I met with a private coaching client this week. The owner of a very lucrative business, she’s made a shift and has more free time than she has in a very long time. She’s a hard worker who has earned the success that she has achieved. Is she basking in her new-found freedom? Savoring the me-time?
No. She tells me she is feeling incredibly guilty, uncomfortable, and that she’s stress eating to cope with her feeling that she ought to be “more productive.”
Another woman calls for help with stress and emotional eating. A professional who can design her own schedule, is booking business trips that extend into her weekend, and feeling guilty turning her computer off before eight o’clock in the evening. She’s taken to constant nibbling and eating out too often. She’s frustrated with her weight gain and mad at herself for not having “more control over eating.”
I posted an update on the Too Much on Her Plate Facebook Page about the importance of sleep, with the question, “Are you getting enough?” The responses come back quickly, “Of course, not.” “I wish!”
Is being too busy, stressed, and overwhelmed becoming the new standard? Are we getting too comfortable answering that life is “crazy busy” when someone asks, “How are you?”
The sad truth is, in some circles, it’s more comfortable to complain about feeling short-on-time, overworked, and worn out than it is to report that you are at peace, life is feeling easy, and you are loving the great things you’ve been doing for yourself.
As weird as it may sound, many of you will agree that it sometimes feels more comfortable to complain—about stress, time, weight, sleep—anything—than it does to express deep contentment and satisfaction.
It’s true, there are all sorts of outside pressures to work longer hours, scramble for money, juggle multiple responsibilities, and be busy. We don’t create all of our stress. But it’s worth asking whether you are buying into the “coolness” or acceptableness of being stressed, tired, and busy.
And it’s important to take a look at whether you really are willing to allow yourself eight full hours of sleep, a life that’s balanced, me-time and self-care, and relationships that really fuel you.