Are you constantly rushing around with a never ending to do list? Busy all of the time? Stuck in a state of overwhelm?
Welcome to the modern women’s epidemic.
There is this rising notion that we as women can do it all. And we can, but do we have to? As we rush around trying to get everything done we often don’t realise how fast we are living our lives, how much we are rushing and how out of breath we are. We have this never ending to do list leaving us stuck in a state of overwhelm. Dr Libby Weaver, Author and Nutritional Biochemist, refers to this as ‘Rushing Women’s Syndrome’.
It was only last year that I was still a victim of this modern epidemic. I was constantly rushing and trying to tick things off my never ending to do list. I felt like I just couldn’t stop.
My day often involved:
- Getting up early and hustling the kids to get ready
- Rushing to work,
- Rushing to appointments,
- Rushing home,
- Doing the housework,
- Getting dinner on the table,
- Teaching yoga (and appearing to be all zen and relaxed), and
- Playing with the kids before the bedtime routine began.
It often felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
This was affecting my wellbeing in so many ways, most of which I wasn’t even aware of at the time. This included:
- Being constantly exhausted
- Having little patience
- Being easily frustrated
- Forgetting things all the time
- Poor sleep
- Unusually high sugar cravings
- Weight gain
- Increased stress
- Decrease in confidence
- Increase in self doubt
So what exactly is the Rushing Women’s Syndrome?
The Rushing Women’s Syndrome is essentially a name for us being busy, busy, busy. We are in a state of overwhelm from all of the things we need to do on our never ending to do list.
When we are busy all of the time, our body goes into fight or flight mode. The body thinks we are under stress, so the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) kicks in and pumps adrenalin out to ‘get us out of danger’. Then we often contribute even further to this by adding coffee, alcohol and other stimulants into the mix. We don’t allow our bodies to go into Parasympathetic Nervous System – the calming, rest, digest and repair mode.
Too many women are now living in SNS the majority of the time and it is causing havoc on our health and wellbeing, including our state of mind.
What is the cause of this epidemic?
There is no one cause to this epidemic, rather a build-up of a few main factors. These factors include:
- Life in general is speeding up – With the continual progression in technology, automation and needing things instantaneously, we are trying to keep up with the world as it is today. As I look back on life as it was just 10 years ago, I am amazed at just how much faster we are going. We are constantly rushing, time poor and trying to squeeze more and more into our day.
- Changing roles for women – More and more women are now going back to paid employment in some capacity after having kids. Regardless of the amount of hours in paid employment, women generally still see themselves as the primary caregiver of the children. They also continue to do a larger percentage of the housework. In short, women are continuing to hold the traditional roles of a women while adding in the traditional role of the man (go to work). We are doing twice the work load of our mothers and women in the past.
- Mindset and our struggle with inner expectations – Often, we as women, expect ourselves to be able to do it all. We place high expectations on ourselves to be able to hold down our job, keep the house clean and tidy, have dinner on the table, ensure our kids are thriving (physically, emotionally and socially), tend to the extended family and still have the energy to attend social functions and gatherings.
Gah, its making me tired just thinking about it all!
And when we don’t achieve everything on the to do list? We often then listen to that little voice in our head that is probably saying, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m a failure”.
So what can we do to fix it?
- Set realistic goals for ourselves and learn to accept that things aren’t always going to be perfect.
- Share the load and delegate tasks to other people. You don’t have to do everything by yourself, ask those around you for help and support.
- Change your mindset. This is very important, instead of thinking ‘I’m not good enough’ or focusing on what you haven’t achieved, start focusing on what you have achieved. It’s time to change the voice in your head to be your greatest cheerleader.
Investing in a mindset coach can dramatically help in this area if you need someone to guide you.
- Take regular breaks and allow for unscheduled time where you don’t have to do or achieve anything.
- Start a regular mindfulness practice that allows you to slow down such as meditation, gentle yoga, breathing exercises or tai chi.
I am now a recovering Rushing Woman. I still lapse back at times but I have taken considerable steps to slowing right down. I have quit my government job and am now working for myself as a Women’s Confidence Coach. This allows me to choose the hours I work and design the life that works for me. I have changed my mindset and am now my biggest cheerleader. I am now qualified as a Master NLP Practitioner and help other women to also shift their mindset. And I accept that things will not always be perfect or the house won’t always be clean and ask for help when needed. By doing this I have lowered my own expectations of what needs to be done and am decreasing the list of things on my to do list.
You too can slow down and stop this epidemic. It’s time to start looking after your own health and wellbeing.
Riannah is a Women’s Confidence Coach based in Adelaide, South Australia. She works with women 1:1 and in small groups to build confidence, eliminate self doubt and overcome anxiety using a combination of NLP, accountability coaching and life planning. For more information visit www.riannahroach.com