Overdrive

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Every once in a while we get so many projects, duties, obligations, goals, desires and activities going on that we can go into mental and physical overdrive. You can identify some of the symptoms of being in mental overdrive is forgetfulness, sometimes insomnia or restlessness, inability to focus, etc. Physically overdrive, if maintained for too long, can make health suffer, increase likeliness of illness, increased possibility of injury during activities or performing, reduced coordination, focus, ability to think, possibly even judgment, and it could affect emotions and moods. Overdrive can sneak up on us without us even realizing it until our condition deteriorates to a point where it starts affecting the things and people around us.

When we try to maintain overdrive for too long, it can negatively affect our ability to reasonably solve the problem, because it can weaken our will-power as well. The solution of course, is to set personal boundaries to allow for more rest, rejuvenation, and care for one’s own health – mentally, physically & emotionally. Sometimes it requires talking with others, even therapy for some who struggle with setting personal boundaries can be helpful, or necessary. However, at times it is necessary to say no, or to postpone or take longer on certain projects or priorities in order to move self-care up in your priority list. It is important to make time for yourself.

All this is to not to say that it is necessarily bad to go into overdrive occasionally. There are times that it is necessary. Sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and push hard to accomplish something, to respond to an emergency or handle an important situation. However, be very careful not to let the situations control you and keep you in overdrive for very long. It is important to practice saying no, or setting limits on things to allow for rest and quiet to re-center yourself and address the needs of your mind and body. By practicing before emergencies arise or life gets hectic with all kinds of new obligations, you can strengthen your ability to pause in the midst of overdrive once you recognize the symptoms and begin taking some steps back to reduce the stress and stop being in overdrive. Developing the ability to get out of overdrive and check in with yourself mentally and physically will do wonders for sharpening your focus, memory, judgment and enhancing your ability to perform at work and improve relationships.

I still struggle with this from time to time, as do most people, but with practice, it does get easier to control it and take care of yourself. The benefits are well worth the effort!

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One thought on “Overdrive

  • Overdrive seems to be an affliction that affects most everyone in our society. Sadly, this seems to be largely in part to do with the values that society has impressed on us as important. It seems like we are always rewarded for doing more and more and accomplishing greater and greater tasks. We need to turn more towards valuing the person instead of valuing the work. Then we can finally find a balance between hard work and self care.

    I myself have found that this “overdrive” has snuck up on me recently. I appreciate all the things I have been able to do and work towards, but I could have gotten much more out of each event if I had been able to approach it with my full, rested, complete attention that comes from a balance of self care. Taking the time to get away, take a vacation, staycation, or just rest can be the difference between poor quality and a job well done!

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