Many women aren't aware they are neurobusy — they just feel a constant sense of overwhelm. Here are 100 signs you might be neurobusy, too.
Neurobusy is a commonly overlooked state that makes it hard to focus, get things done, and manage emotions.
Defined by a complex interplay of overwhelm, anxiety, neurodiversity, and trauma, neurobusy is more than just a byproduct of a hectic schedule; it's a nuanced state where the pursuit of constant productivity becomes a barrier to true rest and peace.
This is how neurobusy women often describe it, "Even if the world around me slows down, my mind keeps running a mile a minute."
Sometimes, "textbook" signs of neurobusy feel too general or vague. Here's what being neurobusy might look like or feel like on a day-to-day basis.
100 Signs You Might Be NeuroBusy
You might be neurobusy if...
- You feel like you're always behind.
- You have ten-plus alarms and reminders set on your phone right now.
- You struggle to pay attention in conversations because your mind is racing.
- Your to-do list always seems longer at the end of the day.
- The monotonous repetition of everyday tasks sometimes feels unbearable.
- You're constantly losing your keys, glasses, wallet, or phone.
- When you get an important text, email, or voicemail, you don't respond right away because you want to give it your full attention, but then you proceed to forget about it and never reply.
- Sometimes, when you're reading, you find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over again because your mind keeps wandering.
- You hate calling and making appointments as much as you hate wasting time going to them.
- You've been so engrossed in your work that you've forgotten to eat lunch.
- You find yourself interrupting during conversations so you don't lose your thoughts.
- With so many fires to put out on a daily basis, your brain works on two timelines — "now" and "not now."
- You cannot leave the house without forgetting something.
- You are your own worst critic.
- Your brain sometimes believes you've responded to a text, email, or voicemail because you thought about what you're going to say for so long.
- Occasionally, the smallest, most random thing can make you spiral into overwhelm.
- You constantly jump from one thing to the next, trying to tick off tasks on your to-do list because your plate is full.
- You find yourself getting lost in time.
- You constantly owe late fees at the library.
- You often feel rushed or unprepared.
- You are a hobby hobbyist — constantly jumping from one passion to the next.
- You find yourself daydreaming of a slower, simple life.
- You have piles of clean laundry lying around your home.
- Going to the grocery store — the lights, the sounds, the choices, the waiting— feels overwhelming.
- You have absolutely no motivation when it comes to boring tasks.
- You start conversations but sometimes randomly forget what you are saying mid-sentence.
- Once you get into a project, it can be hard to stop because you fear you'll be too busy to finish it later or that you'll forget about it completely, so you keep pushing forward.
- Sometimes, it feels like you have selective hearing, but you don't get to do the selecting.
- You know your friends and family's birthdays, yet somehow they still sneak up on you, or you forget to send them well wishes.
- Nothing feels quite as hopeful as a brand-new planner.
- In a true emergency, you find clarity when others struggle.
- You don't have time or tolerance for small talk.
- "Out of sight, out of mind" is a legitimate issue for you.
- When a task is interesting, it is easy to start; when it is not, beginning feels painful, as if your brain is refusing to start.
- You fall down a rabbit hole whenever you look up something on Google.
- You hate not being in control.
- On some nights, even the most straightforward task, like loading the dishwasher, feels too complicated.
- You know rest is important, but your brain constantly tells you that you have work to do — so when you are "resting," you spend the time beating yourself up about it.
- When you struggle to hear a question and ask, "What?" you often respond with your answer before the person repeats themselves — like your brain is just a few seconds delayed.
- You are shocked when you see the last text exchange with your best friend was a month ago; you swear it was last week.
- You love your noise-canceling headphones.
- When a new thought comes to mind, you tend to switch topics in a conversation without warning.
- You save long emails to "read later."
- Some days, you think about your to-do list all day but never actually get to the tasks — yet you still feel exhausted.
- You have fifty-plus tabs open at any given moment on your phone browser.
- Your thoughts move so quickly that, to others, it seems like you can be quick to anger when you become frustrated.
- Your brain is the ultimate master of "what if."
- Sometimes, something as simple as picking what to make for dinner can feel like too much.
- You find yourself underestimating the amount of time needed for projects, chores, or tasks.
- You sometimes impulsively blurt things out.
- Some days it feels like your brain will only focus on past criticisms, disappointments, and failures.
- You work best under an intense deadline.
- You sometimes struggle with making decisions, even if it feels like it should be a simple choice.
- You tend to make stacks of papers so that you won't forget important tasks, but then you ignore the tasks because the pile gets so big.
- Certain sounds make it hard for you to think — the buzzing of a lightbulb, the hum of a fridge, the sound of someone chewing.
- You're constantly changing plans at the last minute because you're exhausted or trying to balance the chaos.
- You sometimes misjudge how long it will take you to leave the house and get to appointments.
- You often feel alone and misunderstood.
- You have hundreds of screenshots of important things on your phone that you'll never look at again.
- You've forgotten to pick your kids up from school because you were so engrossed in completing a task.
- You want to do SO MUCH that you cannot do anything at all.
- You have a habit of proactively overdelivering because you know, at some point, you'll eventually drop the ball.
- When someone gives you long verbal instructions, you have a hard time remembering all the details.
- You tend to fall prey to "noble procrastination;" you distract yourself with busy work such as doing dishes when faced with a challenging task.
- Your brain won't let you rest; you feel like you should always be doing something.
- You make lists — all the time.
- You can sometimes "connect the dots" faster than other people or in more creative ways because you have so much information floating around in your brain.
- Your mind drifts during conversations unless you find the topic super interesting — or you're the one talking.
- You get frustrated with how often you make careless mistakes.
- You feel like you're constantly letting everyone down.
- At the end of the day, you struggle to remember the things you've accomplished.
- It feels like you're drowning in paper — at work, at home, in your car, and even in your purse.
- You compulsively double-check things to manage your forgetfulness.
- You practice or replay arguments in your head.
- Your brain sometimes needs to pause to figure out if the thought in your mind is an actual memory, a dream you had, or a movie you watched.
- You may stay late or go in early to the office because you can work more effectively when no one is there and it's quiet.
- You struggle to delegate tasks because "it's all in your head," and it would take longer to explain the tasks than do them yourself.
- You feel anxious, like you should be doing something more productive, when you try to read or watch a movie.
- In conversations, you're excited to share information, but sometimes people perceive your energy as argumentative.
- You have an uneasy feeling that forgotten school permission slips are hiding in those stacks of papers lying around the kitchen.
- While you may be talkative, you may dislike parties and social gatherings because they make you feel overwhelmed and shy.
- Some days your brain's negative self-talk can be crippling.
- You often overprepare to manage anticipated problems.
- It may take you days or longer to recognize how you feel in response to a situation.
- You feel like a duck — you're smooth sailing above the water, but those cute webbed feet (and your mind) are racing a hundred miles a minute below the surface.
- You have a strong urge to tell the whole background story before answering a simple question.
- You may wish you could be a better friend, partner, or mom and that you could stay on top of things the way other people do.
- You struggle with racing thoughts when you try to fall asleep at night.
- You find it hard to commit to concrete future plans.
- Your thoughts are moving so quickly that you sometimes overshare in social situations.
- You feel like you're always restless or on edge.
- You sometimes struggle to verbalize your feelings.
- It feels like you're always rushing, so you won't be late.
- You don't feel organized with money and sometimes are behind with bills because you forget to pay them.
- You struggle to keep up with text conversations with people, even when they are with people who are important to you.
- You feel overwhelmed with an ever-growing list of responsibilities.
- You have an intense drive to be organized but still struggle with it.
- You sometimes find yourself numbing your overwhelm by scrolling on your phone.
- You feel chronically overwhelmed.
- Slowing down and relaxing feels impossible.
If these symptoms resonate and you discover that you are neurobusy, it is important to know that you don’t need to be “fixed.”
You're not crazy.
You're not too much.
You're not alone.
There's a lot of us out here.
Being neurobusy is utterly exhausting at times. Tools exist to help you simplify and thrive.
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