It’s nice to be there for everyone, sure, but it’s more important to be there for myself. Sharing 4 signs you need to pump the breaks and how to get realigned your priorities.
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Around this time of the year I begin to get extremely overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities, and it’s easy for me to tailspin into full-blown panic attacks. With work travel, mommy duties, family and friend gatherings and keeping up with the blog, I tend to constantly be GO GO GO and it’s harder for me to readjust my priorities.
It wasn’t until very recently, after a pretty bad depression episode, that I realized I needed to pump the breaks. Through the practice of self-awareness paired with therapy, I’ve learned to identify my triggers before they get the best of me. Sometime I catch them before it’s too late, but like I recently experienced, sometimes I don’t. But I’m learning that missing those triggers is a trigger of its own, so now I know and will adjust accordingly. Today I wanted to lay it out there and reveal some of my triggers here on FabAve. If any of these resonate with you, I’m sharing what’s worked for me in figuring out how to slow down to better manage my feelings of anxiety or depression. I hope this post is helpful in some way and if you need to talk, I’m here to listen – don’t hesitate to reach out via email or DM.
4 Signs You Need To Slow Down
1// You’re irritable. I know firsthand that when I’m feeling at my wits end that I’m extra irritable concerning things that don’t normally irritate me. Whether it’s a coworker mispronouncing my name, Remy tapping at the table with a spoon or the commuter in front of me constantly hitting their breaks – I am ready to go Red Ross on anyone in my path with no real prompting. When I’m overwhelmed I tend to have a shorter fuse and have a tendency to take it out on those I care about the most, and I hate that I do that. Because of my irritability I typically get really selfish about my priorities and forget to fill my self-care tank with things that bring true happiness in my life. So how do I slow down? I make a list.
When you’re feeling like every little thing will set you off it means you aren’t filling your tank with what brings joy to your life. Take time to jot down a list of the things you need to do. From there, truly prioritize the list and make time for what will relieve the stress. You’ve got to remember that you don’t want the things that you perceive to be urgent dominate your time for the things that are important.
2// You aren’t getting enough sleep. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up not feeling refreshed are all signs of an overactive brain. A reason for irritability is lack of sleep, and if you’re not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep you’re not getting that recharge feeling your brain needs. When I’m feeling drained throughout the day, even with my daily cup of java, I always question how my quality of sleep was the night before. For me, stress causes insomnia which is no bueno to my overall mood, and only heeds more overwhelming feelings.
A simple promise to yourself to go to bed an extra hour early will not suffice. I encourage you to set an alarm an hour before going to bed to mentally and physically prepare yourself for bed. A shower, my nightly skincare routine and setting out my clothes for the next day is part of my prep work. I also suggest putting your phone across the room for no temptation, then lights out. Putting sleep as a priority is important for mental stability.
3// You’re forgetful. There have been one too many times that I’ve found my keys still in the door lock, or my phone in the microwave, or even an empty, dirty dish in the refrigerator – all symptoms of my forgetful, wondering mind. And when I thought about why I’d made those silly mistakes I chocked it up to too much on my plate, too much on my to-do list, or not enough down time throughout my day – OR ALL OF THE ABOVE. Momentary brain farts happen, sure, but if they are happening more often than not, that’s your brain’s way of telling you you’ve taken on too much.
An easy trick that’s worked for me is taking on one task at a time. Multitasking is praised in our culture but if you’re doing ALL THE THINGS at once, don’t you think you’re not doing them well? Focus your attention to one thing at a time, this will help you feel less frazzled and more in control of both your day and your mental state.
4// Healthy eating habits take a backseat. When I just can’t anymore and I’ve over-committed myself I tend to either forget to eat or make bad food choices. Whether it’s constantly hitting up the McDonald’s drive-thu or grabbing donuts and calling that breakfast until 4 pm – when I’m feeling overwhelmed my typically healthy food habits fly out the door which won’t physically or mentally nourish me.
I may not always have control of my schedule but I can have control over what I put in my body. Having healthy snacks at the ready, either in my purse or at my desk at work, has giving me the energy to take on the day when I’ve got a to-do list a mile long. I also recommend having water always on hand. Not only does it keep you hydrated but sipping water throughout the day will help you feel full until you can have a quick moment to refuel with actual food.
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