Are You Ready To Collapse Yet?

Pegine Echevarria

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Are you rushing around? Does your to do list fill several pages? Do you feel like you are losing yourself? While you are looking calm on the outside are you feeling frazzled on the inside?

Over ten years ago I was in a similar place. I was working full time in a demanding job, going to school for my masters, raising two small children and managing a home. I had to pull over to the side of the road more than a few times to just take a cat nap, because I was so tired. One day, while cooking dinner, still in my business suit and heels, I felt weak in the knees; I literally was sinking to the floor. My husband told me to go to bed, so I did. The next morning I felt awful, I couldn't get up. My husband asked me to stay home, I knew it was the right choice. He took the kids to day care and I stayed in bed. I called my office to tell my assistant that I wouldn't be coming in. I must have sounded foggy because she was very concerned. As I was lying in bed, I kept thinking of the myriad of things that I needed to get done, that HAD to get done. I was lucid but I felt so tired. I was having trouble swallowing and I wanted to get some water. I couldn't move, I tried lifting my arms, they wouldn't move. My legs wouldn't move, I was unable to move any muscles. I was very scared. I remember trying to lift my hand thinking “I need help. I need help. I have to call for help", but I couldn't move. I could feel my eyes filling with tears and clouding my vision. A tear fell from my eyes and I couldn't wipe it. I had never felt so powerless in my life.

I prayed to my God to send an angel to my husband, to get help. I had faith that I was heard, I closed my eyes. I don't know how long I was sleeping. I remember being lifted from my bed and put into a car. I know it was David, my husband, but I don't remember much of the ride or anything he said. He took me to the doctor who immediately had David rush me to the emergency room of a local hospital. I don't remember any of it. The only thing I do remember is David on one side of my bed and my mom on the other. The doctor told them that I was very weak, that it was touch and go. My mom and husband were crying, I remember feeling so bad that they were feeling so bad. It took quite a bit of research and the experience of a semi-retired doctor to figure out the treatment, which worked. Later, as I was recuperating in the hospital, the doctor informed me that I contracted a rare disease caused by stress. I needed to rest and learn how to balance and relax. He said “It's a lot cheaper to take a cruise or meditate than to spend a week in the hospital. " I heard the message loud and clear. I did take up mediation and now more than ten years later I have a morning ritual and afternoon ritual to keep me centered, relaxed and focused on the important things in life.

How you can be more balanced, relaxed and stress free? By taking specific steps to change your behavior. If you don't take the action steps now you may have to pay the consequences later. This action steps include:

  • Reading affirmations
  • Seeking the advice of mentors who have what you want
  • Taking time to appreciate what you have

    Use quotes as affirmations to begin taking action

    "Release the control of people, places, things and situations remember only you have the power to drive yourself crazy"
    ~Pegine Echevarria, MSW

    "Don't sweat the small stuff. . . and it's all small stuff. "
    ~Richard Carlson, PH. D.

    "Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. "
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    "When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his death bed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened. "
    ~Winston Churchill

    "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. "
    ~Lao Tzu

    "The happiest people I know are the ones who have learned how to hold everything loosely and have given the worrisome, stress-filled, fearful details of their lives into God's keeping. "
    ~Charles R. Swindoll

    Find mentors who have the kind of life you want

    Mentors give you clarity and can tell you what you either:

    1- Already know but have not acted on or
    2- Give you information that you didn't know so can choose

    Mentors come in many forms. One of the best is in the form of books. I've come to the conclusion that authors are given inspiration to reach us and teach us. Through books I've learned how to balance my time, how to say no, how to manage money more effectively, how to ask questions, how to improve myself.

    In my program “Play Big" I share the concept of saying “YES To Usable Activities & Situations". These are activities that strengthen you, support you, grow you and help you evolve in some way. Times can be challenging when you walk around pleasing others (family, friends, coworkers or even customers). Each person must evaluate the situations before agreeing to take on another activity, reducing your fees, or saying yes one more time.

    STOP and ask yourself. Will this activity strengthen me, support me, grow me and help you evolve in some way? If the answer is a resounding YES!! Then go for it. However if there is any vagueness at all or you are providing justifications for saying yes, then say no!

    Too often in business, we agree to accept lower fees or obnoxious behavior from clients using justifications.

    According the Jerry Mundis, author of “Earn What You Deserve" he writes “Do not accept work that pays you less than you need. " Know your fiscal needs then clearly set a fee schedule based on those needs and the value you offer.

    Do not accept obnoxious behavior. Being in business during slow periods can drive you to accept inappropriate or obnoxious behavior from customers. Do not accept it. By willingly accepting rude behavior from customers you are communicating TO YOURSELF that you are undeserving of high paying, happy clients. Beware when accepting difficult or obnoxious clients. You first rule of thumb should “YES To Usable Activities & Situations", and good bye when it does not support you.

    By the way, firing an inappropriate or obnoxious customer is exhilarating. Your value increases immediately.

    Take the time to appreciate your life

  • Take a nap
  • Get a massage
  • Get dressed up
  • Read a few mediation or motivational books
  • Go to a comedy club
  • Walk (or exercise)
  • Dance while listening to your Ipod
  • Pet a dog
  • Play with kids
  • Write a gratitude list
  • Go on a cruise
  • Snuggle with your honey
  • Say yes to taking time for yourself EVERY DAY. Pull over to the side of the road on your commute home and do any of the above.

    These are powerful actions that you can take and that will give you freedom from stress, anxiety, fear and failure. It is only by allowing yourself to refuse to take action…any action… that you end up being stressed, anxious and fearful. You were made to be free, to laugh, to be abundant and to be bold. Be bold by being your best…if you don't who will?

    Empowerment guru Pegine Echevarria, MSW and her company, Team Pegine, transforms organizations by empowering people. You might also be interested in Pegine's networking article called, “Go Fish: For Friends, Business and Opportunities", to receive a gift copy simply sign up for her free ezine at

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