5 signs you need to quit distracted living right now

Just over a year ago I was the person who made a driver stop the bus, get everyone off, and call an ambulance. I was standing by the front, (not holding on), and when the bus suddenly stopped, I smashed my head on the windscreen. Oh, I wish I could have just disappeared at that point! Long story short, instead of going to work, I ended up at the hospital having my eyebrow glued back together.

And why? Because I wasn’t paying attention. Because I was too engrossed in my phone, buying nappies for my youngest son. All the while trying to work out how and why I had run out – these things didn’t normally happen to me. Was I dropping the ball? What was going on?

I was living very mindlessly. On autopilot. I called it Distracted Living. And if you’re wondering whether your lifestyle could be ‘distracted’ too, here’s what it looked like for me.

5 signs you need to quit distracted living right now Mind your Mamma

1. You are feeling stressed

I was physically and mentally exhausted all the time. I felt like I was constantly chasing my tail, spreading myself too thin, and not doing anything well. Anxiety, worry, and irrational fears were keeping me up at night. I felt unsettled, snappy, and easily overwhelmed. The signs were all there, but I missed them. I was stressed, and I didn’t know it. I thought that what I was experiencing was just part and parcel of being a working mum of three young children. After all, isn’t this how everyone else feels all the time? Thankfully, no.

2. Your life is filled with things that don’t spark joy

My thinking brain could certainly articulate a million reasons why my life was great. But I felt differently. Deep down, I knew differently. For many years, I had been in a job I didn’t love anymore. But I was good at it, and it paid good money. I had worked hard to progress in that career – no point in questioning it, right? Why, then, did I have this niggling feeling that something wasn’t right? Why was I feeling so unsettled and unfulfilled? My limiting beliefs were trying to make me bury my head in the sand. They wanted me to carry on being mindless and distracted. But that only leads to the point where you can’t do it anymore.

3. You spend most of your day on autopilot

Do you ever find yourself getting to work in the morning and not quite knowing how you got there? And you don’t remember much at all about the journey? I was that person. The journey was just a means to an end. An opportunity to go over, in my head, the next few items on the to-do list. I didn’t notice the journey. I didn’t see things. And now that I do, I also notice how much I didn’t see any of it before. I wasn’t in the present. I wasn’t ‘with it’.

4. Your body is desperately trying to get your attention

The fact I was always exhausted wasn’t enough of a warning sign for me at first. At 35, I started to notice I was becoming out of breath when rushing up the stairs, for example. Or that I could often feel my heart beating in my chest – fast. Alarmingly fast. Then I started getting migraines, stomach cramps, and frequent colds. My body was screaming for help. It was telling me things had to change. Or else.

5. Your lifestyle is taking its toll on your mind

While my body may have been falling apart before my eyes, (but I was too distracted to see it), what I did notice was that I constantly felt frazzled. So much so that I had started to struggle to make decisions. I had started to feel confused. My priorities were all out of whack too. So badly that on the day after we got back from a 3-week family holiday, I became so obsessed with unpacking and sorting the house out (before even having my breakfast) that I fell on the stairs and broke my leg.

Because I had been missing all the signs, something clearly had to happen to stop me in my tracks. A complicated surgery later, I was unable to walk for three and half months. And to drive for five months. But as painful as the whole experience was (physically), nothing hurt more than knowing that my state of mind had caused my fall and my injury. It took something a bit drastic for me to change my ways. To help me to leave Distracted Living behind.

But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. And I hope that if you’re feeling this way, you’ll give mindful, intentional living a go too.

So, will you?

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post UK

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Come and join us!time for you self-care event Mind your Mamma 1st October 2017 London

On Sunday 1st of October for an afternoon dedicated to YOU, to start a journey of self-discovery and understand your complicated relationship with self-care, and the guilt that surrounds it all.

Together with Life Coach Corinne Worsley, host of the Feminine Truth podcast, I’ve organised this exclusive ladies-only event where you’ll be able to share a space with like-minded women and discover what changes you may want to make to your life.

If you want to find out more, head over to our event page, where you can also book your ticket, or drop me a line on sara@mindyourmamma.com. We’re holding this exclusive event in a lovely hotel overlooking Hyde Park, and we’ll only accommodate 20 lucky ladies, so don’t miss out if you’d like to join in. We promise you that you won’t regret attending!

 

38 Comments

  1. 2nd September 2017 / 10:28 pm

    It is a little too far away for me but I am certain that I need something like this in my life. Life is stressful and I am always focused on my children, caring responsibilities, home educating and on campaigning for accessible Changing Places toilet facilities. There is rarely a moment of being just me. #KCACOLS
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes recently posted…Keeping Us Out.My Profile

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:50 pm

      As women and mums we have a lot on our plates. You are one of those amazing women that we need to look up to Rachel. I hope you do get the chance to do something for yourself from time to time, even if it’s just 5-10 minutes every day. It’s so important for you!

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:47 pm

      You’re not the only one! I think a lot of women and mums tend to do this!

  2. 2nd September 2017 / 10:45 pm

    Interesting – a lot of those symptoms of distracted living sound like mild depression. I wrote about mindfulness this week too – must be something in the air #KALCOLS

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:46 pm

      That’s an interesting view / take – will check this out!

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you Andrea! I totally agree with you!

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:45 pm

      I think that to a certain extent we all do! And we certainly can do with being reminded from time to time, right?

  3. 3rd September 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Never heard of this phase – but it describes so much. Thanks for highlighting it… I think it’s easy to end up being herded through life. #kcacols

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:44 pm

      Very easy, especially in the age we live in, with so many ‘distractions’!

  4. 3rd September 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I can see myself here in the past. Particularly the autopilot thing. I try to be more present now. #kcacols

    • Sara
      3rd September 2017 / 5:43 pm

      I know what you mean – I was totally like that too!

  5. 3rd September 2017 / 7:31 pm

    A great post giving me food for thought. I have been know to go into a daze many a time thinking about everything but what I should be doing! x

    #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 10:00 am

      We all do it, don’t we Rachel? You’re definitely not alone!!!

  6. 4th September 2017 / 3:54 am

    It’s so great that you’ve been able to identify these feelings. I think so many of us struggle to figure out what’s going on. I’m working on mindfulness and trying to be less distracted with everything. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 10:01 am

      That’s so true! For a long long time I struggle to figure out what had been going on! And now all those years feel like a blur to me!

  7. 4th September 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Oh wow how scary for you! This was a really interesting post to read and can relate. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 2:51 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! 🙂 Glad you liked it!

  8. 4th September 2017 / 2:22 pm

    I think everyone can relate to these feelings at some time or another, we all live such busy lives. I’ve not heard of the term Distracted Living before but it makes sense. Rather not break a leg to change things though! Hope you are fully recovered now. Popping by from #KCACOLS
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…All Weather Giant Sand Pit Replaces Play TractorMy Profile

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 2:51 pm

      Thank you Fiona – you’re definitely right! It’s been a year today since my surgery. It’s not quite as it was, but things have been back to some sort of ‘normal’ for a while now, thanks 🙂

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 3:12 pm

      True! It’s about time we try and change that, right? 😉

  9. 4th September 2017 / 8:15 pm

    it is so easy to get into a state, especially as a parent with all the juggling you have to do. I personally try not to take on too much, if I am really busy during the week I wont plan anything at the weekends so we can just take the time to relax and unwind! #kcacols

    • Sara
      4th September 2017 / 10:36 pm

      That’s great feedback Tracey – love the tips! It’s a really mindful way of living your life. Sometimes it’s hard to say no to invites or activities, but it’s needed if it helps us stay balanced, right?

  10. 5th September 2017 / 8:07 am

    Oh dear, this is me. I am coasting through life in a bit of a daze at the moment. I’m exhausted and my time off work isn’t leaving me refreshed. Time for change. Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…Tips to look after your husbandMy Profile

    • Sara
      5th September 2017 / 10:37 am

      Oh, I’m sorry to hear Pen. But I totally understand! There is quite a lot of advice on my blog about change and overcoming this phase – let me know if I can help! And good luck with it all!

  11. 5th September 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Life gets to us all like this at times I think. As paretns we have so much to do and remember and if we are working to thats more to deal with. It can be hard but we need to find a few minutes for ourselves where we can.
    #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      6th September 2017 / 3:05 pm

      I totally agree Ali – it’s hard something though, isn’t it?

    • Sara
      6th September 2017 / 10:25 pm

      So true Cassie! Good point!

  12. 6th September 2017 / 6:06 pm

    I can totally relate to this, but then I suffer with mental health issues and I think there are definite similarities. Such a though provoking post. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      7th September 2017 / 5:21 pm

      It’s interesting you say this Laura, as someone else has pointed out that this sounds like mild depression!

  13. 7th September 2017 / 4:24 pm

    My oh my, I’m guilty of so many of these! It can be hard to make the necessary changes though! Baby steps for me. #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      7th September 2017 / 5:20 pm

      And for all of us Sinead! Most of us are ‘guilty’! 😉

  14. 8th September 2017 / 8:24 pm

    It’s scary isn’t it, what it sometimes takes to make us stop and realise we need to make changes to the way we live our lives. I try very hard to stop and be present, especially when I’m with my children, the time goes so fast I don’t want to look back and feel like I missed it all. x #KCACOLS

    • Sara
      9th September 2017 / 4:55 pm

      I can totally relate to that Madeline! We have so much on all the time that it’s so easy to forget all that!

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