I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s been way too easy to get overwhelmed these days. I think it was a month-long funk mixed with just feeling pretty blah about work (and life to be honest) for much of June and July. I know that sounds negative (I don’t mean to be – just being honest), but I also think that sometimes when we run ourselves too hard, we start to be a little irrational at times too. And even more so, we don’t see things in proper perspective. Instead, our worlds revolve around what WE need to do, how overwhelmed we feel, and then all this is exacerbated by feeling like we don’t have enough time to do any of it.
Between traveling for work, trying to do the whole workout thing, and spending time with friends, family, and my boyfriend, my to-do list, my computer, my bible, etc., my life feels pretty non-stop lately. And then when you throw in social media – where it seems like we’re expected to constantly be “on” – it just got to be a little too much for too long. Even though I was actually taking days off and even setting aside time for myself, I didn’t feel rested – I still don’t really (but I’m working on it). I could go on and on here, but I’ll cut it short (and spare you some time – ha!) so we can get into the actual meat of today’s blog post!
Four Signs You Need To Slow Down
As many of y’all know, I’ve been trying to manage stress better lately. Becoming more mindful of when I do in fact have too much going on – and knowing what that looks and feels like – has been a huge part of managing my life lately. I started writing down *triggers* that tell me when I’m doing too much. Maybe it’ll be the same for you? After the trigger, I’m sharing what’s worked for me – after becoming aware of the fact that I need to slow down. And at the least, I think self-awareness is the first step to self improvement in general.
1. You’re not getting enough sleep
If you find you’ve been extra tired lately, ask yourself if you’ve been getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, which is the recommended amount. I realized not too long ago that I was only getting 5 to 6 (eeeeek I know) – and I wondered why I was tired all the time! I might get in bed around 10, but I’d stay up working or doing other stuff on it for another few hours – which was cutting into my sleeping time.
I used to use my nights to finish up projects or any last minute to-dos, but after realizing I was short on sleep, I’ve made it a point to be in bed by a certain time each night and putting my phone on the other side of the room (I actually do this and it really helps!).
If you find you don’t have enough hours in your day to get things done and get a proper amount of sleep, it’s definitely a sign you need to slow down. Figure out a way to do less – if you can. Maybe be more realistic with what you can actually get done in a day and give yourself some grace too. Maybe you don’t need to work out EVERY single day – you know? Setting an alarm on my phone at night (to remind myself to start preparing my brain and body for bed) has been really helpful for me, so I’d suggest trying that out that start. Not having cable helps too.
2. You’re more forgetful
When you’re overwhelmed and overworked, it’s common to become more forgetful. If you think about it, it makes sense that you’d forget things more often when you have multiple different things running through your mind at all times. Multi-tasking is great when it comes to efficiency (which I’m all about), but it can actually lead to forgetfulness. And while on the topic, it’s actually been proven that multitasking isn’t even possible – at least not if we want to do all the things we’re trying to do at once WELL. But even still, I still try to beat the odds every single day (I’m addicted to multitasking lol)
If you notice you’re more forgetful lately, which I totally have, it’s probably a sign to slow down and start focusing on just one thing at a time. When you give your full attention to one thing at a time, you’ll be able to retain more and will be less forgetful. It’s a win-win if you think about it!
3. You forget to eat
When I forget to eat, I know it’s time for me to slow down. It’s not good for you to skip meals, and when I’m so busy that I don’t have time or forget to eat, I know I need to make a change – if anything, for my health. The biggest help for me here has been actually blocking off time on my calendar to eat my meals. I treat eating lunch like a meeting now – something I prioritize just as I would a client call. It’s not fair to my body to deprive it of food just because I’m busy! And I really enjoy taking time away from my work to eat lunch – it’s helped a lot with me slowing down and taking time to enjoy some moments to myself. And when I do get back to work, I feel refreshed and more energized – ready to tackle what’s in front of me as much as possible.
4. You’re extra irritable
When you’re constantly on the go and have an overwhelming to-do list, it’s easy to become extra irritable towards things that normally wouldn’t bug you. I know personally, when I get stressed I’m not as nice to people I’m close to – I feel like I’m shorter and just not in a the best mood overall (sorry mom, dad, boyfriend, everyone). But even more than just being irritable, I feel like when I’ve got too much going on, I’ve got less time for other people in general. And I HATE that. Instead, all my thoughts and efforts become pretty self-centered. It’s like I’m just trying to “get through the day” rather than actually living an abundant, fulfilling, and joyful life. When I feel overwhelmed, I’m more self-focused in general, which is something I don’t want to define my life. It feels great to be productive, but it’s not worth sacrificing the most important things in life.
If you find yourself being short towards people you’re close to – getting irritated with the littlest of things, – convincing yourself you don’t have time for a quick phone call with your mom or coffee with an old friend, or centering every waking moment on only your needs, then it’s probably a sign you need to slow down. Try writing out a to-do list and coming up with an actionable plan to get things done – and doing what you can to prioritize that list. Because there will always be more to do – and there will always be things that feel and seem (and might actually be too) super urgent. But you don’t want the urgent things to overshadow the important things – you know?
Making the list (I did a whole post on how I do this – I call it a “brain dump”) and prioritizing it will help. Knowing you have everything written down and a plan in place to complete things will help you feel more in-control and enable you to slow down.
What about you?
How do you know when it’s time to slow down and reprioritize how you’re spending your time?
Do y’all have triggers like mine? Do we share some? What are yours? I think this topic is so interesting, not to mention important, so I’d love to talk about it!
On another note, I want to talk about this look I’m wearing in these photos. I actually partnered with PacSun for this post to introduce y’all to their denim line. If you’ve been following me for a bit, then you know that jeans are my everyday uniform – they’re my absolute favorite thing to wear (aside from leggings). What can I say, I’m just a casual girl and like to be comfortable (plus it helps that I work from home…).
Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for new denim brands. And you’ve probably noticed by now, that I like my fair share of investment pieces when it comes to jeans. But today, I’m excited to be partnering with PacSun to share these with y’all – they’re $54! And if you buy one pair from their website, you can get another pair 50% OFF – WHAT a deal. Y’all know I love me some high-waisted denim (that’s basically all I wear) and there are plenty of high-waisted options – like these I’m wearing in these photos! I found that they fit TTS – I’m wearing size 25 here and that’s what I wear in most denim brands. Speaking of their denim, I also have my eye on this pair – I love the wash and (of course!) the high-rise too. And then I’m wanting to try these white ones out too!
In addition to their denim, I love a lot of the brands they carry (especially for everyday casual and lounge wear). I’ve got my eye on a few back-in-stock pieces by ADIDAS, a few pieces by Calvin Klein (love those cropped tees for workout!), either a Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt or oversized tee (#YASS), and gosh so much more! They have some really GOOOOD stuff!