{thinking out loud} Are you self-creating stress?

First of all, thank you everyone for your kind words, texts and comments about last week’s {thinking out loud} post. The positive vibes really did help πŸ™‚ I’m feeling much more content about things this week, though not quite out of the woods yet. But that’s life, right?

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Thanks Amanda for the link-up πŸ™‚

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about balance, and my constant struggle to find it. Especially right now, with the month of May being full of birthdays, camping, stagettes and other activities. My weekends are booked full for the next two months. Part of me is excited by all these fun things and experiences I get to be a part of, but the other part is stressed out wondering how I’m going to find the time to take care of general chores, write blog posts, train clients, work at my 9-5, and make time for self care.

According to the American Psychological Association, busyness is the reason why the majority of American’s have high stress levels that interferes with their health, and as author Scott Dannemiller points out in this Huffington Post piece, the majority of the stress we experience is brought on ourselves:

Dr. Michael Marmot, a British epidemiologist, has studied stress and its effects, and found the root causes to be two types of busyness. Though he doesn’t give them official names, he describes the most damaging as busyness without control, which primarily affects the poor. Their economic reality simply does not allow for downtime. They have to work two to three jobs to keep the family afloat. When you add kids to the mix, it becomes overwhelming, and the stress results in legitimate health problems.

The second type of busyness also results in health problems, but it is a sickness we bring on ourselves. Like voluntarily licking the door handle of a preschool bathroom or having a sweaty picnic in the Ball Pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It’s busyness we control.

Self-created stress.

I definitely think I self-create the majority of my stress.

But busyness does not have to mean stress if we reframe the way we think about it. I need to let that part of me that feels excited for experiences — for a full life — take over instead of letting that nagging voice of busyness seep in every time someone invites me to a get-together or new plans are made on a weekend where no solid plans existed. Of course you have you find a balance between downtime and scheduled activities, because laundry still has to be done, bills have to be paid, and quiet time is needed to rest andΒ  recharge (especially for us introverts).

As I take on more clients and writing jobs, it’s going to be important for me to find that balance so I don’t get burnt out. Even though I have something going on every weekend this month, I’m not feeling as concerned or stressed about it as I normally would with all my side projects and other things going on — thanks in part to having more of an appreciation for experiences (Buddhist teachings) and those 10-20 minutes of quiet time and meditation I practice each morning.

– B

What’s on your mind this Thursday? Do you self-create the majority of your stress? Does busyness stress you out or make your life full? How have you found balance?