to do. Get down to them. What’s important is to do something that lifts you up rather than weigh you down.
We don’t need to do more. We need to live more. And living is not doing. Happy living!