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10 Signs You’re A Working Mother Addicted To Busyness

10 Signs You’re A Working Mother Addicted To Busyness

As a working mom, it’s easy to get caught in the swirl of busyness! Trying to be all things, to all people, all of the time (a.k.a. Super Woman).

You’re expected to have it all, right?! To be a successful entrepreneur, loving mom, and sexy wife. To keep a gorgeous home, be the ultimate socialite and hostess, a four-star chef and still find time to workout and stay in great shape.

Yeah right!

No time for what’s important in life? Always feel like you’re running faster and faster on the hamster wheel but can’t get off? Feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled and fried?

Well, we hate to tell you but you might have fallen prey to Addiction to Busyness Syndrome (ATBS). It’s a chronic habit of always filling up your schedule, keeping busy and doing, doing, doing to maintain your Super Woman cape and badge of honor.

Now, you might be wondering, how does it creep up on you and take over your life?

In today’s fast paced world, we seem to honor those who accomplish a lot, do a lot and can magically keep all the balls of responsibility up in the air. But what we’ve come to realize through my recovery process is that it’s really about filling the need of our ego to “look good”, “have it all together” and be “worthy” as individuals.

It’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you if you just do one more thing, then you’ll finally be good enough, smart enough, successful enough.

It’s as if we’re trying to validate our existence through action. We’ve lost the ability to sit quietly and just be with our selves to hear the whispers of our soul.

You see, the more busy you become, the less time you have to actually feel the stuff that might be difficult in your life. Those “learning opportunities for growth,” as we like to call them. It’s the emotional way of sweeping things under the rug or looking the other way. Because who wants to feel the all those icky emotions like fear and doubt?

In her book, ‘Daring Greatly’, Brene Brown tells us that numbing behaviors are a way to armor against vulnerability (showing others who you really are).

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And if you think numbing doesn’t apply to you because you’re not addicted to drugs or alcohol, she clarifies this by saying, “One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy. We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.”

Is any of this ringing true for you? Are you numbing out on busyness? How might you be hiding behind your list of To-Do’s, phone calls and meetings?

If you notice yourself showing any of these signs, you too may be addicted to busyness:

1. You check your phone and email constantly.

Keeping in touch is one thing, but obsessing about being in touch is another. If you find yourself starting to quiver when you’re more than 10 feet from your smart phone or computer, you may have ATBS.

Keys to recovery: Consider creating a digital detox zone in your life. Perhaps it’s in the evenings or over the weekend. “Step away from your devices ma’am!” Give yourself a break and focus on the other areas of your life that need your time, attention and love.

2. Your schedule is packed full from stem to stern.

If you’re so busy that you’re schedule is booked down to the minute, you might need to make some changes. Having no wiggle room or down time in your daily schedule can be detrimental to your health.

Keys to recovery: It’s important to take time to stop, pause, reflect and just catch your breath. If need be, book mini appointments with yourself throughout your day to step away from your desk/computer/phone and just breath deeply for 10 minutes while you take a walk around.

This will get your blood flowing, stimulate your brain and refocus your vision to help you prevent eye-strain.

3. You complain about being Super Woman.

Do you find yourself complaining about how busy you are while secretly feeling proud of yourself for being able to “handle it all” like Super Woman, even though you’re mentally and physically exhausted? Our ego LOVES to feel important. It can be a core driver of success for many people.

Your ego might sound something like this: “I’m needed, I’m important, because ‘I’m In Demand’. This makes me ‘worthy’, right?”

No. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to find other places/activities that feed your self worth as well as your spirit. Your title is NOT all that you are! The world will not come to an end if you step away from your work.

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Keys to recovery: Volunteer at your child’s school or some organization that enriches your spirit and allows you to be of contribution. Whatever it is, find something that helps utilize the other amazing talents you have that fill you up AND help create a better work life-balance.

4. Your relationships are being negatively impacted by your busyness.

When you give someone your full attention, they can feel it. It’s actually a gift that you give them. Conversely, when you’re constantly looking at your phone, fielding emails or phone calls when you’re talking with someone, it lands as disrespectful for the other person.

You’re subconsciously telling that person (partner, child, friend) that the phone call or email is more important in this moment than they are. This can leave someone with a bad taste in their mouth and over time can build up a layer of resentment.

Keys to recovery: When you’re home with your family or out with friends, Be with them fully. Listen to their stories, their jokes, their woes.

When you can do this, they’ll feel more seen, heard and loved by you, which goes a long, long way for building strong relationships. It also models loving and respectful behavior for your children (and your partner) to reflect back at you and with others.

working mom

    5. You get fidgety when you try to just sit still.

    When was the last time you just sat and relaxed? No, really, relaxed? If you can only count on one hand when you gave yourself permission to just sit, relax and ponder your toes over the last month, you might need a busyness intervention.

    Keys to recovery: Relaxing is an art. Take time to revel in it, doing nothing at all – perhaps just watching the birds outside while sipping a cup o’ tea.

    Meditating is a great way to give your working mind a way to relax because you can tell yourself “I’m working at relaxing.” It’s a practice, a muscle that needs to be developed just like going to the gym.

    This tells the part of you that doesn’t want to sit idle (for fear of not accomplishing something), that you have a goal to achieve (which, by the way, fosters the release of dopamine in your brain, one of your feel good, happy chemicals).

    6. You have a fear of boredom.

    Empty space can mean boredom. Boredom means you might have to be with what IS. And the “what is” might be uncomfortable, so always having a book, or your smart phone or tablet with you is a way to avoid the empty spaces in between the busy parts.

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    If you fill up the empty spaces with yet more stuff, more “doing”, you can avoid feeling the things you don’t want to feel.

    Keys to recovery: Next time you find yourself with some empty space, instead of filling it with another busyness diversion, how about just thinking about what you’re grateful for.

    As you focus on what you’re grateful for, your brain naturally releases serotonin (another one of those great happy chemicals), which leaves you feeling good, feeling valued and boosts your confidence.

    7. You’re constantly on the run and live in a continuous state of adrenaline-fueled stress.

    Between running your business, managing your kids, cooking dinner, attending soccer games, and an assortment of other obligations and activities, when do you stop and take time to breathe? Being busy isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s all bringing you some joy.

    It’s when it moves from busy, to addicted to busy, to burned out, that you’ve got a problem.

    The constant state of stress that you keep yourself plugged into can take a serious toll on your health, impacting your immune system, depleting your adrenal glands and potentially creating a cascade of other ill effects on your body such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

    Keys to recovery: Determine what your core values are that are most important to you and make time for those things. For example, carve out time to eat dinner with your family and talk.

    Get out of your head and tune into them and the events of their day. This sets a great example for your kids that they’re important, it helps you to slow down and breathe, and gives you all time to connect at a deeper level.

    8. You feel guilty when you actually do have down time and wonder what you’re forgetting.

    If you’re like me, you might have a running to-do list either in your head or on a sticky note or in it’s own special notebook. Especially as a working mom, there is ALWAYS something you need to do, could be doing, or should be doing (at least that is what you’re telling yourself).

    So when you actually do have that time to relax there is still that little person in your brain reviewing the list, whispering in your ear “Have you completed this?”, “Shouldn’t you be doing this instead of just sitting there doing nothing?” You know that voice I’m talking about.

    Keys to recovery: The best way to quiet the voice is to review your list and decide what can be dropped, delegated or dealt with at the appropriate time and place. Once you’ve gone over your list, then put it aside and enjoy your RnR time. You deserve it!

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    9. You find it difficult to focus on the task at ha… ooh a squirrel!

    Read this, do that, answer this email, sit in on that conference call… and the list goes on. You’re a card carrying member of the Super Woman club no doubt, with a variety of awards for multi-tasker of the year, we’re sure. The problem is, all that multi-tasking really is just fracturing your ability to focus.

    Keys to recovery: The truth is, your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. Yup. Recent neuroscience tells us when you’re multi-tasking there is a stop/start process that goes on in the brain. Which actually costs time, instead of saving you time.

    Even though it’s in micro second bursts, it’s still only processing one thing at a time. So you’re better off, spending a designated amount of time on one thing before switching to the next thing. You’ll be more productive and focused and less stressed.

    10. You constantly feel like you’re under pressure because “there isn’t enough time.”

    No time to take care of yourself, to workout, eat right, have some downtime with your girlfriends etc. This is actually a way of procrastinating and avoiding the bigger game that your spirit it’s calling you towards. When you take time to pause, de-stress and get rejuvenated you’re actually able to think more clearly, be more focused and more productive.

    We know it sounds crazy for you busyness addicts, but slowing down is actually the best way to speed up. Funny thing is, your ego actually wants you to stay in this state of overwhelm to justify it existence and keep you in a place of ‘status quo’, hiding out and playing small.

    So how can you outsmart your ego?

    Keys to recovery: Master your mindset. Your thoughts drive your emotions, actions and reactions. They also trigger the work of your Amygdala, your fight, flight or freeze mechanism in your limbic brain.

    The more aware you become of your worries, fears and doubts that are running you ragged, the more consciously you can reclaim your power back from those fears and gain control over your mindset (and quiet your ego).

    All of which feeds your spirit, and will help you step more boldly into the most brilliant, brightest version of yourself that you have to offer your family, friends and your work in the world.

    black-single-mother

      Yes, slowing down may feel counter productive.

      As you free up your mental bandwidth for the things that really are important and let go of the extraneous details that don’t matter, you’ll find yourself breathing more deeply, finding more joy in your day and having more time to spend with family, friends and yourself.

      Hit reply and tell us abut how you’re overcoming your Addiction to Busyness. We’d love to know!

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      Last Updated on April 23, 2019

      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

      13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

      Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

      Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

      My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

      To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

      You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

      Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

      “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

      “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

      “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

      “I don’t deserve happiness”

      EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

      Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

      Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

      This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

      If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

      1. Happy People Put Happiness First

      Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

      Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

      To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

      The happy person asks,

      “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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      “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

      They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

      If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

      Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

      If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

      2. Happy People Embrace Pain

      I know what you are thinking –

      “No one is ALWAYS happy”

      or …

      “Even happy people get in bad moods”

      and …

      These statements are absolutely accurate.

      Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

      Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

      Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

      Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

      When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

      3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

      We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

      The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

      How are you currently defining yourself?

      For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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      When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

      When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

      Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

      Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

      If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

      4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

      The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

      Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

      Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

      They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

      5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

      Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

      However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

      We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

      If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

      What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

      Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

      They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

      What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

      These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

      6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

      Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

      Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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      Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

      A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

      A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

      7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

      Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

      Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

      We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

      In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

      8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

      What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

      What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

      Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

      When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

      9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

      Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

      It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

      Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

      Negativity is NOT normal.

      The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

      Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

      In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

      10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

      The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

      They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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      The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

      Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

      If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

      11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

      Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

      Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

      It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

      Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

      12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

      Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

      It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

      Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

      13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

      When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

      Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

      Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

      In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

      If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

      I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

      It starts with one decision – happiness.

      The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

      Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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