There is a lot of talk about nervous breakdown and depression in the news lately. The term nervous breakdown is most often used to describe extreme levels of stress, fatigue, loss of control, or when a person is emotionally drained and overwhelmed.
For the sake of clarification, I wrote this post with the military spouse, home-business professional, and career transitioner in mind.
Typical stress motivators for these three groups could include:
|Wheel of Life:|
Download and complete this form to identify the gaps between where you are presently in your life and where you desire to be. Be honest with yourself, take the necessary time to reflect and gain some insight into how satisfied you are with the various levels in your life, assess which areas you are neglecting, and identify what areas need more work.
|Action Brainstorming Worksheet:|
This form will help you with identifying the behaviors that do and don’t work as you move toward achieving your goals. If you are stuck, this exercise will help you to get unstuck and moving!
The exercise will help you to put your values into words as well as help you to understand what matters most in your life.
|Understanding the Why of your Goals:|
Goals are great to have but what's even more important is understanding Why we want to work toward Achieving our Goals. Without that understanding, what do we really have to motivate us toward achieving them? This goal-setting exercise will help you to not only understand why you want the goals but also help you with committing to achieve them!
The above table represents a mere sampling of the types of stress people endure either on a daily or frequent basis.
Too much high-level stress on a consistent basis is enough to bring the strongest human being down to his/her knees.
An individual that endures extreme levels of stress without sufficient medical intervention, family and/or external support is similar to a pressure cooker ready to blow if the heat/steam is not sufficiently managed.
In today’s society people from all walks of life, young and old are multi-tasking: launching careers, businesses, raising families, saving for retirement, facing retirement, facing unemployment, living paycheck to paycheck, caring for aging or sick family members, battling addictions, enduring long work commutes, working through personal health issues, grieving loss, celebrating births, planning a wedding, coming out of retirement, paying for college, looking for acceptance, paying down debt, making major purchasing decisions. The list is endless.
The bottom line is life is full of demands and at times the pursuit becomes overwhelming, almost unbearable. As human beings, it is in our nature to help everyone; not realizing that the cost associated with giving every ounce of oneself and never refusing or say no. The greatest price being a nervous breakdown or worse. Life is too short.
The reality is that life is full of tests, trials, challenges, setbacks, successes, failures, obstacles, good and evil. Mixed all together, you have a big pot of boiling stress on the verge of exploding.
Establishing effective coping skills will help to whether the unforeseen storms met along life’s journey.
Nobody knows YOU better than you know yourself. Recognizing and expressing when YOU have had enough will require the following:
1. Honesty – be honest with yourself about how much of anything you can or are willing to handle. Remove your emotions out of the equation and be totally honest with yourself. If you have taken on all that you can handle — speak it without hesitation, reservation, or guilt. It is not your responsibility to be concerned with how the receiving party handles or accepts your response. They will have to find a way to deal with your response.
2. Relationships – take time to build; at the on-set be honest about what you bring to the relationship and what your expectations are from all involved parties. In the unlikely event the relationship encounters a few hiccups along the way; arrange a good time when the atmosphere is not so charged to have a conversation about the challenges. The first and most difficult challenge will be forgiveness. If you can work through the forgiveness; move forward with building a stronger and more deeply connected relationship. If the relationship has been too badly damaged, allow time and space too heal. Reach out to your support system(s) for the emotional, spiritual, or wellness support you need to get you through.
3. Help – once again, be honest if you need help. There are people who genuinely care about your health and well-being. These same people are willing to step up to the plate to give the help and support you need. All you have to do is ask. Overwhelmed with business projects? Call on a friend, family member, or Virtual Assistant for some short-term or long-term help, be honest about what your needs are and set up a doable working agreement. Feeling extremely stressed while your spouse is deployed? Reach out to your neighbors, fellow military spouse support groups; you can also reach by telephone or Web to MilitaryOneSource at 1.800-342-9647 or the Military Crisis Hotline (available to Active Duty and Veterans): 1.800-273-8255.
4. Get a Way – step away for a bit. Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to step away from the current circumstance either via a vacation, long-term break, or retreat. Use the time away to rest, relax, clear your thoughts, re-group, clear your mind, and/or meditate. Surround yourself with an atmosphere that infuses you with peace, tranquility, and calm.
About the Author: Victoria M. Parham is a (retired) army wife, Army veteran, talk radio host, and Career Strategist. Propelling people to reach their greatest career potential.
To learn more, visit my blog: victoriaparham.com.