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Argh! Stressed to the Max!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
First of all, I just want to apologize for not being on here as much as I always was before. I've been missing out on all the current events & all the wonderful things that have been happening to everyone. I'm truly sorry! My life has been jam backed full of work, work and more work with very little fun involved. I knew that by taking this new position with my work would be hard and stressful, but I guess I didn't realize just how stressful it can be. The past couple months have been so hard for me and honestly I'm feeling like I'm in a rut. I'm just too young to be like that & it's hard to deal with. I swear I feel like a 67 year old woman instead of almost 27 years old. I've been working my tail off and my body is starting to run out of energy. The stress of it all (so many factors with my work) is really getting to me & it's to the point of having to make a doctors visit because of it. My stomach aches everyday and I just can't seem to get enough sleep. That's my life...work & sleep...and not a thing in between. Hopefully things will get better soon & I can finally lead a "normal" life.

I had an "awakening" this past week. I had met a new guy & we started hanging out. Things are going great between us but he really made me realize how boring my life is. He had asked me what things I like to do in my spare time...and I realized that I don't do anything in my spare time but sleep, worry about work and try to keep up with my everyday things. We had discussed about going out some evening & I had a boat load of excuses....too tired, can't go out because I have to work the next day, too much stuff to do and blah blah blah. Finally, he was just blunt with me (which I appreciated) and said that I need to get a life. Granted that hurt a bit, but the truth always does hurt a bit. So, I bit the bullet and finally had some fun! AND...it felt great to do that for a change! We actually hung out on Sunday of last week, Wednesday night & last night...and we're going out on the town next Wednesday! That's a total shock for my body, but I need to do this for myself. Also it's a plus that he's a great guy who is full of energy and makes me feel "young" again.

I guess my whole point of writing this is to ask how you all have a social life and work hard at the same time? I know it sounds so simple, but it's not that simple for me. I'm looking for that balance and I'm struggling with it. Any advice or suggestions...feel free to be blunt if needed. I appreciate your feedback! Sorry for mini rant...I just am needing to get this off my chest and I thank you all for listening to me.
post #2 of 21
Whenever work starts to take over my life I always ask myself this: When I am an 80 year old woman sitting in a rocking chair, do Iwant to look back on my life and say "Gee, I worked 60 hours every week" or "Gee, I had a great life, met interesting people, tried new exciting things, and saw lots of places" Well I am still working on the travel part (although I travel waay to much for work) but I do try to get out and try new thinks, this summer it's kayaking. So you go girl! Make this a summer of adventure, I hear where you're coming from but believe me, work just isn't worth it in the long run. Your job should support your lifestyle not BE your lifestyle.
post #3 of 21
Gus's mom is right! I took a step down because work was taking a toll on me and it got to the point where you are now. It caused me to loose tons of weight, have more seizures, and all I wanted to do was sleep when I came home. To me it wasn't worth it, now I'm back where I was, and I'm fine. I know now that I bit off WAY more then I could chew. Now I only work 48 hours a week(required) sometimes a little more but not to often, and I have a life outside of work again! and the best part? Brad doesn't have to sleep with a picture of me so when I come home at 2 or 3 he doesn't think there is some stranger in the house. And I'm happier. Granted I still don't like my job, but since I can't find anything else that pays what I make and has insurance(picky picky) I'm kind of stuck there so now I make the best of it.
post #4 of 21
My life is alot like your own. right now I am working 6 nights a week with only one day off. Plus the girl that's normally works with me is out on workman's comp. So I'm Playing Superwomen as I told my boss just tonight. I remember my "younger" days when I could stay out all nite long get 2 hours sleep and then go to work for 10 hours. Now I try and pack as much fun as I can into my one day off. LOL So I know just how you feel!! almost 27 going on to 60 something. Work and sleep work and sleep......
post #5 of 21
wow you guys need a break!

I knew when I got out of high school that I wanted a job where I wouldn't have any homework. I watched my dad come home from 18 hour days to sit at the dining room table and do his paperwork. What a drag!

I now work as a nurse's aid caring for the elderly. Granted it has its ups and downs like any job but when I go home at the end of the day I am free to do what I want. I can work as much or as little as I want depending on how much I want to make.

Please take care of yourselves guys. Go to a spa and let the people there take your stress away. You certainly deserve it!
post #6 of 21
Originally Posted by Shell
I guess my whole point of writing this is to ask how you all have a social life and work hard at the same time? I know it sounds so simple, but it's not that simple for me. I'm looking for that balance and I'm struggling with it. Any advice or suggestions...feel free to be blunt if needed. I appreciate your feedback! Sorry for mini rant...I just am needing to get this off my chest and I thank you all for listening to me.

Awww, Shell -- you are so sweet to apologize even as you are needing support! Doncha know, we all LOVE to be able to help other people sometimes

My first idea would be to remind yourself that it may seem like everyone else is dealing and has everything together. But if you stop and talk to someone for a while, you soon figure out that they don't have it any more together than you do!! For true! So, at least try not to stress over THAT side of it all.

I am a lot older than you; I think there are sorta phases in all of our lives, and your age right now is one where you are working hard to sort of establish yourself in some ways, and where it's expected that you will devote a LOT of energy to a career or a major life-achievement of one kind or another.

Know that you won't need to keep up this same pace all the time. Also, GREAT that you had that "awakening" and that you had some FUN!! Can you think of a way that you could sort of compare mentally, how taking a little fun time affected your work and what you accomplished? I usually find that a brief break, means I come back to work more energized. So maybe remembering that will help you, or maybe, actually gauging for yourself how downtime actually CONTRIBUTES to your goals, will do it for you.

Of course, I just told you you don't have to keep up the same pace forever, but here *I* am spending a lot of time on cat rescue issues if not on "work-work," so see, maybe *I*'m not all that qualified to be giving anyone advice, either!!!!
post #7 of 21
Im so pleased you are forcing yourself to go out Shell!.

I'm 45 and i make sure i go out with friends at least once a week even if i've had a hard week. Friday night is normally my night for going out. As soon as i get in from work, my music goes, on my bath is running and a glass of wine is poured, and that soon wakes me up!!.

A girl i work with who is a single parent is always tired, but she knows that once she's been in the shower and starts to put her make-up on she gets a new lease of life. It's just forcing yourself to do it.

Thats the one thing i loved about my ex boyfriend. Compared to my husband, Richie was always on my wave length. On holiday we would hire jet skis, hire a jeep for a couple of days to tour the greek islands etc...

You have to have quality time for yourself, and you've been having some fun nights with this guy as you've said. I'm not saying get hammered on alcohol, because you can still enjoy a night with conversation. So get your music on while your getting dressed on wednesday and have a brilliant time!.

And don't forget to give us a full report on how it went
post #8 of 21
Have a great time, you deserve to.
post #9 of 21
Hey Shell, I feel for you. I remember from my W-M days how many hours the assistant managers put in. Do they still have to put in a stint of overnights? I'm glad this new guy gave you a bit of a wake-up call, but it is tough to weigh having a job that pays you decently and no free time vs. pulling in minimum wage and struggling to make ends meet, or plenty of free time and no money to do anything.
post #10 of 21
Shell, no advice but just wanna send you a big hug. Hope everything calms down soon for ya!
post #11 of 21
I was just thinking the same things about my life.. my friends are accusing me of ignoring them... I've been sitting at my computer for hours today working on a 3000 word history paper.. I think people have lots of different ideas of what constitutes "life" and I think that there need to be more people who work hard and concentrate on their goals. He sounds cool, but don't let anyone convince you that working hard means you aren't living.. if it's important to you, then it's as valid as having fun..
post #12 of 21
My activism is my job and my life. I am always either at a protest, planning a protest, making a phone call, writing a letter, or writing an email. Now, don't get me wrong...I love what I do and I will always be a member/supporter of the groups I work with, but I REALLY need a vacation! I just hate telling people that I need to take a break. A lot of people depend on me. I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. Just call me "Atlas".
post #13 of 21
I work 2 jobs. My full time job is my 8-6, 45-50 hr a week bill-payer. I don't socialize with these people. They're very nice, but not my friends.

My part-time position is with a production company. We perform 4-5 major productions a year. With these people, I go out to dinner, hit the clubs, hit the bars. They're always a good time.

Then I have my outside friends. Friends who don't understand the long hours put in with the production company, (Last week I put in 30 hours part time, on top of my normal 45 hr week.) but they accept that I'm not always available. Plus my SO who comes home on weekends.

Adding that all up, it still only comes to 131 hours out of a 168 hour week, including 8 hrs a night for sleep. There are 37 hrs free a week for socializing! We just have to find the energy for it.

post #14 of 21
Bahhhhhhh Social Life?? *Looks in dictionary* ah yes the thing I had before kids , along with sleep and time to put on Makeup! I remember :P

All kidding aside , Im in the same boat with you , but its not something I can change atleast right now , we have had a bad run the past few months , my Nana passed away, my son who as you know has issues started to deterioate from school based anxiety , hes been unable to eat and hold it down for 3 weeks , went totally without eating for 8 days ( long story bad doctor) and is now on Ensure to keep him going , My poor husband had a dream that he was on the phone to one of the many agencies we deal with for the kids and that he was calling to me that he wanted to spend time with me , in his dream I told him to contact the social security office , and make an appointment.

The poor man , he pours everything he is into these kids and its starting to take a toll.

So I think we need to think of some ways to releive some stress , make a change but I cant help but feel guilty because if we are off doing something it means we arent working on the issues the kids have that are so time critical , yet if we dont relax we will get over stressed , its really a catch 22.

sorry to ramble
post #15 of 21
Hi Shell,

We have 2 daughters about your age, and just had one of them ask this same question when we all got together for Grandkids birthdays at the beginning of the month. She's a wife, mom, and a property manager for a 350 unit Apt complex. She works 60-70 hours a week usually. I'll tell you the same thing I told her.

It's pretty common to hit a stage in your mid to late 20's where your body doesn't seem to have the energy it once had, and you are stressed to the max. Some people start having anxiety attacks, some want to sleep all the time, and some go into what I call "Hyperdrive", and pay a much bigger price later.

The thing to remember is that it's not the number of hours you're putting in at work. It's the stress that goes along with those hours that causes the problems. You gave a huge clue when you said: "...and I realized that I don't do anything in my spare time but sleep, worry about work and try to keep up with my everyday things."
BIG clue in there. You are worrying about work while you're at home unless I'm misreading this. You're worrying about things that "may" happen, or "might" happen. I'm confident that you deal with what "Does" happen in a professional manner as it comes up. It's those other 2 that are piling on the stress, and the reason for that is you have no control over those 2 areas. Stress wears you out. It can make the simplest tasks seem to be insurmountable.

The advice is this: First, worry about what is happening in the here and now, and try not to focus on what may or might happen. Enough real stuff will happen to keep you occupied. Worrying about the other 2 is enough to send the most stable person over the edge. Realize that you're 1 person. Dan't make the demands of 3 people on that 1.

Secondly, Get out there and date. Go enjoy your life. Make yourself get out there. You said you had a great time when you went out. Keep doing that. It's good for you. You should be working to live and not living to work. Make stopping and smelling the roses a priority. When was the last time you watched a sunset or sunrise just because it was there?

Third, Relax. the world and everything in it will go on without you spending time worrying about it. Try to make a distinction between the things you have control over versus the things you don't...especially about your job. Take some of the stress off yourself.

That's my fatherly advice for the week (you asked for it lol) except to say that I'm very impressed at your weight loss. That's a major accomplishment, and something you took control over that ended up with a super positive result. Big Kudos.

The following applies to all of us:

Take good care of yourself because you are unique. In the entire universe there is only one of you, and you can never be replaced.

post #16 of 21
Shell, I feel like I am echoing what has already been said, but you really need to carve out some time for you. One thing I have learned is that if you don't take care of you, you'll end up even more stressed. I am glad you decided to go out and have some fun. You deserve it. If you're at the point where work and stress is taking over your life, take a deep breath and do something just for you. Do you do anything crafty? I find that helps me unwind, as does exercising and spending time with friends.

Lately, I've been caught in the work, grad class stress cycle. Not fun, so I'm trying to take my own advice! Fun isn't frivolous, it's necessary to balance out all the hard work you're doing.
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much! I truly appreciate all the helpful advice, suggestions & well wishes! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one in the world who is or have gone through this before.

I am making an effort to make myself a top priority even though it's very hard to do. It's been programmed into my head for so many years that everyone else comes first including work & now it's taken it's toll on me. Plus, in my line of work I have to be the people pleaser and sometimes that isn't possible...so that takes it's toll on me also. But I'm trying and that is all that I can do. My goal is to pick at least one evening for just me and one evening for fun stuff with my friends/dates/etc. That doesn't sound like much, but it's more than what I've been doing lately. I've realized that I need this space and if I don't make time for it, I've lost a bit of who I am. One comment that really struck home for me was "Your job should support your lifestyle, not be your lifestyle". That is so true and it's so easy for your job to take over your lifestyle....and now I'm on a mission to fix that.

Once again, thank you to each and everyone of you! I really appreciate it!
post #18 of 21
Shell, I just read this and I want to send you a big (((HUG)))!

You are totally right, you need to take time and go out and do some fun things!

Picking one evening to go out is a great idea! Go out, act silly and have some fun - even if it is only one day a week. I bet this will help you more than you think.
post #19 of 21
Sometimes when you are stressed and leave work it helps if you go and do something fun just after it. Last friday I went straight from work to the beach and had coctails with my boyfriend and a couple of friends. About 5 minutes after I left work i forgot all about the stressful day and was looking forward to the evening. Then, when it was time to go home, I was tired and slept like a baby that night
post #20 of 21
Shell, I just read this and I'm so sorry your feeling overwhelmed with life. You are such a generous loving person that you don't even slow down to care for own needs. Please take some time out just for yourself!
post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by Shell
My goal is to pick at least one evening for just me and one evening for fun stuff with my friends/dates/etc. That doesn't sound like much, but it's more than what I've been doing lately.
YAY!! It doesn't have to be "much" but it is enough. Just like, probably, when you tackled losing weight, it's one small step followed by another.

Hey -- we all appreciate you, too!!! (People LOVE to offer advice and to help others. Well, at least, certainly, CAT people love to!
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