What Is Hurry Sickness?

You're in a constant hurry every day trying to get everything checked off your to-do list. You're cooking dinner, replying to a work email, checking on a load of laundry in the washer, and get frustrated when your kid interrupts for help with homework. You're at the grocery store waiting in line, and you're calculating how much time you have left to wait there. You walk fast, talk fast, and drive fast. There isn't enough time in the day to get everything done, and the next day you realize you forgot about the laundry. 

Hurry sickness, also called "time urgency," was coined by two cardiologists, Dr. Ray Rosenman and Dr. Meyer Friedman (via MindTools). While it's not a medical diagnosis, it's a behavior pattern that can cause many health problems. Symptoms of hurry sickness include anxiety, fatigue, a constant sense of urgency, and high stress levels.

If you have hurry sickness, you're always multitasking, and your to-do list is never done (via Healthline). This rushing and multitasking cause your work or chores to become a lower quality because you're rushing it and doing other tasks simultaneously. All of this can harm your health, according to Psychology Today.

Health effects of hurry sickness

Hurry sickness affects your physical health and emotional health. You're a hard worker trying to make the most of your time but somewhere along the way, that turned into hurry sickness. Constant access to social media, email, and the internet is making it worse. This constant anxiety and stress can cause high blood pressure, leading to heart problems, according to Psychology Today. Stress can also lead to a weakened immune system, making it easier for you to get sick more often, per Healthline.

Hurry sickness can make you more prone to depression and if you're trying to manage diabetes, the stress and anxiety you're experiencing can make managing the disease more difficult, according to Healthline. As you may have guessed, stress can also impact your sleep, even causing insomnia (via National Sleep Foundation).

Plus, according to the Cleveland Clinic, stress can also cause overeating or undereating, causing you to lose or gain weight. Stress can even affect your sex life by lowering your libido (via Self). The good news? You can learn how to combat hurry sickness symptoms with some lifestyle changes.

How to fight hurry sickness

In an effort to beat hurry sickness, stop multitasking. Focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention from start to finish (via Harvard Business Review). Consider saying no. You might have too much on your plate because you often say "yes" (via Lifehack). Set boundaries — especially with your phone. Turn off your notifications and avoid checking work email after you've clocked out. It might be best to uninstall any work-related apps on your phone, so you're not tempted to check in during your off time (via Healthline).

There's only so much you can do, so learn your limits. Create a daily routine that works for you and includes downtime. You will probably find that you need to remove some of your daily to-dos. You're going to need to delegate some tasks or let the appropriate people know that you'll no longer be able to complete them (via Healthline).

Tackling hurry sickness takes prioritization and practice

It's a good idea to prioritize your tasks. At the start of your day, or the night before, ask yourself a couple of questions (via MindTools). What three things do you absolutely need to get done? What other things would you like to get done but could wait if you don't have time?

Practice mindfulness. If you have hurry sickness, you're always thinking about the future. Mindfulness helps you focus on the now. Mindfulness activities include meditation, going for a walk, coloring or drawing, and journaling. Make a cup of your favorite drink and sit in your favorite spot for five minutes. Enjoy the moment and time alone. No phone, no TV, no distractions — this is a great way to start the day (via Healthline).

Practice self-care. You've got to take care of yourself! Carve out time to do so every day and set aside some extra time during the weekends. Take a relaxing and soothing bath. Get a massage. Make time to exercise regularly. Go to a sauna. Go to the beach. Get a facial. It doesn't matter which self-care activity you choose as long as you find something that helps you unwind, recharge, and feel great (via Healthline).