Stress is sneaky. We think we have everything under control and one day we suddenly collapse with an illness, mentally disturbed or paralized by anxiety. I have seen it again and again in the people that come to work with me, and I have suffered it myself. The facade seems ok, even when the levels of fatigue and anxiety are at the roof. And the worst thing is that we get use to it, and then is harder to detect.
The fast trip from chronic stress to nasty burnout can be prevented though.
The first thing to set up is an awareness system.
This is where my list comes handy.
Here are 10 signs that you are more stressed than you think, and that you URGENTLY need to take a break even if it doesn’t seem necessary. Because remember, stress is sneaky and we are under control until we are not.
So pay attention and if you notice any of these 10 signs they indicate that your limits in the chronic stress zone are flipping into the burn out zone. And you don’t want to go to that region. Just stop and take 10 big deep breaths.
So here we go… Signs that you are feeling negative stressed:
- Feeling like urgently needing to stretch, walk around and really take a break: After 50 minutes of work a break is needed. But many of us just continue because we are really inspired in our flow of creation, or because we have a deadline. Skipping a pause is OK, but usually it becomes a pattern and when you check you are actually working 4 or 5 hours in a row. That’s when things reach a breaking point. So listen to your body and take a stretch when it needs it.
- Yawning or sighing: that’s a big sign that your body is tired. Your brain starts to send signals begging you to take that deserved pause to be able to start restoring. Listen to it.
- Dawdling and unable to work quickly: Yes, the first time that it happens and you force yourself to just sit and get the work done, I understand, we need that breakthrough. But then a second time happens, and a third…that’s when you really need to make a pause and check what’s going on with that concentration level. Why are you so energy deprived. You are needing some rest and maybe more meditation in your daily routine.
- Tense and exhausted body: Yes, you have like stones on your shoulders. Your lower back is hurting and you feel drained. Time for a bigger break changing not only body posture but also going for a walk to see the sky and breathe fresh air. You will notice the difference. Pause. Please. Pause.
- Suddenly feeling hungry: using the mind intensively turns ON your Beta waves to the top and those are the waves that require the most energy. So you need to create a healthy-snack-break to regain your physical and mental power. And of course, drink a lot of water.
- Needing to go to the bathroom: That’s an easy one, and -confession- many times I have skipped it. I say “a little bit more, I want to get this done” and then run like crazy to the bathroom all stressed. That can create annoying infections and bladder problems. Take that break please.
- Feeling “wrong”: You keep judging yourself and comparing yourself with others. You are with the fear button ON so your thoughts are either in attacking or defensive mode. You can start feeling grumpy, then depressed or mentally vulnerable, you start thinking that people don’t like you and take criticism personally. You need a real longer break if you are in this state.
- Having scattered thoughts and daydreaming: is a big sign that you need rest. Your mind distracts you by changing the focus out of work because your brain needs a break. But you insist to push it and keep staring at the computer. If you knew how much more performant you will become after that break you wouldn’t skip it. Try it next time.
- Having mild memory problems: You forget words, even though you feel they are “at the tip of your tongue”. A pause is calling you.
- Making strange spelling mistakes, typos or miscalculating with numbers. That can end up really harming your work, and it’s a sign that a pause is required.
When you detect yourself going through only one of these, you need to take a break. Promis that to yourself. Self care and self love are that too.
And share this with anyone you think that can benefit from this. They will thank you for it.
You are a coach a therapist or a health care provider willing to learn breathing tools to better help your patients…I got it all set out for you. Check my Essential Breathing Teacher Immersion here.
If you want to go deeper into the work from anywhere in the world let’s talk. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.