Stress – we’ve all experienced it. Whether it’s work, school, family commitments, or extracurricular activities, life can get pretty stressful sometimes. However, for those that tend to be the overachiever type, stress can be especially affecting physically and mentally.


Photo Credit: Highstarter (May 2019)

Overachievers, known as individuals that set standards unrealistically high, are extremely ambitious, may experience imposter syndrome, and have a tendency to work way too much can be prone to very high levels of stress and burnout. These high levels of stress and burnout can lead to long-term negative health effects. A study shows that chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety, depression, muscle tension and pain, and memory and concentration impairment.

You don’t need to quit big ambitions or stop working entirely in order to experience less stress as an overachiever. There are a handful of ways to achieve success and complete tasks while staying collected and at ease. If you’re an overachiever, here are a few tips to implement daily in order to properly manage stress.

Schedule Down Time

Prioritizing time to relax is an important factor to managing stress efficiently. Overachievers tend to work too much and take on tasks at high volumes, leaving all their time spent crossing off to-do lists and completing work projects. This leaves zero time to do things that are actually enjoyable – doing things that are personally fun! A study reports that taking down time to relax can increase productivity due to being able to detach from work both mentally and physically. This results in one feeling refreshed and less tense. One way to prioritize down time is to quite literally schedule it into your calendar; this is especially helpful when you are used to a strict routine. Use this time to rest and rejuvenate, guilt-free, as it’s deserved.

Stop Overachiever Comparisons

We’re often told that comparison is the thief of joy – this is especially true for overachievers. The pressure of comparison leads to added unnecessary stress and anxiety for individuals that are already constantly setting unrealistically high bars for themselves. Looking at others achievements can often overshadow are own and lead us to forgetting that there is more than meets the eye. If you find yourself comparing your achievements to others, remind yourself of how far you have come and take pride in your achievements so far! Practicing gratitude and reflecting on self-accomplishments can relieve stress and replace anxiety with a sense of fulfilment and pride.

Be More Attentive and Responsive to Your Personal Needs

When constantly in working mode and tackling one task after another, it can be easy to forget about self-care. You are either working too quickly and forget about self-care or are too exhausted that the practice of self-care may feel like an added to-do on your checklist. However, self-care and tapping in with one’s personal needs is extremely important in order to sustain oneself and relieve debilitating chronic stress. The easiest way to be more attentive and responsive to your personal needs is by asking one simple personal question daily – “what do I need right now?” or “what can I do to feel more relaxed and at ease?” Asking yourself such personal questions allows yourself to tune in with your unique desires and needs in a world that is fast-paced and constantly changing.

Recognize it’s Okay to Ask for Help and Support

Overachievers tend to want to do it all – and often forget that it’s okay if they can’t. You may not ask for help due to perception; not wanting others to perceive you as “needy” or “dependent.” Or you may not ask for support because others can’t produce work to the same quality as you. The truth is, wanting to do everything by yourself may be counter-productive to the goals and work you’ve set out for yourself. Leaning on others can help relieve stress as it helps streamline your work and prioritizes your agenda more accordingly and efficiently. Shift the mindset of “doing it all yourself” – successful leaders understand when it’s appropriate to work independently and depend on others for support.

It’s Okay to Say No – Honor Your Personal Boundaries

In an overachiever culture of seizing every opportunity and taking on every task, personal boundaries are often forgotten and overlooked. It’s easy to forget that you have an option to say “no!” Being able to say “no” to certain projects and opportunities that present themselves in front of you reduces work stress and allows you to preserve energy into something truly worth your time. The next time you are presented an opportunity, ask yourself “is this really worth my time and energy?” and move accordingly.

Managing stress as an overachiever requires intentional self-care and reflection of both yourself and the world around you. It is a combination of loving yourself and changing mindset patterns. When done right you will feel refreshed, relaxed, and able to truly work at your best!


Published by HOLR Magazine.



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