SHEroing or Over-functioning

SHEroing or Over-functioning

Many of the patients that I see are strong, smart, committed women who have high integrity, are dependable, in a helping profession whether it be a healer, or a highly level executive, or a creative like a hairdresser or aesthetician and are known for getting the job/things done.

This past year more than ever I am seeing more and more women suffering like never before from over-functioning or in some cases under-functioning as a reaction to over-functioning for so long. It’s called depletion or burnout but over and under-functioning really nails it as a description.

As you read through the list as I did you will probably nod your head yes to some or all of the descriptions on the list.

I was known as the tough little soldier in our family.  That sounds like a SHEro to me.  😀. I have learned  mostly the hard way …over the years how to notice when I am stepping into over-functioning and stepping back into balance by re-fueling and re-placing and create boundaries so I can be healthy.

BTW Ashwaganda Forte is my best friend in helping me modulate stress. I recommend it to all my patients as this has been a tough year for all.

What is Over-Functioning

Over-functioning is….

  • Doing things for others that they can do for themselves
    Absorbing other people’s feelings
    People-pleasing to avoid disappointing others
    Difficulty saying no and setting boundaries
    Assuming more responsibility than is your share
    Giving advice whether the person asks for it or not
    Fretting about others
    Feeling responsible for others, or knowing what is best for them
    Talking more than listening
    Having goals for others that they don’t have for themselves
    Codependence, or imbalanced relationships, whereby you enable someone else’s immaturity or   irresponsibility through caretaking or fixing
    Behaving like a martyr, taking care of everyone else, giving without receiving, and then occasionally feeling like you were taken advantage of
    Overworking and over-scheduling yourself.. I am so Busy…


Some call this SHEroing:  SHEro’s in this context are operating from a place of fear rooted in a need for control, validation, or security.

We habitually overfunction to save the day. We get rewarded in business and by our family unit for doing what it takes to get the work done, but it’s a form of toxicity that leads to burnout, illness, and breakdown.

Many women it seems are EXPECTED to over-function and it sets a trap for us.

Here is how Overfunctioning shows up Metabolically

Overfunctioning can lead to overeating, undereating, eating to change your emotional state, high cortisol, high insulin, high glucose, more belly fat, weight loss resistance, hypothyroidism, low libido, PMS, and well… the list goes on.

When your body is in this state you feel tired, can’t lose weight not matter what you eat/ exercise, sleep becomes disrupted and mood is low.

We overfunction until we can’t take it anymore. Then conventional medicine offers depression, anxiety, or sleeping pills, all bandaids. Few consider the root cause.

Overfunctioners tend to be in an emotional ecosystem with underfunctioners

The key to escaping the trap of over-functioning is to learn balance before depletion occurs, and to assume responsibility only for what belongs to you. Should I say this again… Whenever I am overly worried about someone or I feel like I have to continue to do more and more I know I have crossed the boundaries I set for myself care.

We as women need do the things that we do for others for ourselves:

We need to rest, we need to fuel well and not run on empty, we need to slow down and breath, we need to say no when we have a knowing that we are stepping over into overfunctioning territory.

It’s about awareness, acceptance of what you can’t control, and then taking sacred action. For me the driver is my mindset ” I want to show up as the best Natural Functional Medicine Doctor I can be for you”  In order to do that I must take care of myself first. This mantra drives my choices.

Everyday is different and everyday that is my goal.

I hope this article has been helpful. If this is you and you are ready to take some action into a more vital place I am here to support you on your journey and help you connect the dots so you can heal.

Offer in person at Deep Relief Austin and Virtual at

Have a healthy week

Dr Pia