Are we doing ourselves a disservice?

Felicia Jones
Written by Felicia Jones

Do you ever feel time-poor, overwhelmed, and over stretched? Well, you’re not alone.

Although this sample was relatively small (4,619 respondents) the Mental Health Foundation found that in 2018 (yes, that’s before covid) 74% of people felt so stressed, that they were overwhelmed and unable to cope.  

This article mirrors that. It came about after I was transcribing an interview that I did with a woman who had become very sick following a long period of stress. She felt really fervent about the fact that she’d never acknowledged that she needed to or could even take time out for herself.

I feel like saying that a thousand times over, because it’s so important that people hear it; loud and clear.

She’d never acknowledged that she needed to or could even take time out for herself.

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Now, this isn’t a criticism or in any way a judgement because I became ill after several stressful events. Instead, it’s about trying to understand the complexity of the issue and how people can help themselves so that they don’t burnout.

I’ve seen so many people for whom stress has become a painful reality which they can’t seem to escape. But through my experience and work I recognise that it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to reach burnout before we say, ‘something has to change’.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned.

Why are we pushing so hard?

There can be many reasons, but one I’ve found stems from feeling ‘not good enough’, or that we haven’t accomplished what we ‘should’ or want to. Having goals and ambitions isn’t always a bad thing, but sometimes we can be so unrealistic.

As adults we can feel that we must have all the answers, but often life presents more questions than answers. And if we don’t have the answer, then who does?

It can often be marketers, social media, friends, relatives, and colleagues. But do they really know what we need? Often, they don’t and can conversely perpetuate our drive to succeed.

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