The #1 sign that you need to slow down

This week, a theme has come up in my life and in the lives of the people close to me.

 

we're tired of pushing so hard.

We're tired of performing our best. We're tired of seizing every moment.

Of working hard. Of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps. Of staying up late to accomplish things and acting the part and being good and just trying so much all the time.

This is not a new feeling.

But there are moments where the realization is so profound that you have to take note.

 

And that moment is the #1 sign that you actually do need to slow down.

That sounds like it should be obvious; of course, feeling like I need to slow down is the #1 sign that I need to slow down. And yet, we don't take that feeling seriously. We don't listen to it. Which is why I am imploring you now - listen to that sign.

As part of my ongoing journey to love my body, I recently upped my fitness game - cooking for myself multiple times a week and exercising almost every day. After a couple of weeks of this I felt pretty exhausted.

Despite the fact that exercising feels good and cooking is fun for me, I was pushing myself too hard and I was losing steam.

My original reaction was "I need to fix it. I need to make myself feel like this isn't too much so that I can keep going."

But in an especially relieving and exciting moment with my own life coach (more often than not, I also am working with a life coach!), I stopped to think about what I was saying. And I answered my own question about what to do to move forward: "If I feel like I need to take a step back, then I need to take a step back."

 

The trick here was to actually believe the little voice that said "this is too much."

It is incredibly powerful to give yourself permission to believe your own feelings, rather than spending what little energy you have trying to convince yourself out of burnout.

What if you just acknowledged that it is too much? 

If you did, you would be confronted with the real opportunity to step back and making some changes instead of continuing in the same patterns.

 

it's easier said than done.

Maybe making changes sounds more tiring than just continuing on with what you've been doing. Maybe confronting your burnout is scary.

So take it one step at a time. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and know it to be true without having to change things right away. Start by believing yourself and see what that simple admission of truth does for your spirit.

And then take another step. Begin to incorporate the underlying habits of permission-giving and need-acknowledgement before you try to make changes in your life. (Download the Quick Guide to Getting Self-Care to Stick for help with this.)

And then start to think about what comes next.

 

For now, you only have to do one thing.

Say it out loud: "This is too much. I need to slow down. I'm ready to let in that truth. And I'm open to new possibilities."