Are You Working Really Hard?
Without fail, everyday when I pick up my son up from school I encourage him to have a little rest until we get home. He’s either come from or has an after-school activity. And now that he attends a different school, further away, our days start much earlier where we leave the house when most kids are just waking up. Most days he has some type of extra-curicular activity or tutoring.
Me: Tristan why don’t you close your eyes and take a little nap?
Tristan (my son): No it’s okay. I’m not tired.
Me: You really should just close your eyes. You had a long day today. I’ll wake you up when we arrive home.
Tristan: No, I’m fine.
Cue: Three to five minutes later his eyes are closed and he’s fast asleep (as pictured above).
As a mindful mama I try to not pack in too much during his day and we still stick to the “English bedtime” of 8:00 – 8:30pm – which is completely unheard of here in Spain. Kids are just having dinner at that time and typically go to bed at 10:00pm!
But there is some culture here I do believe is mindful and beautiful in its own right. For instance, what I like to dub “Switch off Sundays” (S.O.S.) where you can really start to de-stress from distress.
Nonetheless, I do believe after-school my son is tired but even he (at six years old) is convinced he’s not and can just go, go, go (like the pink Energizer bunny).
So why am I sharing this story?
Because I believe it’s a perfect metaphor for how we, adults, tend to operate in this modern-day society.
We’re so consumed with rushing from one thing to the other that it becomes a part of us, it becomes second nature.
But all that “doing” eventually catches up with us. For a time we may feel okay, successful at “doing” all the time and checking things off our to-do list.
But the truth is this “doing-all-the-time” lifestyle is not sustainable.
The body and mind need to rest. They need time and space away from activity that takes up our energy.
We need to input as much energy as we put out, but often times that’s exactly opposite to what we actually do.
Like my son, I believe when given the chance our body and mind will do what it needs to do- it’s self-regulating and self-healing.
If your life is imbalanced, you may notice some negative effects – both in your quality of work, and in your health and wellbeing.
To make sure you’re not burning yourself out, here are five signs you’re working too hard and how to nourish yourself back on track:
- Your body will tell you. If you’re working too hard, remember that the body never lies. Reactions to stress will vary depending on the person and manifest in a number of different ways. This includes, but not limited too, losing or gaining weight, suffering from migraines, or having difficulty sleeping. Give yourself a break. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Focus on something other than work and do something for your own well-being.
- No more social calendar. It can be all too easy to choose work over a social invite. But if you’re always putting off personal plans because of work, it’s time to re-asses your life. I encourage you to always try and take a break from work when you’re invited to do something social – even if it’s only a lunch during work hours or an after-work drink (wine, tea – whatever floats your boat).
- Dwindling good vibes. How you manage your personal energy has a big impact on your mood, leaving you little time to actually enjoy life. What might seem like you’re genuinely unhappy about traffic or someone not giving you great service in a restaurant might actually mean there’s a bigger underlying problem. If you feel yourself complaining often, I encourage you to shift your perspective and bring gratitude into the present moment. Be thankful for what you do have in your life instead of focusing on what you don’t.
- Productivity is decreasing. A lack of productivity is often a clear sign of burnout. This can be reflected in the quality of your work, a negative attitude, or a loss of motivation. Give yourself permission to take some time out, rest and recharge. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll also come back with a more positive and proactive mindset.
- Can’t power off. Ever find yourself refreshing your emails at the dinner table with your family or think taking your laptop on holiday is absolutely necessary? Can’t power off even if you wanted to? Then I highly encourage you to make an appointment with you, just like you would your doctor or dentist, and block time in your calendar. Do something that gives you energy – anything from doing yoga, going for a walk, having a massage to taking a power nap. No emails and no calls. Make this time non-negotiable. And remember, if it’s not scheduled it won’t happen.
If you feel you might be working too hard and you’d like some guidance and support in shifting your energy and priorities then let’s talk. Coaching can help. I would be honoured to meet you wherever you are in your journey. Contact me today for your complimentary 30 minutes Discovery Call.
Or if you’re ready for a break in a beautiful space with inspiring activities full of love and connection then I highly encourage you to join me in Ibiza for my Wellness Retreat this June 24th – 29th.
I’m offering a special “Come with a Friend” rate if you’d like to come with your friend or partner.
As always I’d love connecting with you and hear how you work to live rather than live to work. Head over to the comments section below to share.
Much love and many blessings,