When the load gets out of balance, unfortunately we don’t always beep then stop like the washing machine does.
Instead, we hit the override switch after the warning signal comes on and keep on spinning with an unbalanced load. Not taking the time to rearrange the load, which would enable the cycle to continue smoothly.
Perhaps our warning signal has become faulty and downregulated by overuse.
We no longer sense it’s on as we have become so used to living the way we do. And feeling the way we feel. Pushing our intuition and inner guidance to the side when the signs show up, boxing on. I’ll be OK, I’ve got this we say.
Or maybe we do pause momentarily, but then end up carrying on as we simply don’t know how to rearrange the load. We can end up self-medicating with alcohol, caffeine, food, or drugs, or engage in other behaviours that do not serve us well.
Our body is wise and tends to keep the score.
The result will be different for everyone. We are seeing many people who are toasty around the edges. Feeling a bit well done with various warning signs or symptoms showing up for them. Not necessarily burned out, but on the road.
- The person who was once positive and creative, has now become uncharacteristically negative. Maybe cynical, and robotic.
- Second guessing themselves, no longer feeling that sense of pride and accomplishment in their work.
- Usually compassionate and there for others, no longer that person and feeling like telling others to naff off instead. Totally out of character.
- Emotionally wrung out and exhausted. Maybe overreacting and no longer able to hold it together.
- Feeling isolated and alone.
- Or a huge range of symptoms from headaches, digestive issues, aches and pains, high blood pressure, weight issues, memory issues, and much more. Or feeling tired but wired, experiencing panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.
Our bodies are incredible.
Our autonomic nervous system is constantly working to keep us in balance, known as homeostasis. Once the alarm system is set off, it sends out stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol to help us get out of danger when we experience a perceived threat.
Not all stress is bad though, we need it to get us up and going and firing. The problem occurs when we are staying on red alert in our fight, flight, or fawn place. Our sympathetic nervous system. This means we are not coming back into our parasympathetic system, which is our rest, digest, and repair place. We need an ebb and flow. Run from the tiger [overflowing in box, demanding client, bills to pay, competing demands etc.] then come back down to our rest and repair state. Staying on red alert with over exposure to the stress hormones puts us at an increased risk of health problems.
Our genetics and our life experiences both play a part in the way we react to stressful situations. We all go through the same stuff differently. Self-awareness – knowing yourself and recognising when things are getting out of whack is the first step to getting on track.
Having a good handle on our values is imperative.
Our values are like our GPS, our true north. When these get tested or compromised, and there’s a values mismatch things can get testy. Add to the mix a sense of feeling unheard and a lack of control over decisions affecting us, then we may well be feeling rather toasty. An unrealistic workload and lack of resources will add to the mix.
What helps when we’re out of balance?
It’s about finding strategies that work for you. What is right for one person may not work so well for another. The research tells us that the more tools you have in your kit, the better equipped you will be when you hit rocks in the road.
- A healthy diet and lifestyle, getting good sleep and regular exercise and movement is fundamental.
- Having work [paid or unpaid] that gives you a strong sense of belonging and connection. It has purpose and fits with your core beliefs and values.
- Playing to your strengths and being in touch with your emotions.
- Finding routines and stress management techniques that work for you. Making sure you get in sufficient time to rest and recharge.
- Being able to manage negativity and having a positive mindset. Think glass half full, as opposed to glass half empty.
- Having a ‘team you’. People in your corner.
When we’re out of balance, early intervention, or better still prevention is the way to go. The sooner we make changes or seek help the better.
Listen to the whispers before they turn into screams.
If you’d like to know more about how to create more balance in your life and for your team, get in touch and let’s see if we can help.
If you need to talk, or you’re feeling uncharacteristically out of sorts, or have health issues showing up, do reach out for help. Your GP or Health Professional maybe able to help, or call:
Need to talk – Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor.
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat.
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).