As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” Here are some signs you’re gunning it way too fast:
1. You wake up with an aching jaw and headache.
When you’re stressed in your sleep — if you can get to sleep at all — then you know it’s time to take a breather.
2. The first thing you do each morning is scroll through your phone.
I know how checking email and scanning through Instagram can become compulsive itches that we can’t stop scratching, but it’s a terrible way to start the day. We jump into the day already behind; we look at all the status updates, the accomplishments, and braggy Instagram posts … and it’s barely 8am.
We can at least start our mornings in the real world, not whatever edited world is reflected from our screens.
3. You live in an “if only” frame of mind.
If only you made 30K more a year, then you could relax. If only you had this job title, or that boat, or a new house, then you would be happy.
Every once in awhile it’s important to stop and realize that everything we have right now, right this very minute, is enough.
4. You often skip meals, ignoring your body’s cues.
The day flew by and you totally forgot to eat. I used to do it all the time — living too much in my head, not enough in my body.
5. Or you scarf down food in moving vehicles, while staring at a computer screen or standing over the sink.
Pull up a chair and SIT DOWN. Pay attention to the food going into your body. Chew slowly, deliberately. Taste!
6. Your friends stopped texting and calling because you never answered anyway.
Until one day you finally realize that it’s the people in your life who really matter, not the busy work, not even the money.
7. You’re often described as cynical, negative, or restless.
Is there a burnout brewing? According to Dr. David Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, cynicism and perpetual frustration are a sign of burnout which can “wreak havoc on your health, happiness, relationships, and job performance,” he told Forbes.
When we go too hard for too long — exposing ourselves to prolonged chronic stress — our bodies give out. So, check your defeated, disillusioned, jaded attitude. Maybe you just need to slow it down and regroup.
8. Your kids hear, “Let’s go!” and “We’re late!” more than “Take your time,” or even, “I love you.”
Our go-go-go mode can affect everyone around us, especially the smallest people. When we’re constantly moving, thinking, plotting, or going, we can’t possibly be connected in the moment with our kids.
If we’re always rushing from one activity to the next with barely enough time to find the lost shoes and missing toys (which are inevitable), with barely enough time to just be with them, then we’ve taken on too much. We need to slow down for our kids’ sake.
9. You waste paid vacation/sick time because you can’t be away from your work.
Clearly, our society doesn’t value taking time off.
But for those of us lucky enough to be afforded paid time away from our desks, almost half of workers don’t use their paid time. Take the vacation, paid leave or not, and enjoy it. Feel salt-water wind on your skin; taste an exotic meal; go experience the damn world.
10. You spend your free time binge-watching Netflix on the couch, and calling it a date.
Mostly because you have zero energy for anything that requires movement. A little binge-watching never hurt anyone — we all want/need to turn off our brains and zone out at times — but if you’re full-on shutting down each night? That’s a pretty big sign that you need to slow the hell down.
There’s a life you’re not living.