Signs You’re Spread Too Thin
We’ve all been there. Work piles up, we fill our calendars with plans, and we hit a wall. For me, it was two months of going back and forth about when and where to get married, dealing with website issues, side projects, and some pretty awful family drama that sort of ate away at me. Now that we finally have a plan for our wedding and I’m feeling more like myself again, it’s time to get back on track.
Back when we first launched The Everygirl, I had two jobs, went to CrossFit 5 days a week, and maintained a social life. Then I got shingles–a bold sign I was spread way too thin. The good news is that I got a lot better, but I’ve started to feel pretty burned out lately.
Here are a few signs you’re feeling spread thin and how to start feeling like yourself again.
Connecting with people is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s just not possible to say yes to everything. I don’t know about you, but when I feel stressed, a busy social calendar (even when it’s fun) can feel like a lot. I’m making week-of plans with friends and am allowing myself at least a few nights at home to relax.
You never have down time
Which brings me to my next point. As important as friends and family are, we can’t forget to spend time with ourselves. I love my friends but desperately need alone time and am convinced I’m some sort of closeted introvert. Carve out time that doesn’t involve your phone, email, or household chores. Plan a lazy night at home. Read a book. Wake up Saturday or Sunday without anything on the calendar and see where you end up.
You’re always online
Get off your phone. Close your computer. Stop answering emails 24/7. Repeat this mantra at least 5x a day.
Considering the fact that I run a website, this blog, social media platforms, and that we communicate using those fancy computer phones we carry around all day, this is something I’m constantly struggling with.
It’s so important to disconnect from everything and give yourself a break, so don’t forget to put your phone away for a little while while you’re at home and especially when you’re out with other people, too. The constant stream of messages and information coming in has us completely checked out from what’s happening around us, even when nothing’s happening. Sometimes, we need a little (or a lot) of nothing in our lives.
You don’t have any free time
We can’t exactly check out for a few hours during the workday, a 5-10 minute walk or break to recharge however you see fit can do wonders for us. Let’s also not forget that we’re entitled to lunch breaks (does anyone actually take those?). Commit to getting up and leaving your desk for lunch 1-2 times a week.
You have a long to-do list
Between email, errands, chores, plans with friends, and everything else in between, we’re always capable of being busy. Any of us could take a week off work and fill our lives with busy work. Ask for help and do things to make your life easier. Meal prep or order food a few nights a week if it means slowing down. Spend a few minutes cleaning up each night when you get home and then relax. Pick one errand to do after work every few days vs. cramming them all into a Saturday.
You never eat a real meal
Quit it with the snacks and eat 3 real meals a day. I’m always at my best when I have a protein shake or eggs in the morning, lunch, and a real dinner. When I don’t do that, I end up grazing all day, have less energy, and don’t make the healthiest choices, either. Starting your day off right really does change how you’ll treat yourself the rest of the day.
You’re not working out
A 45-60 minute workout is a chance to completely unplug, decompress, and will allow you to do something great for yourself. I do a mix of Pilates and Flywheel 5-6 days a week, and feel completely reset once class is over. And instead of grabbing something unhealthy or ordering pizza for dinner, take one trip to the store and meal prep for the week, or find a healthy take-out option. My go-tos are Mediterranean take-out (grilled chicken), or a rotisserie when I know I won’t have time to cook.
You’re always moving things around
Your friend wants to get coffee on a day you have a standing meeting. But if you move your workout to after work and then run to the grocery store after that, you can swing it. If you’re always moving appointments around to “make it work” slow down and find another day to add something else to your calendar. We have this habit of trying to do it all but at the end of the day, you’re one person.
You never say no
This one is the hardest for me and call it a sign of aging, but I’m getting so much better at saying now. Here’s how it works. There’s an event next Thursday. It sounds fun, but I have a busy week and know I need a night in. So I say no and make plans to do nothing.
Someone I don’t know wants to connect over coffee but my workdays are packed and I have 2 days a week to myself (hello, weekend) and need to spend it with people I’m already invested in. I love helping people so I say no to coffee but offer to answer questions over email. My friend Jess explained that one a little further here.