By Dr. Miranda Fellows
If you are currently feeling burned out, overwhelmed and
like you”re being pulled in a million different directions this article is for
you.” Right now, you may feel trapped by any number of things. Your job, school
obligations, errands, commuting, chores around the house ” by the time you get
done with all those things you have to do in a day, who has any time for the
things you want to do?
Well as 2008 closes and we eagerly anticipate 2009 it is
imperative that you create time to do what you want to do!” It is time for
Is Your Life’s Load Too High?
You only get 24 hours in a day, and at a minimum six of
those need to be devoted to sleep. That leaves 18 or fewer hours in any given
day to accomplish a great number of things. Aside from these time limits, you
also have a limit to your emotional reserves and your physical energy.
If your personal load becomes so excessive that you”re
pushing the boundaries of your time, emotions and physical ability, you enter
the “red zone” known as overload.
To put this in concrete terms, we all know what happens if
you spend more than what’s available in your bank account. Ideally, you should
only be spending a portion of this amount so that you have a cushion, or a
margin, to fall back on. Well, if you spend more than, say, 80 percent of your
emotional or physical reserves, it also leaves you with very little margin —
and this is when burnout and stress-related illnesses result.
This is why it’s so important to create a bigger “margin” in
your life. A simple premise, yes, but HOW exactly do you do this?
Creating Margin in Your Life
When thinking about margins, it’s like thinking about a
glass of water.
When you”re in a saturated part of your life, it’s like
having glasses that are full of water and you can’t put another drop in until
you take a drop out. We understand that. It is objectively in front of us.
Now, think about life in very much same way. If you are
unsaturated, even if you have some problems in your life, and somebody asks you
to do something, you can say yes. “You don’t even have to think about it,
because you have time and resources to fulfill these obligations and you”re
happy to have it. It is something that is a positive for you,” he says.
The problems arise when your life is nearing that saturation
point. If someone asks you do to something, there simply isn’t any room —
time-wise, emotionally, physically, and so on — to fit it in ” unless
something else is sacrificed.
The trouble is that often you end up sacrificing the things
you shouldn’t, such as your sleep or time with your loved ones. Or you try to
multi-task and do multiple things at once, which actually makes you less
productive because your brain isn’t designed to multi-task.
Either way, the end result is the same: stress and burnout.
So while the solution to creating a greater margin in your
life is to cut back, you must know what to cut back on.
Making Choices That Will Make You Happier
The basic premise is to always keep your life unsaturated,
or your schedule somewhat open. This way, you have enough "margin" or
flexibility to respond to unexpected opportunities.
By following these simple guidelines, you can reduce stress
and make better use of your time by:
1. Learning to say NO: Saying “no” to others is saying “yes”
2. Systematically cutting down your debt. When you don’t
have as many financial obligations, it makes you more free.
3. Not responding when people press your “hot buttons.” You
have complete control over your reactions, so why waste precious energy being
angry or upset?
4. Realizing that having less can give you more. About 92
percent of Americans say they”re happier when their lives are simplified.
5. Trusting Your Instincts– they won’t steer you wrong.
Realize, too, that if you”re too distracted you may not be able to recognize
these inner cues.
6. Taking advantage of ‘the free three:” Laughter, music and
7. Spending less time watching TV
8. Knowing what recharges you (exercise, being outdoors,
talking to your best friend) and taking time to do it when you feel stressed.
Ultimately, the more you apply these principles, the greater
your margin will become — and the more you”ll be able to carve out time for
the things that make life worth living.
We at Carib Wellness would like to extend the Love, Joy and
Peace of the Season and we look forward to serving you in 2009 to achieve your
health goals mentally, physically and emotionally.