The Race to Becoming SuperWoman
One Saturday Morning I was woken up by our security guard informing me that my car lights were still on from last night. Stunned and a little confused, I started going through my bag to find the car keys..and they were no where to be seen.
I searched and searched every where possible around the house, in every bag, in every drawer, corner and still nothing. 20 minutes later, it slowly started creeping back to my brain, and in seconds the angry frown turned into a set of raised eyebrows of recognition followed by an "Oh NO I Did NOT!' freaked out look.
As I hurried down to the car, my fear got confirmed. I never got the keys out, I never even switched it off properly. I have done the horrifying act of hurrying out of my car and leaving (gulp) the engine on, in an attempt to catch my daughter before she went to bed.
Then, just as I was about to scratch it as a one-off-odd-incident, a couple of days later, I went to the mall with my husband and bought a bunch of exciting beauty products I have been after for quite some time. And just as I got home, I realized that somewhere in between our stroll, I have left the bag behind and couldn't even remember where exactly, no matter how hard and long I tried.
Thats when it hit me; something very wrong was going on with me.
Secretly freaked out, I confided into a friend, "You think its an early sign of Alzehaimers?", I asked, locked up in a Phone booth at work, half screaming, half crying. "Not necessarily..Lets see, Do you think your mind is overloaded? for ex., Whats on your mind now?", she asked in a trial to help, and over the following 20 seconds, she listened to my day's to-do list. This included everything from cleaning out my winter wardrobe, to nailing a few press releases and mega interviews at work before the weekend, to posting on the blog, to sending my daughter to nursery for the first time ever and prepping her (and myself and her daddy and her nanny) mentally for it, to preparing a healthy meal stock so I can get back on diet after the holidays..and the list went on and on and on, and that was only for one day.
She sighed deeply and said; "Its not Alzehaimers love..unfortunately you have the SuperWoman syndrome".
The SuperWoman Syndrome
Women of our generation are in a constant never ending race. We are striving to overachieve, cramming a million task into each day, and taking multi-tasking to a whole new unrealistic level. We are under constant pressure that we should be achieving, buying, eating, completing a multitude of things not to mention the pressure to obtain approval from everyone around us and ensure our circle of friends, family and peers are content. All of this, while looking absolutely thin, gorgeous and stylish.
I myself have been guilty with filling each and every waking moment to the brim with at least 2-3 things to get done. I push myself to the limit with the hope to become a "Superwoman", a woman who manages successfully all aspects of life and excels in each.
The result? Stressed and over tired. Headaches and strayed thoughts. Car left on overnight and lost expensive goodies. Poor sleeping quality and lack of well deserved breaks... Just to name a few.
This is why, and as part of my 2016 resolutions, I wanted to raise awareness of fellow women to avoid falling into this pitfall of becoming a SuperWoman. So here are a few reminders for all of us to go back to whenever things get a bit too much and which personally helped me over the past few days get my focus and calmness back:
- Ditch the "Multi-task" and aim to 'Uni-task': focus on 1 task at hand. If you are watching TV, switch off your phone. If you are answering emails, turn off the chat notifications. If you are eating, stop checking emails/talking on the phone. if you are spending quality time with the family forget anything else.
- Create some "me time" on your calendar: I have recently started blocking time on my calendar to finish certain tasks without being distracted and also locked an hour everyday only for ME. I can go for a walk, read, sleep, pray, whatever makes me feel calm and centered, and me having it scheduled in there should serve as a reminder.
- The world will still go on if you skipped washing the dishes for a day: Yes it will. Although we secretly will be worried to be judged by our partners/kids/neighbors/inlaws/ourselves, its still important to remind ourselves to take things a bit easier every now and then. Aim for perfection but dont compromise your own health and happiness to reach it.
- Sleep in, every once in a while: Its ok. As long as it doesnt become a habit, hit snooze and allow your self some extra sleeping time in the morning or sleep in over the weekend, because your body really needs it.
- Say yes to the impromptu outing: I always skip impromptu outings as it tends to freak me out a bit being unplanned and thus makes me worry about falling behind on my to-do list for the day (sounds familiar?). This year, I am saying more yes than no to last minute invitations, because its fun to be spontaneous every once in a while.
- Relax on the couch with some trashy TV: On the other hand, just because you dont feel like going out, dont feel the pressure to socialize when all you really want is to stay in with your PJs and some (healthy) takeout and just "Keep Up With the Kardashians".
- Spend 90 seconds on Meditation each day: Take a few seconds each day to focus on your breath. Close your eyes, breath very slowly, bring awareness to yourself, tune everything out and let go with each breath of all negativity..and smile, cause you've got this.