The Dangers of Doing Too Much

We toss around the phrase, “She’s doing too much,” in a way that sometimes lovingly chides a sister for being too … extra. But those words hold a different truth that we can’t ignore or deny. 

As black women, we really are doing too much.

We’re carrying too much. We’re allowing too much. We’re sacrificing and struggling far too much. We’re constantly ignoring our discontent and discomfort with and in our day-to-day lives. Our shoulders are aching. Our resolve and belief are breaking. And it’s killing us. In fact, new research from the American Heart Association found that the risk of sudden cardiac death is nearly 3 times higher for black woman. (

But the truth is, we get this need to “do too much” honestly. We’ve inherited the definition of who we should be, and learned how to push beyond the limits of our capacity from the women we love, those who have walked before us. Strength and sacrifice are badges of honor that we wear with pride, as we come from generations of “good” women who give their all to everyone and everything—but themselves.

With April being Stress Awareness Month, it’s an ideal time to start talking about how you can shift, and start becoming a woman who tosses the tradition of carrying too much pain, and begin healing by lightening the emotional load that you lift alone every day.

So, let’s begin by exploring some ways to reclaim your time, your peace of mind and energy so you can do and feel better.

More Releasing and Less Resisting

Now’s the time to explore what has to go. Bottled-up emotions, relationships that don’t serve us, unhappiness and discontent with our careers are all things that we know we need to eliminate. But our fear and familiarity with pain often makes staying in the struggle an easier choice. Let’s examine what no longer feeds and fuels. Let’s not deny the truth that it’s time. Let’s embrace the necessity of the shift that’s long overdue.

Seek Support from Your Fellow Superwomen

The tie that binds us as black women is that we all know what it feels like to bend until we break. But we tend to hide our struggles from each other. Brunch can be about more than mimosas and memories. The next time you get together with one of your girls, be brave and share struggles, and, most importantly, how you can lighten each other’s loads a bit. 

Rest and Restore

The hustle and grind of life makes taking time for yourself feel like a sin. When was the last time that you were simply still? When you allowed yourself to just be? Creating space for intentional stillness and solitude creates space for energy to enter. It can be as simple as sitting in the car for a few extra minutes to gather your thoughts and taking a few really deep breaths before rushing into the chaos of the next set of commitments at home or in the office.

If possible, fit in a nap or some quiet time on the couch on that day off or when you don’t have to commute as opposed to filling time saved with an appointment or errand. Whatever you do, find some time every day to just be and breathe. Let your thoughts flow and create some space for clarity. It’s okay. Some things on that to-do list will just have to wait.

Need support in creating a plan to stop doing so much so you can be so much more? Let’s talk.

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Radiah RhodesComment