How Busy Makes You Crazy

5 Ways to Get Your Life Back

We can wear busy like a badge of honour. At its best it makes us martyrs; at its worst, big sucky-face victims. Here’s how busy can drives us to crazy town and what we can do about it if we end up there.

Busy people

Image by Stadt Braut used with permission and cropped.

Overwhelmed = crazy

When we’re busy, it’s so much easier to become overwhelmed. This is when we’re completely overcome and it seems like things are too much to handle. Feelings of anxiety, worry, doubt and helplessness are really common, and we can’t think straight.

When we’re overwhelmed, it triggers our fight or flight response. This is good in life-threatening situations, but our bodies don’t know the difference between stress and something that could kill us. In either case, our nervous system responds the exact same way.

Left unchecked, overwhelm—a super-stressed state—can lead to burnout and depression.

What to do about it

  1. Attend my “Stop the Overwhelm in Its Tracks” training in a few select events in October, either in person or online. I will share proven techniques to get out of your head, get unstuck, and move forward with confidence. To be notified about these events, let me know here.

Lose yourself = crazy

When we’re busy, our self-care is often the first casualty. Maybe we’re busy with both work and life demands, and yet, if we rush from place to place, do we really enjoy ourselves? It can be easy to be so worried about what happened in our previous appointment, or planning our moves to the next one, that we don’t stay present in the current moment. When we’re not present, our minds are everywhere else but where it matters most in that time. When we’re present, we’re in tune with not only the moment and the people around us, but also ourselves. As a client recently put it, “I become my true self. I have REAL conversations and I really HEAR what my kids and hubby are saying.”

When we cram our schedules with so much that work and life oozes out our ears—aiming to have “balance” of course—do we achieve work-life balance? When we shove all of those things in because we think that’s what we need to have balance, then we’ve really lost ourselves.

And enough with this doing things for ourselves is selfish. When we do everything for everyone else at our own expense, no one wins. We can become resentful, or worse, martyrs. Or we no longer do the things that fill us up. Running on empty is not fun for us or our loved ones. When we’re filled up, we feel better, we smile and laugh more, we have more of ourselves to give to others.

What to do about it

  1. Reconnect to the things that give you joy. For me, it’s walking (read about why I love fall walks).
  2. Delegate one of the things on your to-do list so you can make room for one thing that fills you up. Block off this dedicated time for your fill-me-up in your calendar and treat it as sacred. Make sure you do that thing or things that bring you joy and nothing else.
  3. Practice mindfulness to help stay in the present.
  4. Say “No” to the next thing you’re invited to do. When you say no to others, you say yes to yourself.

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