Lately I felt like time was getting ahead of me really. My bar exam was just around the corner and all I felt was guilt of not doing enough but also burned out because of doing loads. My interests, hobbies and everything I learned to love so much over the past months just wasn’t there anymore. All I did was studying or hating myself for taking breaks. And that’s not the way to go. At least for me.
The key issue was that I would have saved myself a lot of nerves and mental break downs if I only recognized the signs of being completely overwhelmed and stressed even sooner.
And since I’m here to share my experience I want to give you 5 of those signs you should really take a step back and calm down.
#1 Your sleep is different
When it comes to sleep, the differences between different people could not be greater. Some sleep like stones and wouldn’t even notice earthquakes. Some people wake up because of a fluff falling on the floor. But even though it varies so much, a change in your sleeping pattern that wasn’t wanted by you is always a sign for somethings not being normal. To be clear: by that I don’t mean having a bad night every once in a while. I mean interrupted or bad sleep for a few days in a row or even for weeks.
Sleep is always an indicator for mental and physical wellbeing so when there are noticeable changes, it’s always a good idea to find the causes and maybe take a step back.
#2 your skin, hair and nails suffer
Stress and pressure really does affect our skin, hair and nails. As with sleep it of course varies from one to another. Me for example I don’t have any issues with my nails but my hair falls out when I’m stressed and I get those typical hormonal spots on my chin. Of course this one is a bit tricky as an indicator since nutrition and environmental changes can also cause a lot of problems in these areas. But when the problems seem to come out of nowhere, stress can be a reason for hormonal imbalances that causes changes in skin, hair and nails.
#3 you do a lot but seem to not get anything done
This one isn’t that obvious and for that reason very important to keep in mind. Besides it leading us onto a wrong track of thinking we are productive, it covers up the complete opposite itself which is that we’re actually not getting anything done. Sorry for the word blobs there, but I don’t know how to describe it better. So when you find yourself doing a lot but seem to not get anything done, try to do less.
#4 you’re neglecting your hobbies and interests
SO IMPORTANT! We as humans need both: the strict and the creative. This is when our brain truly rests and what we need to calm down – hobbies. Whether it’s fitness, writing or reading. Whenever you feel like you don’t have time to sit down with a good book you wanted to read for weeks or you skip a workout because you’re so stressed: SLOW DOWN. It is so important to integrate hobbies. And if there is no time to do so, you should start scheduling differently. If there is one thing you should take away from this post it’s to pay attention to your hobbies and interests. If you can’t do them anymore or you’re neglecting them – you maybe should take one or better two steps back.
#5 change of appetite and overall wellbeing
I want to point out this one with a bit of caution in that sense that appetite truly is an indicator for a lot of things. And if you notice a serious change over a not just irrelevant amount of time you should get it checked. Of course it can also have banal reasons such as weather changes or other circumstances. But still it may be a sign of overwhelm, stress and pressure. So just to mention it here: A change of appetite and overall wellbeing can be a sign that you should be taking a step backwards. Because life’s too short to not eat delicious foods, right?
So there we have it. But let me get this straight: I know that you can’t always just say “f*ck it” and leave stress and your duties behind. It’s more about becoming aware of pressure and hidden stress that may cause you to feel unwell.
And one thing to add: I didn’t forget the good old cry. I just think that we all need one from time to time, whether were stressed or not. So this isn’t necessarily a sign for being overwhelmed. It can be of course but crying is a good thing in general so I didn’t want to link it wrong.
I hope you enjoyed this post and – in this case – haven’t found yourself in it. Let me know what you love to do to slow down after a hectic time! I’d love to see a comment section full of relaxing tipps.
Until then, see you soon!