Recognize Your Stress Levels

In 2013, I wrote a blog post called 10 Warning Signs You’re Doing Too Much. It has been my most popular blog post ever since. It’s a sign of our times. We are all under stress almost all the time. The pressure to be more, do more, have more is intense. Add to that legitimate fears about your (or a loved one’s) physical, emotional, or financial safety and your stress levels are higher. Then there are community and political stressors. Your stress levels today may not be exhausting, but tomorrow they could be. And when you live with stress every day, you may not recognize your stress levels and how they affect your life. What is Stress? In a medical or biological context, stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure). Stress can initiate the “fight or flight” response, a complex reaction of neurologic and endocrinologic systems. healthline.com What Causes Stress  Each one of us faces challenges every day. From traffic jams, to spills, demanding bosses, unsympathetic spouses, or life crises (relationships, financial, or health). And we […]

Does the End of the Year Stress You Out?

It’s the last month of the year–a busy, busy time. Not only do we continue our usual work schedule, but we also prep the house for the holidays (whichever one you celebrate), we fix big meals, we spend time with family, and we reflect back on the past year. I don’t know about you but I enjoy all those things. Yet, at the same time, I can get overwhelmed. So much stress! Does the end of the year stress you out? What is Stress? Stress is your body’s way of handling any kind of demand or threat. When you face a threat your body is designed to release hormones that kick your body into high gear. These hormones are called stress hormones. They cause your heart to beat faster, your muscles to tighten, you breathe quick, short breaths, and your senses become sharper. This is the fight or flight response you probably learned a bit about in school. Back when we were cave dwellers this fight or flight response to stress was life-saving. Today, stress can keep you on your game so you perform your best, it can warn you of and get out of potentially threatening situations. But, this […]

Warning! 10 Signs You’ve Pushed Too Hard

Sometimes, there is no Kaboom, no catastrophe that derails your plan. Sometimes you simply push yourself too hard, you ignore the warning signs that you’ve pushed too hard. Maybe you’re like me and over-committed yourself to classes, a day job, writing, blogging, and other activities. Perhaps you had a sudden, unexpected health problem. Or you’ve simply gotten worn down by the day-to-day things that get under your skin. Now you barely have the energy to get through the day. Or you’ve caught the current flu bug or cold and you can’t seem to get over it. Your body and mind say ENOUGH. I found myself in that position at the end of January. For six months I pushed myself, working 12- 15 hour days every day of the week. It was an invigorating time. I was learning new things, doing new, fascinating, and highly enjoyable things. I accomplished a ton. Then, I completed the last big project and my brain and body went WHOA. I should have paid attention to the warning signs. Do you know the warning signs that you need a break? Warning Signs You’ve Pushed Too Hard: Your Productivity Declines – you put in more hours, yet […]