Being able to notice when you are overworked or overwhelmed can be extremely helpful. Not only can it prevent burn out but it’s a great way to keep in touch with yourself. There are some key things to notice. Our bodies may all be different but certain systems alert in similar ways. You may experience some of the following if you are overwhelmed.
Realizing tension can tell you a lot about what you’re feeling. If your shoulders are up to your ears, you are probably carrying a lot more than you realize. There are excellent body scans to help you analyze this. A great way to start is just sitting with your body and giving it space. You’ll start to feel more tension than you knew you had.
- Trouble sitting still
For me, I can normally sit still for a twenty to thirty minute meditation. When I start to wiggle around, I know that I’m holding emotions in my body. It becomes very apparent that focusing isn’t going to come easily and I need to do my best. I have two options. I can stop the meditation and address these newly found emotions. Otherwise, I refocus and address them afterwards. There isn’t a right or a wrong. Normally, I try to refocus first. If that doesn’t work, I give myself space to step away from meditation if there’s too much on my mind.
When I’m overwhelmed, I often get headaches. They aren’t horrible. Sometimes I don’t even notice them until I stop and slow down. This is why it’s so important to take moments to analyze how your body is doing throughout the day. In general, your body is built to send you alerts when something is off. When you’re overloaded a headache can be a sign it’s time to slow down.
- Excess Energy
This is a lot like not being able to sit still. However, for me it’s a different feeling. All of a sudden I want to workout really bad. Often, this is a sign your body is going into fight, flight, or freeze. Other times, I just feel like I’m vibrating because I’ve been sitting too long. Listen to that instinct. Go exercise, get that energy out. Once you’ve expelled some of that, sit down and sit with your emotions. Come back to yourself.
These are small things that you can notice every hour or so to check in with yourself throughout the day. If you do notice any of these signs, maybe you can take a step back. Do a short ten minute meditation in between zoom lectures. Take a walk around the floor of your office. Do something that will help your body relax and release tension. Let me know how this works for you.
I hope your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.