By Sarah Small

I admit, this is written from a very personal perspective.  Recently I’ve taken on a huge amount (mainly in my personal life) and it has taken its toll.  It has made me realise that despite being the one who can sort out the problems for everyone else, I also need assistance and help more often than I’d like to admit.  So I’ve done a bit of research, put my feet up with a cup of tea and had a good think about the things that happen when you take on too much and what you can do about it.

  • Finding that you can’t sleep at night or you are sleeping too much.
    • This is a sure sign that things are not running quite as they should in your head.  Make sure that you go to bed at a regular time, both during the week and at the weekend and aim for around 8 hours sleep a night.  Wind down with a hot bath or shower, perhaps have some lavender in the room, have a hot drink and read a relaxing book before you nod off.  If you still find that you are struggling, consider a hypnotherapy download or something to listen to which can help your brain to switch off.
  • Mistakes and forgetfulness.
    • Wow, this is a big one for me.  I know when I am reaching bursting point as my usually “on it” brain starts to refuse to remember things, or I can’t find the words to express what I want to say.  It always hits me hard, and I know that in order to get my brain working properly again, I have to take my “to do” list down a notch or two.  Allowing yourself to achieve 1-2 things per day well, is better than striving for 10 things which won’t happen.
  • No time for you.
    • Yep- when was the last time you had an afternoon / evening/ hour or two to yourself, simply to do what you wanted to do, with no demands from anyone else.  Tough to find the time, but tougher to neglect yourself completely.  Get a relative to babysit or look after the children, or make yourself some time in your diary where you simply won’t respond to anything except ME TIME.
  • Not eating properly.
    • Again, another common one here which resonates with me.  When I’m doing too much, I don’t cook properly, don’t eat properly.  It is not good, and not healthy.  Plan a little time in advance (and by a little I mean an hour) to work out what you want to eat for a few days, create a shopping list and make food in advance.

There are other things that should act as a warning signal; Realising you have  control issues and that feeling of panic when it doesn’t go to plan.  Try to slim down expectations of yourself and aim to complete less each day or week so that you are still achieving things, and it feels more manageable.

Most importantly, when you are feeling like you can’t cope with what is going on, ask for help.  In whatever aspect this is, asking friends and family to step in and give you a hand, or getting someone else on board to assist with work can make a huge difference in getting you back on your feet.  As my allies said to me; “you won’t feel like this forever”, they were right, and now I’ve stopped putting myself under so much pressure to achieve so much each day, I am.

Be kind to yourself x

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