It’s been one of those weeks again here in the Atlanta area where severe thunderstorms spawned tornado warnings. Of course, I was totally oblivious to the warnings because I was too busy bustling around getting ready for company.
Have you ever had times like that when you were so busy tending to your to-do list that you missed any warning signs of an impending crisis or change that could knock you off your feet either literally or figuratively?
I remember a time when I was so engrossed in being the busy pastor that I totally ignored the warning signs of a developing ulcer not to mention the near nervous breakdown that was brewing alongside the growing hole in my belly.
When the storm hit, in my case, the diagnosis, I was taken out of commission by something I could have prevented. I cannot prevent tornadoes, but I do have a weather alert on my phone now! And from my ulcer and all the stress that caused it I have learned to pay attention to my own built-in alert system that tells me when I am about to hit a major storm in my life.
Do you have a system that warns you of stress overload? Or, better yet do you have a way to head it off before your warning system kicks in? And perhaps the larger question is do you even realize you need ways to decrease the stress and to increase the ways to recognize overload?
For many busy women caught up in the success formula for either career or home it seems counter intuitive to have ways to slow down, drop out of the race for a while, and simply take care of themselves. I have had so many clients tell me that they feel guilty if they put themselves first or even second on their list of things to do.
The first step to overcoming a bad habit is to acknowledge you have it. The second step to slowing down is accepting that you need to do it for your health. The third step is realizing it is selfish not to take time for yourself because when you are incapacitated by an illness or other stress related disability you cannot be available or usable to anyone.
As Carol McClelland says in her book, Seasons of Change, we have become ‘gotta-get-it-done-selves’ regardless of the cost. I say let’s change from ‘gotta-get-it-done-selves’ to ‘taking-time-4-ourselves-selves’ and see which personification we enjoy more.