I am stretching myself too far, but what will they think if I say, “no”?
That was the story of my life this past year. From directing a company, to planning a wedding, to choreographing over five dances in a couple of months, to performing, to spending time with my fiance at the time who lived almost an hour away, to spending time with family and friends, to church, to serving at church, to keeping up a website, a facebook, fan page, and twitter, etc….I was pooped.
I had to reevaluate, why I was connected to so many things at once. I then reasoned that I could do different things, but I needed to recheck my motivation. If I am getting stressed out and cannot say no, only because I am worried about what someone else may think, then I have become a people pleaser. If I live this way I will only be stressed out.
I recently watched a documentary where they studied apes only to discover that humans live extensive amounts of time with stress that is similar to the kind of stress taken on by an ape when it is faced with losing its life; the kind of stress that they may only have naturally for a short amount of time. Their natural reactionary stress is equal to the kind of stress that humans regularly live with at times.
I was shocked at how stress can become a normal way of life for many of us; it is not that many of us are not talented at juggling many activities, it is that we come to a crossroads where we see that we have taken on too much, yet we in the face of stress say I can handle you; we say, “I don’t want people to see me give up”, or “I don’t want to disappoint someone.”
If stress were a tangible being, many of us are shaking hands with it, taking it to sleep with us, taking it with us to work, and even bringing it in the middle of our relationships.
It is important that we come to grips with the decisions that we make.
Here are some pointers on how to have low stress:
1. Have a vision- Know what you want to get done and do not procrastinate.
2. Do not be a people pleaser- If you live to merely please others you will find that you are a slave to other’s opinion of you and won’t make decisions that further your own personal endeavors.
3. Reevaluate your goals from time to time- Shed the things in your life that really should not be there.
4. Lastly, keep room for the important things in life- Good relationships, family, exercising, eating healthy, and personal time/personal reflection.
For me, my faith, husband, family, eating healthy, exercising, and being an encouragement to others are important parts of my life. When we lose sight of the important parts of life, we miss out on what really matters and only become, again, a slave to our circumstances.
Pursue your passions, but never forget to love other as you love yourself, and let go of the hands of infamous stress.