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Booked, Busy, and Stressed

Is the title of this blog post describing you?

If so, and you’d like to be feeling and describing yourself differently, read over this post and take what you need to proceed.

This message is for every woman who feels guilty for slowing down in order to speed up in the area of her mental fitness. It’s for every powerful woman who feels her mental strength breaking under the pressure of doing too many things, with too little rest, and elevated stress. It’s for you, the woman who is looking for a way to keep herself from being booked, busy, and burned out.

The women I’m writing this post for are amazing. Most have crushed their goals in life and career. Abundant opportunities are flooding their calendars. But the truth is, even blessings that are not carefully managed, can cause us to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Today, I want to keep it real about the reality of being booked and busy.

Leading in our mental health requires that we are gatekeepers of what comes in and what energy we put out.

When we keep the gate open and allow any and everything to come and go freely, we risk disharmony and overextension of our mental and physical resources. It’s time to take a step back and assess what’s on your plate. Take a look at your schedule. Is your schedule being managed effectively…or is it managing you?

Just because something is offered, doesn’t mean you have to put it on your plate. There are some opportunities that you may have to pass on until you clear what you’re currently working on. Does that mean you are ungrateful or incapable? Absolutely not! It means that you are aware of what a healthy balance looks like for you.

There are times when good opportunities are not good for you at the time. 

Here’s the thing, stress is not only triggered by negative experiences and circumstances. Elevated stress levels are also activated by positive life events. Let me give you a few examples of the diversity of stress.

NEGATIVE LIFE STRESSORS

  1. Death of a loved one

  2. Long work hours

  3. Physical illness

  4. Job loss

  5. Divorce

POSITIVE LIFE STRESSORS

  1. Pregnancy/birth of a child

  2. Purchasing a new home

  3. Planning a wedding

  4. Starting a business

  5. Job promotion

The negative effects of positive stress get little talk time. We see a booming business or career as positive and may neglect to realize that the stress response is still being activated. You may not realize that your body and mind don’t care where the stress is coming from. The physiological stress response is designed to help you tackle the threats and demands of your life and the effects are a reality, no matter the trigger.

Even though positive changes are often welcomed, an increase in stress as you transition is expected. So, being booked and busy is not a bad thing. But being booked, busy, and unaware of your need for occasions of rest and restoration, is taxing on your mind and body. The more life stressors you have at any given time, the higher the body’s stress response. The higher the body’s stress response, the greater the need for coping strategies that relieve and release stress.

Before you get back to the demands of your life, consider these tips to create more harmony in your booked and busy schedule:

TIP 1 | Use your planner. A planner can help you to organize your mind and life. Write down your daily work and personal obligations. Having a visual representation of your day, week, or month can help you assess how your stress may ebb and flow. That way, you can proactively plan relaxation strategies to counteract the effects of stress.

TIP 2 | Know thy self! Self-awareness is critical when it comes to stress management. When you’re out in this world being your brilliant and beautiful self, don’t forget to allow time for what’s going on inside. Give your mind, body, and behaviors daily stress checks. How are you feeling? What are you thinking? How are you behaving?

Self-checks can be simple and effective. Once you know what you need, it’s easier to proceed to the next tip.  

TIP 3 | Use your coping strategies. The strategies for relaxing only work if you use them. Part of knowing yourself is knowing what works for you. If you have no idea where to start, consider making stress relief an extension of your daily routine. For example:

  1. ·         Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

  2. ·         Add nutritious choices to at least one meal each day.

  3. ·         Walk while participating in an over-the-phone business meeting.

  4. ·         Play relaxing music while taking a shower or bath.

  5. ·         Listen to a fun or inspirational audiobook on your commute to and from work.

You don’t have to add to your booked and busy schedule to get serious and active about lowering stress. You just have to be creative and intentional about it.

Lastly, don’t wait to make stress relief a part of your booked and busy lifestyle. Put yourself and your health on the schedule in small ways each day, and don’t cancel.

If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to listen to the launch of season 4 of the Me Myself and HER Podcast! Episode 41 “Booked, Busy, and Stressed,” can be found on all major podcast platforms or right here at www.livelikeher.com/podcast.

Wishing you rest and wellness,

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