Scaling back in a High Pressure Society

Are you taking on too many roles and feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Is it time to examine whether you need to scale back some of your roles to find some balance and happiness in your life? We all have various roles that we carry out on a daily basis. Some of us are part time or full time workers, husbands/wives, mothers/fathers, students, caregivers, coaches, and so forth.

Our high pressure society has trained us to think that we need to keep busy, that we aren't doing enough, and that we need to be doing more with our lives. In a sense it almost sets our thoughts  up to believe that we "need" to do something more then what we are already doing to be happy. 

Do you feel like you are always looking for the next best thing to satisfy the instant gratification that we are drawn to and constantly seek? After you achieve the next best thing, can you even really appreciate it or are you too burned out? Do you feel like you are on the never ending hamster wheel and you are not sure of when to get off? Do you know when doing too much  is negatively impacting your ability to function and relationships?  

Let's take some time to self-reflect. Grab a piece of paper and pen, phone, tablet or laptop. I want you to stop and think for a minute about how many roles you have in your life. How do you feel about the various roles you carry out on a daily basis? Do these specific roles instill happiness in your life? Are they essential for your growth? Do any of these roles have a negative impact on your ability to function? Do any of these roles have a negative impact on your relationships? 

If you answered yes to any of the negative impact questions; how can you make a change to that role? Can you eliminate that specific role from your life? For example, maybe you thought it was a good idea to take on a second job for extra income but the job becomes so overwhelming that you can't sleep anymore from all of the extra hours you are putting in, you don't have any time to spend with your friends and family and your grades are going down at school. It may be helpful to consider "scaling back" on the second job. You may choose to work less hours if that is an option or eliminate the job all together. Once you have scaled back or eliminated the role you may start to see improvements in the negative impacts you once were experiencing. If you can't eliminate that role right now, is there somewhere else you can scale back in your life?

It's important to be able to be mindful and recognize when it's time to scale back because you are doing too much. When we spread ourselves too thin we may experience fatigue, sadness, depression, irritability, anxiety, insomnia and our overall health suffers. Sometimes our jobs or relationships suffer because there just isn't enough time to do everything. We need to nurture ourselves and get in tune with our needs. As much as we all want to be the "all-star" and "do it all," sometimes you just can't and that is okay. Maybe you are reading through this blog thinking that you have found your balance and that is wonderful but it is easy to take on too much and feel overwhelmed again. Be mindful when you are happy and unhappy and find a balance that works best for you. 

I challenge you to think about your roles, happiness, and unhappiness and identify ways to make your changes in your life to find balance and genuine happiness. At Life Balance Counseling, we have counselors that help clients find balance in their life. If you are feeling stuck and unsure of what to do, feel free to reach out and learn more about our services, counselors and treatment options.