Feel like you’re always rushing, anxious, or falling behind? Read on…
As the days get busier and life speeds up, it’s tempting to rush through everything–but is that always the best move? What if you stopped momentarily and asked yourself: “Am I actually suffering from ‘Hurry Sickness‘?”
I have been there, and I can tell you firsthand how it can lead to mental and physical illnesses! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a work in progress – but I am much more aware and here to share the signs.
In this blog post, I’ll dive into what exactly ‘hurry sickness’ is, how to spot its signs in your own life—and most importantly, how you can slow down!
What Hurry Sickness Looks Like Today
In a society that values constant productivity, hurry sickness nags at many of us.
It’s that jittery feeling you get when you’re not doing something productive, a nagging sense that you should be busy all the time.
Maybe you’ve felt it while waiting in line at the grocery store and reaching for your phone just to check your email for the 59th time that day.
And, maybe you’re that person that can’t just sit at a red light without pulling up Facebook again…(guilty!)
Hurry sickness looks different for everyone, but it’s always there. It’s the constant pressure to be productive, to be doing something, even when nothing is urgent or required.
7 Signs You’re Suffering from Hurry Sickness
1. You Can’t Slow the F*ck Down (everything is a race!)
Not surprising, but one of the signs that you’re suffering from hurry sickness is feeling like you can’t slow the f*ck down and everything is a race to you.
This mentality can make you feel like there’s never enough time in the day to accomplish everything you need to do and that you’re always playing catch-up.
This constant rush can also lead to physical and mental exhaustion, manifesting as persistent soreness, poor concentration, and/or chronic illness.
2. You are Juggling Too Many Tasks
Are you trying to do a million things at once? Think you’re awesome at multitasking? Well, you might want to think again….
According to science, when you try to juggle too many tasks at once, your brain just can’t keep up, and you’re more likely to make mistakes and be LESS productive.
For example, if you’re trying to make a phone call while driving and following your GPS directions, you’re making three times the mistakes compared to doing just two tasks. Yikes!
So take one thing at a time and remember, it’s better to do one thing well than a million things poorly.
3. You are experiencing anxiety and anger with EVERYTHING
Feeling anxious and angry about everything might seem like a typical reaction to the daily hustle and bustle, but it could be a major sign of hurry sickness.
When you’re always rushing around, trying to do too much in too little time, it’s easy to feel like the world is constantly closing in on you.
The symptoms of emotional stress are not just in your head either, they can manifest physically as well… and once you’re sick, you are no help to anyone or anything!
So, when you feel like you’re about to explode with anxiety and anger, it might be time to take a step back and reevaluate your life priorities.
Remember, it’s not worth sacrificing your mental health for the sake of being busy. (I’m speaking from personal experience on this one!)
4. You keep checking the clock… all.day.long (and always feel behind schedule)
Are you constantly checking the clock, feeling like there are never enough hours in the day? Me too…
When you’re trying to fit a week’s worth of work into one day, it leaves you feeling anxious and stressed out when it never happens…. But we still continue to stuff our days and overload our schedules.
A therapist once shared something like, ‘Jules, you’ll never be caught up – life is too busy for that – you have to learn to accept that you’ll always have ‘one more task’ and that’s OKAY!‘
Once I started to accept the fact I couldn’t do it all – nor should I feel like I have to – I began to relax and prioritize the to do-lists much differently.
5. You are obsessed with your task list (to a fault!)
Speaking of to-do lists… I love a good list and LOVE marking things off. It gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.
But, let me ask you this: do you have a to-do list that’s longer than a CVS receipt?
Here are a few tips: First, prioritize your tasks by urgency and importance. Try creating a “must-do” section and a “nice-to-do” section to help you focus on what really matters.
I’m a huge fan of time blocking – where I can schedule in my tasks for specific times during the day. Seeing the times spread out that I’ll be able to get work done helps me focus on one thing at a time instead of logging on in the morning with my head spinning: where do I even start?
Did you know? Elon Musk intentionally plans his day out in five-minute increment time blocks. While this is a little extreme, time blocking is a great way to attack your busy days.
Plus, try to limit your daily tasks to a realistic number. Remember, it’s better to accomplish a few things well than to rush through a bunch of tasks half-heartedly.
And, don’t forget to schedule some breaks! It’s important to give your brain a rest so you don’t burn out.
6. You over-commit (and can’t say no)
Yes, you might struggle with hurry sickness, especially if you have trouble saying no to extra commitments.
For example, do you find yourself volunteering for everything even when you don’t have time for it?
Or do you say yes to every social invitation, even when you’re already feeling burnt out?
And my favorite, do you always sign up for something new BEFORE taking something else off your plate?
It’s time to take a step back and evaluate your priorities. What are the things that really matter to you? And what do you really have time for?
Focus on those, and learn to say no to the rest.
7. You’re exhausted and burned out (with no end in sight)
Friend… if you’re feeling completely burnt out and exhausted with no reprieve, you’ve hit hurry sickness head-on!
This usually results from trying to cram too many tasks into your day without giving yourself enough time to recharge. It’s like trying to drive your car without ever stopping for gas – eventually, you’ll run out of fuel.
So take a deep breath, step back, and evaluate your priorities. Are you taking on too much? Are you sacrificing your well-being for the sake of productivity?
It’s okay to say no and take some time for yourself. Remember, self-care is not selfish. Before chronic illness or sickness sets in, give yourself permission to recharge your batteries before jumping back into the fray.
What Hurry Sickness is Doing to Your Mind (and Body!)
This modern-day condition stems from our frantic need to get things done efficiently, but at what cost? It’s wreaking havoc on our mental and physical well-being, causing anxiety, stress, and even dampening our immune systems.
Studies have linked hurry sickness to anxiety, depression, and burnout. On top of that, constantly being in a hurry can cause us to miss out on the joys of life – from the sound of birds chirping to the feel of the sun on our skin.
And don’t get me started on the toll it takes on your personal relationships- when was the last time you had a real conversation without one eye on the clock (or your phone!)?
How to Deal with Hurry Sickness
“Hurry sickness” is a real condition where you’re constantly rushing around and feeling stressed out… BUT… There are ways to deal with and cope with hurry sickness.
For starters, try setting realistic goals and prioritizing tasks. I’m guilty of always thinking I can squeeze ‘one more thing’ before the next meeting or appointment. And you know what happens? I end up late to the next appointment – and arrive frazzled, annoyed, and behind the rest of the day.
Also, take breaks throughout the day to recharge and stay present in the moment. It’s ok to take even 10-mins to walk around the block, stretch outside or even sit in silence during the day. If we don’t take the time to break from the noise, it will only get louder.
Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness or meditation, prioritize your tasks to focus on what’s truly important, and try to slow down and enjoy the little moments in life.
As the wise philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” 😉
The Wrap – 7 Signs of Hurry Sickness
Finally, take a minute to pause, reflect, and give yourself some kind of credit. Too often, we fail to appreciate that for all our aspirations and goal-marking activities, taking a minute or two just to say “hey great job; you’re killing it” to ourselves can go a long way.
We might joke about hurry sickness as part of the modern grind we’ve all grown used to, but finding ways to take regular breaks – whatever they look like – will go a long way in ensuring you don’t end up the victim of the illness after all!
Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint…. Embrace the power of slow living and take your time. As they say, slow and steady wins the race.
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