This week is International stress awareness week and we all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. Some stress can be beneficial to push us to perform at our best, however, too much stress can affect our wellbeing. This is particularly important when juggling motherhood, career and ambitions.
I recently had a conversation with an ambitious friend who like me is juggling
Motherhood, a career and chasing her dreams. As we talked about the pressure that comes with motherhood while striving to reach our full potential, she asked me how I knew when “it’s all too much?” I knew exactly what she meant; the feeling of having a lot on your plate with the many demands of family life, the tiny people who are counting on you and to add to it, you have so much you want to achieve and are determined to make it all happen at all costs.
My answer was simple; “if it feels too much, then it is too much”.
My definition of stress is; when I feel I have too much going and under pressure on to the point that I feel overwhelmed for a prolonged period of time. Recognising when I am stressed has been a working progress for me and has taken years for me to strike a balance between the responsibilities towards my family and my desire to achieve without negatively affecting my wellbeing.
As a natural born ‘doer’ with an innate drive to achieve, I thrive continuously developing myself and reaching my full potential in everything I do. The urge to keep going can sometimes blind me from realising when I am putting excessive pressure on myself and when this becomes unhealthy. Being ambitious while juggling motherhood does not mean that my wellbeing should suffer. From experience, I recognise that regulating the amount of pressure I put on myself and knowing when something needs to change can make all the difference in creating balance.
To successfully juggle my multiple roles while maintaining the passion to achieve, I have learnt;
1. To acknowledging that my stress is unique to me- I define what is “too much”
2. To be in tune with my body and recognuse signs of stress- More than a few days where I struggle to sleep are often indicators that I am off balance and need to review how much I am doing
3. To be aware of my blind spots- I have an active mind that tends to pop up with new ideas. Resisting the urge to act on impulse to my latest idea but rather take the time to think through realistically how I will fit my new idea into an already packed schedule. It may mean I have to let go of something to make room.
There is a time to know when to wait, when to take things forward, when to sacrifice and when to change direction for better wellbeing.
How do you determine when it’s “too much” for you?