The Power of Pause… Are You Overwhelmed by Your Life?
My neighbor Sarah worked hard at a Fortune 500 company. When she accepted a promotion to the executive board, her already hectic life began to feel overwhelming. She was constantly moving from meeting to meeting. She was always thinking about the bottom line, and every project felt more urgent than the last. Even though she had an open-door policy, most of her team members didn’t approach her because she was so stressed.
As time went on, Sarah began to lose track of what after-school activities her daughter participated in and didn’t know when her son began dabbling in recreational drugs. Her husband felt like a stranger and in the moments when they were alone together she no longer knew what to say to him.
She found herself complaining to a friend that she often felt as if she was living in fast forward and what she craved was a simpler, slower pace. She hoped if she could slow down then she could find her way back to the life she craved.
Unfortunately, Sarah isn’t alone. While you may not be an executive at a Fortune 500 company or raising teenagers, you might experience feelings of overwhelm. Perhaps you’re caring for an aging parent, navigating a new business, or going through a divorce. These situations can leave you feeling as if everything is spinning out of control.
You may not even realize that you’re feeling overwhelmed by life. If not, here are a few signs that you should be on the lookout for…
Sign #1: Difficulty Concentrating
This might manifest in a variety of ways. You may find yourself daydreaming or mentally checking out during conversations. You might discover that you’ve “zoned out” during a meeting and missed an important point or you may frequently arrive at a new destination with no idea how you got there.
If this is happening to you, don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault. When you’re overwhelmed, it’s natural to need to retreat. To deal with the overload, your brain simply stops focusing on what’s important and you think about the latest show you’re watching or your upcoming girls’ night out rather than staying in the present.