Creative Child

7 Signs You Need to Slow Down

by Rebecca Eanes

The rush of the holiday season is over, and now we can all relax! Just kidding. Let’s be real, most of us live hectic lives year-round. A busy life isn’t necessarily bad when it’s dedicated to activities that fill your cup and help you feel good about yourself, but it can take a toxic turn when we become over-scheduled with things that drain us. Here are 7 signs that it’s time for you to slow down and regroup.

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1. You’re not sleeping well.

If you wake multiple times through the night or you simply can’t fall asleep because your mind is racing, that sleep deprivation will catch up with you. Your body needs rest to function properly, and when your sleep is out of sync, that’s a sign that your nervous system is overloaded and you’re stressed out. I know it can be tempting to stay up extra late just to finally get a little alone time, but you’re better off getting the rest you need to stay healthy.

Try this: Winding down with our phones is common, but researchers say it makes it harder to fall asleep. Switch up your bedtime routine and read a book or color in that adult coloring book you bought instead. If you’re having trouble with racing thoughts, try meditation for sleep. If you’re new to meditation, try a free meditation app or a guided meditation session on whatever music streaming service you have a subscription with.

2. People are often remarking about how busy you are.

You keep hearing it. “Wow, you stay so busy.” “I don’t know how you do it all.” “Do you ever sleep?” If everyone else is noticing, that’s a strong indication that your busyness is out of control. At the end of the day (and your life), there is no trophy for having been the busiest woman on the block. There is greater reward in slowing down and being present with those you love. That’s what makes life truly productive.

Try this: Ask yourself what you’re getting out of the full schedule you’ve adopted. Are you trying to prove yourself? Do you have trouble saying “no” or creating boundaries? When you understand the “why” you can begin to address it in a meaningful way that leads to lasting change.

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3. You don’t know what’s going on in the lives of your loved ones.

Who are your children’s best friends at school? What projects are they working on? What are they learning about right now? What’s going on with your husband at work? What’s happening in the lives of your parents and siblings? If you don’t know the answers, then there is a lack of communication going on between you and your loved ones, and that is likely due to being overwhelmed and busy. It’s unlikely that you’ll regret not heading up the PTA bake sale again, but you will very certainly regret missing out on the time you could’ve spent sharing stories and laughing with your family.

Try this: It might be time to reassess your to-do list if it doesn’t bring you connection, joy, or contentment. Make a list of what is most important to you. If you’re asked to do something that isn’t on that list, say no. Guard your time because it is precious and limited.

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