Relieve stress and anxiety by following these tips from a Metro Detroit psychologist.
By Andrea Walker-Leidy
Sponsored by Viewpoint Psychology and Wellness
We all know those people in our lives who are always so busy. Juggling lives, families and activities seems to become more and more of a challenge. But how do you know when a busy lifestyle crosses over from just being “so busy,” into being overscheduled and potentially harming your quality of life?
“The main difference between being busy and overscheduled is that when you are overscheduled, it creates feelings of stress and anxiety,” says Dr. Melanie Schwartz, a licensed psychologist and owner of Viewpoint and Wellness in Commerce Township.
“You can effectively manage being busy for significant periods of time without a negative impact. But when you are overscheduled, you can only continue at this speed for a period of time before the negative impacts of stress and anxiety kick in.”
What are some symptoms of being overscheduled?
- Feeling rundown or tired all the time
- Decreased energy
- Increased worry
- Inability to focus
- Short-term memory issues
- Feeling pressure to get everything done
- Anxiety, obsessive thinking
- Upset stomach or headaches
One of the main causes for becoming overscheduled can be an aversion to saying “no.”
“People often have a difficult time saying ‘no’ to other people,” Schwartz says. “Not wanting to disappoint other people or fear of missing out (FOMO) are two of the main reasons I see clients not able to say no. When you continue to add activities to your schedule, you may not realize the effects until it’s too late.”
Younger people are following more fast-paced lifestyles and basing their success on their number of accomplishments. Children and adults are feeling the strain of achieving high standards of success. That’s where the support of a therapist or counselor can help.
The clinicians at Viewpoint Psychology and Wellness use the idea of mindfulness and balance regularly to help individuals navigate their busy lives.
“Most people seek out a therapist because they are already experiencing symptoms of anxiety and stress. But, they may not know why,” Schwartz says. “We can help identify the causes of the anxiety and stress, and then help to educate and give you the skills you need to reduce it.”
Schwartz advises clients to try these practices:
Slow down. Take a few moments for yourself several times each day just to be present and aware of what is happening in that moment. This can be your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical sensations, as well as what is going on around you.
Seek balance. Working too much, studying too much or participating in too many activities are all ways to cause life to become out of balance.
“I work with many people who are overscheduled, from young children to adults. Each time we identify being overscheduled as the cause, we work on how to slow down and rebalance their lives into a schedule that works for them,” Schwartz says. “It will mean letting go of an activity or two, saying ‘no’ or adding some relaxing activities into their routine, but their quality of life always improves. More importantly, their stress and anxiety reduces.”
Seek support. Seeking a therapist can help to not only identify a person who is overscheduled, it can offer the support to the make changes needed to feel better.
“We’re here for support,” Schwartz says. “It may be a struggle to slow down at first, but once clients see stress, anxiety and their other symptoms of being overscheduled decrease, we’re able to help keep them accountable and give them the skills to reduce their symptoms.”
Viewpoint Psychology and Wellness
2075 E. West Maple Road, Commerce Township