By STRETCH+BLOOM | On February 15, 2017 In Mindsets, Tip, Work-life balance
There are times when it’s hard to admit that you need a break. Even though it feels like the weight of the entire world rests on your frail shoulders and the stress is getting to you, there’s a certain pride that comes along with proving you can handling it all.
High-powered women with their ambitious spirits, their mountains of responsibilities and their crazy schedules are extremely susceptible to this.
However there comes a point when too much is really too much and you need to slow down.
Here are 13 signs that you need a break… yesterday!
1. YOU CAN’T GET OUT OF BED
Mornings are hell. And every day it is the same charade, you’re glued to bed. It doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep you get, you’re a zombie when open your eyes.
You hit snooze, give yourself another 5 minutes, hit snooze again until you realize that you’re late and you have to make a mad dash to the door.
2. YOU’RE POWERED BY COFFEE
The only way you manage to keep your eyes open is with caffeine. The stuff is saving you and you’re seriously considering investing in a coffee plantation to cut down on your caffeine budget. Some days you catch yourself day-dreaming that it came in an IV.
On the “you need a break” scale this is scoring pretty high.
3. YOU’RE SCREWING UP
Lately you’ve been misplacing important documents, forgetting crucial appointments and just generally been sloppy. Considering you’re known for your rigorous methodology and your attention to details this is a bit concerning.
You’re probably already know it, but just to make sure we’re on the same page: if you have to check your freezer to find your contracts and if you forget your daughter at the day care center… when you go pick her up from the day care center, then you need a break!
4. YOU’RE BECOMING SNARKY
Acid-tongue doesn’t even begin to describe the level of snark that comes out of your mouth.
Normally you’re Ms Positivity spreading good vibes everywhere you go. These days you sound more like the Grinch on a destruction rampage.
5. YOUR HEALTH IS A MESS
You’ve been spending a lot of time in the doctor’s office. When it’s not your back it’s your stomach, and when it’s not your stomach it’s your allergies. There’s always something wrong!
It seems your entire body is breaking down.
Could it be trying to tell you that you need a break?
6. YOU’RE TOO COSY WITH THE BURGUNDY
The first thing you do when get home is to pour yourself a glass a fancy red to take the edge off. It’s one thing to indulge in a glass of wine here and then, it’s another one to depend on Château Déstresse to be able to function.
One is being an epicurean, the other one is paving the path for you to become an alcoholic.
This is a big flashing red sign you need a break!
7. YOU’RE COMPLETELY UNMOTIVATED
Through the haze of your thinking you vaguely remember a time when you were actually excited about your role. It now seems like a parallel reality.
Some days the idea of sticking needles under your nails sound almost exciting when you consider your present circumstances.
You loathe your career and you can’t possibly imagine how you could ever have believed this could be a good idea.
Yep, you need a break!
8. YOU CAN’T PROJECT YOURSELF IN THE FUTURE
When you think about your future all you can see is this big brick wall. You’re not even sure how you’re going to make it through the day how could you even project yourself a few months ahead. There’s just no way!
A sure sign you need a break is that all you can see is doom and gloom and you’re losing the sense of hope in your future.
9. YOU CAN’T SLEEP PROPERLY
After a long day all you aspire to is good night of sleep to wash off the stress, but then again no luck. Either you can’t sleep or you wake up in the middle of the night with a racing mind.
Either way, it appears that when you need a break, you can’t even catch a break in your sleep!
10. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
You have one standardized answer to every question.
– “Can you make dinner tonight?”.
– “Sorry, don’t have time, got some work to finish.”.
– “Sweetie, you look like a mess. Did you even take a shower today?”.
– “Yeah, I know… I just didn’t have time. I have just been so busy”.
– “Excuse-me please, where I can find …”.
– “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!!! I DON’T HAVE TIME!!!!!”
– “… an ATM?”.
– “Oh sorry, I am a little tensed. An ATM? Yes, sure. There one just right down the street… Hmm, sorry again… Stress… “.
11. YOU HAVE ZERO PATIENCE
Oh yes, another bonus is that when you need a break you have zero patience.
As in none whatsoever!
These days you have 2 default operating mode: depending on the circumstances you alternate between acting like the reincarnation of Kali or acting like a 6 months old who hasn’t napped all day.
Starting to plan that break yet? (Try this!)
12. EVERYTHING GETS TO YOU
To add insult to the injury the smallest thing gets to you.
A faulty WiFi signal unleashes Kali.
Running out of coffee releases your inner 6 months old.
Sure, we all have our days but when someone asking for direction sends you into a frenzy, it’s a clear sign you need a break.
13. YOU LOCK YOURSELF UP IN THE BATHROOM (A LOT)
Another tell-tale sign that you need a break is how long you spend in the bathroom. And I am not talking about those legitimate bathroom breaks. Although you may also be experiencing some form of stomach upset which is just another fantastic side effect of being under too much pressure.
I am talking about those times when you spend 20 minutes curled up in a ball in a stall and you emerge red-faced with swollen eyes and make-up streaming down your face.
BONUS: 4 reasons why you should take a break immediately.
I get you it. You. Don’t. Have. Time.
Therefore the idea of taking a break probably sounds totally ludicrous to you. However, here are a few reasons why you owe it yourself to make it an absolute priority to take time off right now.
1. A DOWNWARDS SPIRAL ONLY TAKES YOU… FURTHER DOWN
At the moment you’re in a vicious circle. You’re tired, you’re stressed-out, you’re making mistakes, you’re alienating your peers and your family and all you can see around you is darkness.
Everything you do is taking further down the hole, the caffeine is messing up your adrenals, the lack of sleep destroying your sanity. If you keep going this way you’re only looking at more trouble down the road.
2. THINGS DON’T GET BETTER WITH TIME, THINGS GET BETTER WITH CHANGE
People are always under the false impression that things get better with time. “If I can only sit through this one things will eventually improve”. That may common ‘wisdom’ but that’s not true according to universal laws.
Once you understand that the world reflects your state of mind, it becomes very clear that time will have no impact on your situation. Until you change nothing will change and things probably will get worse.
Think of it this way, if you’re driving towards a cliff, you can hope that time will correct the trajectory of the car or you can turn the wheel back towards the road.
You know what’s more efficient…
3. YOU CAN’T SOLVE ANYTHING WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED OUT
Hopefully now you can see that you need to change course. The problem is that when you’re exhausted you can’t think straight which means it’s going to be really hard for you to think creatively enough to fix the mess you’re in.
This is why the first step in regaining control of your life is taking a break. You need to recharge, reload your batteries so you can have the head space to plan your comeback.
If you really can’t get away right now, I’ve put together this 21-day challenge that helps you create breathing room in your life. Each day you receive a short email with a bite-size action that you can take to give yourself more space. Just click here to get started, it’s free.
Once you’ve regained a little balance you will be able to strategize so you can rebuild your life.
4. YOU HAVE NO PERSPECTIVE
When you’re fully in it, it’s difficult to make changes. Your entire world view is colored by your situation. Stress is affecting your thinking, and it feels like the world is locking around you.
This is why it’s so crucial to break the pattern and change perspective.
If all you can manage is a walk in a park, that’s a great start. Being in Nature will rebalance you and help you regain a bit of clarity.
If you can get away by all means go for it. Being in another part of the world, seeing other faces and engaging in other activities will open the world for you.
In any case, no matter what you do, find a way to change your perspective so you can begin to imagine new solutions and break this toxic pattern you’re in.
Your health, your sanity, your well-being, your relationships and your career depend on it!
These days I am offering private retreats for high-achievers who really need to slow down. If you’re clear that you need a break this is something you may want to consider.
The format is designed with busy, stressed-out, high-powered women in mind. You get some much-needed winter sun, some pampering and some coaching.
The retreat, called RENEW YOU, provides you with a relaxing break without eating up too much time and the beauty of integrating coaching with the wellness aspect is that it allows you to re-engage in creative thinking while you release your stress.
If you think this is something you could benefit from you can learn more here.
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