How To Lower Your Stress Levels When You’re Always Busy

Are you the person who is always on the go? You probably have tons of stuff to do and rush around trying to get it all done. You feel like a chicken with your head cut off, you’re forgetting things, and overall just you’re tired and over it. Life is busy and it’s hard to slow down when there is so much to do. The stress just piles up and before you know it you’re freaking stressed out and mentally not doing well. I’ve been there!

I have always loved the term “busy bee” and often use that to describe my life lol but being busy does not equal being productive. It’s also not a thing that makes you somehow a better person. I’m sure you’ve heard people commending the person to “does it all” or the people who “never quit” and while that’s great if it works for you, it’s not realistic. Dang society creating unrealistic expectations!!

Can we just talk about that more for a sec?? I was raised by parents who are constantly on the go. To this day my parents are always doing something – home projects, running errands, helping the neighbour’s, and a million other things on top of going to work all day everyday. Down time is not really a thing for them. They raised me to be busy as well and I always felt like I was being lazy if I wasn’t doing something at all times. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized two things: first, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be busy. Second, doing nothing or spending time lounging around the house on the weekends is not being lazy.

At the end of the day it all comes back to YOU. How you feel, how tired or energized you are, how much stress you can handle, and how happy you are in your life. If you thrive with a busy schedule then that’s great (but this blog post is probably not for you). If you find being constantly busy stresses you out and your mental health suffers, this is for you!

The difference between stress and burnout

Stress is a word used to describe a lot of different feelings and emotions (and not all of them are actually stress). Stress is a feeling/ emotional state of tension. It is brought on by a situation or circumstance that is difficult in some way. Stress comes and goes but it’s not a long term thing. 

An example would be feeling stressed about an interview. You may feel nervous and find yourself up all night studying so you can say all the right things. You worry about messing up and have dreams of showing up to your interview late. However, you know that once the interview is over you will feel fine. The stress is due to the interview. 

Or feeling stressed about your to do list that week, or maybe you have a bunch of appointments that you’re dreading… stress can be caused by so many things and sometimes you will feel stressed for “no reason at all” – I’ve had times when my brain is just spinning even though I know I don’t need to be stressed out but it still happens! 

Of course there are different types of stress but for the purpose of this post let’s just leave it at that. I’m also NOT a doctor or mental health professional so let’s keep it casual okay?

Burnout is extreme. This is when your health is being affected due to overwork. You are so stressed that your body and mind are giving up. We are not talking about this when we continue on in this post. This is serious and needs to be dealt with in a professional manner not with some quick tips and tricks from a blogger with a psych degree. Love ya and only want the best for you! 

Ways to slow down when you’re super busy

When life gets really busy it seems like it will never not be busy. Tasks pile up, responsibilities are looming, and it just becomes overwhelming. Sometimes the best thing you can do is slow down. Which may seem counterproductive if you are super busy and have lots to do but let’s be real here for a sec, you aren’t functioning at your best when you are stressed and overwhelmed. So here are 4 ways to sloooow down during those crazy times!

1- Schedule in self care time even if it means not doing one of your tasks

Have that bubble bath, read the book, go for the run. For 30 minutes of your day just say fuck it to your to do list and focus on you.

2 – Lower your expectations of yourself for a period of time

If you normally “do it all” but just can’t seem to do that right now, give yourself a break. Do the bare minimum for a couple days. Allow yourself to rest without guilt. Those tasks will be there when you come back (and chances are, they aren’t that important anyways).

3 – Prioritize tasks

A lot of the time you get stressed because you are unorganized and lack a plan of action (harsh but true). Sit down with your calendar and to-do list for 15 minutes and put a star next to things that NEED to happen. When I say need I mean things that are life or death for you and your family, that will keep your employment, and otherwise would greatly affect your life. Reality check: the dishes are not life or death, the hair appointment can be rescheduled, and dinner can be ordered in for a day or two.

4 – Be selfish for once

Sometimes you just need to do nothing. If you tend to do soooo much for others and work yourself to the bone, stop it. Tell your friends and family that you need a week to yourself. This could even be productive time if you have tasks that need to be done. Less time on others, more time on you!

You may be saying “these are great but I have real responsibilities and can’t just slow down so then what” and that’s a great question!!

Tips for de-stressing when life can’t slow down

1 – Practice gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for in life and by recognizing those things some stress can be lifted off your shoulders. Maybe you think that’s a stretch right now but it has been proven to help!

2 – Get more exercise

If you are really busy there’s a good chance you aren’t getting in that movement daily. if you can sneak in a 15 minute workout or get outside for a walk on your lunch breaks, do it! No exercise is too small.

3 – Create healthy boundaries

Like I mentioned above, doing everything for others and nothing for you is not helping. Learn to say no to things that don’t serve you. If you let someone down because you turned down a project or didn’t go to a party, who cares?!

4 – Take a moment to breath and step away from whatever is stressing you out

Maybe you can’t just leave or say no to the situation but you can take 30 seconds to step away. Practice some breathing techniques that help you calm down so when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed you can step out of the room, regroup, and come back feeling a bit better.

5 – Delegate

Girl, life doesn’t need to be a one woman show! If you have people that can help you or even people you could pay to help you, get the help. This could look like having your partner do more housework, getting groceries delivered to the house, or putting your kid in daycare even if you don’t “need” it. Little things can make a big difference!

Stress does not need to run your life

Is it hard to stop stressing out? Yes, absolutely. It’s really hard. However, if you can find some time to either slow your life down for a little or add things into your daily life that can help curb some of the stress then it doesn’t need to run your life. I have always found these types of posts to be “perfect world” kind of things. My mindset was all out of whack. Making time for yourself even when you are busy is not “perfect world” its just normal. It really does come down to priorities and being a little smarter with time. There is not cure all for daily stress but you can start taking small little steps to improve it!

You can do anything you put your mind to including lower your stress levels!! Get after it girl ❤

Related post:

How do you de-stress in your day to day life?

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