Updated: Oct 19, 2020
To all my smart, sassy, successful, beautiful, and fabulous boss ladies out there making moves, I see you doing your thang! However, even the baddest of them all sometimes get overwhelmed. I need you to know that it is OK to not always be OK. While you may be the queen of handling stress, here are 5 signs that you might be reaching your breaking point.
1) You are exhausted
Every boss chick is tired, but this is completely different. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning, you are late more frequently, and you have even canceled morning meetings because you can't bring yourself to get out of bed. No matter how much sleep you get, you constantly feel like you need just 1 more hour!
2) You have random crying spells
You can't predict it, but last week at lunch, you burst into tears when your co-worker asked how your father was doing. Physically, your father is fine and you are not sure why that triggered such a huge emotional reaction. This has happened on other occasions and with different triggers. You brush it off to co-workers as stress, but are secretly a little concerned that you are "loosing it."
3) You hate the job you love
In your mind, you know you love what you do for a living, but recently it hasn't brought you any joy. You find yourself questioning if all of the stress is even worth it and why you decided to be a kick ass boss chick in the first place. You have been looking for other positions, but nothing sounds interesting. It doesn't make any sense, but you hate the job you used to love.
4) You're doing the bare minimum
You are usually Mrs. Overachiever, but recently you have been doing the bare minimum at home and work. Because you are generally so awesome, no one notices, but every email starts with, "please excuse this late response..." and you are overwhelmed by all the personal commitments you have put off. You are doing just enough to fly under the radar at work and just enough at home so your family doesn't starve. You are waiting to the ultimate last minute to do everything!
5) Your weight is fluctuating and you have aches and pains
You're body doesn't seem to want to cooperate with you. You hate getting dressed in the morning because your clothes are either all too tight or too loose. You are experiencing random pain such as frequent migraines or back spasms that you never experienced before. You know these are physical symptoms of stress but you can't seem to get them under control.
If you see yourself in a few of these examples but are still struggling to put yourself first, consider doing it for those you love. The people who look up to you are not only watching for your success, they are watching how you handle setbacks, stress, and what you do when everything is falling apart. While for many of us, our instinct is to shield those who look up to us from our struggles, an even greater gift is to share your pain and your strategies for moving through it. Let us not inadvertently carry forward the myth of the strong Black woman who can handle anything on her own! I know I didn’t get to where I am without a few ups and downs and truthfully, the women who I look up to and consider the strongest of them all – are the ones who have allowed me to witness their pain. Everyone is a sucker for a good comeback after a setback!