Does the below sound in any way, shape or form familiar to you?
“You have a goal. Something important to you. Something you said yes to creating, doing, achieving because you believed it would make you happy. And so you go for it, work your way to making your goal a reality, feeling good about it, but then something shifts. You realize to reach said goal; you are going to have to push yourself to make it happen. Work hard. Cancel dates. Put pressure on yourself. Put your personal happiness on hold.So like a “strong” woman, “responsible” man, you buck up, push through, exhaust yourself, sacrifice your self-care, and the thing you were originally doing to make you happy is now making you unhappy and stressed out. But instead of stopping to re-assess your situation, you pretend like you’ve got it handled, or passively aggressively complain about how busy you are – never letting on to yourself or anyone else, that the perpetrator of your stress-filled, no-space-for-myself life is you.”
If so, you are pushing yourself far too hard.
It’s extremely easy to do, and before you know it, you could be at stage 3 of Adrenal Fatigue. That’s when your stress control glands are getting tired of trying to control your stress! That’s a bad sign, and it can lead to serious mental illnesses, all because you didn’t know when to take a step back from life. Pushing yourself is good, you should always be willing to perform at the peak of your abilities, but asking too much of yourself over long and sustained periods of time is bad. Doing this and knowing it is hurting you while doing so, is even worse.
It is so very important to take a step back, and while that doesn’t mean you should totally let go, it does mean you should find the time to enjoy the smaller things in life. Having a few hours of peace a week will work wonders for your mind and body and prevent the serious side effects of that 24-hour work life you’ve given yourself.
How does one take a step back, though? Well, it is very easy! Go on a walk with your dog, go out for a relaxing meal with your partner, listen to your favorite album all the way through, watch a movie, read a few books or simply just be. Just exist in the moment and allow yourself to be bored! It’s extremely easy to relax; you just need to carve out the time to do so.
If you do continue to push yourself, the effects could be disastrous as mental health issues induced by stress can affect physical health resulting in strokes and heart problems. It is simply not worth the risk.
The key to true health? It’s exercising and eating well, of course – but you also need to relax, breathe and take a step back from the very scary hustle and bustle of modern life.