In the most recent interview for The Happiness Project, the interviewee mentioned that the one thing that detracts from her happiness is rushing. Although being rushed makes me feel frazzled and unprepared (a feeling I hate), I’d never really made the connection it has to my happiness, and it absolutely makes sense.
I’m very much a multi-tasker and on the surface I’m pretty good with managing stress. As I’ve probably alluded to before, though, I’m not so great under pressure. It’s primarily the case when I feel like my life is a constant stream of activity, which is what it’s felt like for the past month or so. Most mornings I feel like I’m rushing out the door and after work I run around town or my apartment like a crazy person trying to get X, Y and Z accomplished.
Wanting to not feel frazzled when my parents are in town and before I travel for a week for work, I happily clicked on this link when I came across it on pinterest (seriously, how did I live without this website before?!). With limited time, I wanted to know how I could rein in and not feel so crazy. Some of the items don’t necessarily intrigue me, but other could be great modifications to my life.
One thing I need to do is make the switch to tea. It’s gotten to the point where I drink at least 2 pots of coffee per day (granted it’s only a 4-cup pot in my office, but still). I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I was visiting the doctor yesterday and she said she could tell by my skin that I was a caffeine drinker (I probably would have been offended had she not been so nice about it). Caffeine can leave your body feeling dehydrated, which seems to be the case for me. It’s time to get back to herbal tea and water. (I’m afraid once again Diet Coke and I have to part ways…)
The other big thing is postponing major decisions. Not that I have any decisions to make, but often I feel like I need a big shift in my life to avoid feeling frazzled in the future. Or it could be that I often want to make a change that leaves me feeling empowered instead of exhausted and depleted. Last night, for example, I thought about signing up for spinning classes or a handful of sessions with a personal trainer. I’d also thought about taking on another volunteer position. All great ideas, but making that decision (not to mention committing to it) mid-stress and in a frazzled state probably isn’t in my best interest.
At some point I also think I need to assess what the unessential responsibilities in my life are and/or at least learn to say no to things. Since I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, I often struggle prioritizing tasks and determining what on my to-do list doesn’t necessarily need to get done. Do I go to the gym or work on a project for the side job? Do I try to clean my apartment or get errands done? It’s all important and needs to get done at some point, but feeling rushed and constantly on the go is not going to help my case.
Perhaps someday I’ll kick some of my Type A personality traits. I’m willing to bet that’s a root cause of feeling frazzled…