You want to know the worst kept secret of my life?
I know… I know. It’s shocking, you would have never guessed. When my stress levels are high I look for more work, more stuff to do. I require myself to do all the things, until I collapse, and even then it’s a fight to get me to stop.
We all go through periods where we are more productive than others but the reality is when I get stressed out I take on more of the things that stress me out. My work isn’t any worse, in fact in a lot of ways it’s better – sermons get written faster, my house is cleaner, things get taken off the checklist, kids get fed. (okay, that usually happens anyway…)
What doesn’t happen when I’m over functioning in this way are all the good things in my life. I stop going to yoga. I stop running, biking and hiking. Yesterday I tried to force myself to sit down and read a magazine, and I couldn’t do it. Better Homes and Garden wasn’t enough for me to turn off my brain, so I moved on to looking at Facebook and Twitter on my phone, but that reminded me of 15 other things I needed to do so the laptop came out.
Have I forgotten how to relax? Have we forgotten how to slow down? Obviously, but how do I use this over functioning to my advantage, can I create rules about it? When I get stressed I must X, Y, Z? Do I have to hike or run everyday? Do I need to go to Yoga once a week, talk to a long lost friend, anything to keep me from going insane? I know it has to be active because when I get stressed my adrenaline is too high to “just sit there”. My brain goes into hyperdrive.
So what to do? Well today I am letting my son sleep in on this rainy, cool morning, I am checking things off the lists and I am writing this blog post. Tomorrow, I will attempt to go to yoga. And by attempt, I mean, I will. Right, yes. I will. Until then, well. God only knows…