There’s a new malady that’s stealing our health and happiness, and causing stress and burnout, and it stems from the belief that we really can do it all.

DIA Syndrome typically affects women because we have been credited with the ability to multi-task. Plus many of us have been taught that it’s not nice to say no to requests. The result: our boundaries need work and it’s us, not others, who usually suffer.

In fact continual multi-tasking combined with an inability to disappoint people is the fastest route to burnout and insanity. Even worse when it’s backed by perfectionism.

Do you have DIA Syndrome?

If you answer yes to three or more of these questions, then it’s time to reign in your commitments before they have you committed.

  1. You are a woman with children who works.
  2. You are a woman who works and feels that your home must always be tidy and presentable.
  3. You are a single woman who works and who does everything else yourself.
  4. There are never enough hours in your day to get everything done, no matter how fast you go.
  5. You are an expert at talking on the phone while you make breakfast/find your car keys/organise the children/work on a report/return email .
  6. At the end of the day you usually feel exhausted/stretched to the limit/homocidal.
  7. You are on every form of social media and struggle to keep up.
  8. You believe those time management articles by high achievers you see online or in magazines.

Symptoms of DIA

Fatigue, irritability, frequent ill health, a feeling of being steam-rollered or wrung out day after day, lack of enthusiasm for anything, and an urge to run away from it all. Act before stress turns to burn out.

Change your thinking 

Here, some realisations that you have to, well, realise for DIA Syndrome recovery.

  1. There never will be enough hours in a day to do it all.
  2. You don’t have to. And you don’t have to be it all or have it all either.
  3. The media will try to convince you otherwise.
  4. You are not a failure if your home, your children, or you do not look like those picture-perfect photos in magazines or on Instagram.
  5. Life is messy. You can’t control everything.
  6. Women who say they do it all are lying. Or drinking.
  7. You are okay, just the way you are.

Let’s repeat that last one again. YOU ARE OKAY, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. It doesn’t take one more task, one more purchase, or one more favour to make you okay.

I can help you work on doing ENOUGH, because you are ENOUGH, and being happier and healthier.


Helen Hawkes

Helen writes about effective self care activities, stress burnout recovery, how to overcome anxiety, how to cope with stress, and general health and wellness tips, as well as other topics like business and beauty.

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