MINDSET MATTERS: Breaking Busy ~ The Art of Stress Management Through Slowing Down

MINDSET MATTERS: Breaking Busy ~ The Art of Stress Management Through Slowing Down

 

I don’t care how busy I am I will always make time for what’s important to me.

~ Kevin Hart

 

My Dear Friends,

I am writing this blog as a letter to you ~ a love letter, if you will allow me to say that ~ because I want you to read it as if I am speaking to you as someone who cares deeply about you.  Because I do! Even if we’ve never met. Because you are a human being, I care deeply about you!  I am worried that you are so busy you are not enjoying life!

I am increasingly having the feeling that society is suffering from an epidemic of being busy!

Now, don’t get me wrong, in general I don’t have a problem with people being busy. But, I’m seeing that Americans in particular are taking the idea of busy to new levels.  As an American, I would like to proudly say that we are a high-achieving people. The problem is that our high-achieving nature is making us ill!

Okay – I know I lost some of you there… but, stick with me.  I’m NOT saying that having high standards of achievement is making us ill. What I AM saying is that breakneck pace at which we go after those high standards of achievement is making us ill.

Additionally, many of my friends and neighbors are achieving high standards of being busy just for the sake of being busy. On this score I want to share three crucial points of wisdom:

  • BUSY is not necessarily PRODUCTIVE!
  • Taking time for SELF-CARE is NOT lazy!
  • Being too busy = STRESS = ILLNESS

I chose the Kevin Hart quote at the top of this post because in it he talks about making time for what is important.  My question for you, my dear, sweet friend, is:

“Are you important?”

 Are you important enough to yourself that you will take time out of your busy schedule for self-nurture???

 

WHO COMES FIRST?

          I wrote an earlier blog for moms Want To Be a Supermom? Take Good Care of Yourself! about how to use the airline analogy of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first. The airlines want you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first (in case of emergency) so that you don’t pass out before you can put the oxygen on your children and others who need help. Likewise, if a mom allows herself some self-care, it helps her to be a better mom because she’s not exhausted and stressed-out.

Honestly, this analogy is important for anyone who has a care-taking role for others. Whether you are a teacher, a nurse, a manager, a parent, an adult child who  cares for an elderly parent, etc. etc. you NEED to take care of yourself first!

That does not mean that you are going to the spa or the golf-course every weekend in lieu of taking your kids to baseball or gymnastics.  It means that you CAN take an amount of time that you specify (and perhaps work out with your spouse or partner if need be) for self-care on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis.

Give yourself a little care first and you will be able to give others a lot of care on a regular basis!

 Here’s an exercise for you to try out. Make a list of things you can do for your self-care:

I’ll get you started with ideas

  • Go to yoga and/ or take a walk or leisurely bike ride 1x to 3x per week.
  • Play golf or tennis or engage in another activity with friends 1x per week.
  • Have a “date night” with your spouse 1x week.
  • Have a night out with friends 1x to 2x per month.
  • ___________________________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________________________

Keep the list going!

 

TAKE A DAILY TIME INVENTORY

Another good way to figure out how to break busy is to take a look at how you spend your time. One of the very first sessions I do with my Peaceful Living Wellness coaching clients is to have them write out a detailed list of what they do with their time. I have them complete one list for weekdays and one for weekends.  It helps us figure out how they are spending their time AND if the way they are spending their time is serving them.

Here are some things that I found when I did this exercise myself:

  • I was spending so much time volunteering for my kids’ schools and organizations that it was almost a full-time job! Volunteering is a wonderful thing & it absolutely feeds my soul to help others in that way. But, volunteering so much that I was not taking care of myself or my business was causing a problem!
  • I was spending a lot of time vegging out in front of the television in the morning and in the evening. Vegging out in front of the TV is something that can actually be good for you in small doses. 30 minutes to an hour to give your brain a break is really okay. But, how I was watching the morning news and starting my day with negativity and noise was not a good choice. And for those of you who veg out for several hours in front of the TV every night, it’s really not serving you as well as reading or listening to something enriching, meditating, doing yoga, cuddling with &/ or reading to your kiddos, etc. will.
  • I was allowing myself to fall down the rabbit hole of SOCIAL MEDIA for too many hours. Even though my social media use was often sporadic ~ 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there ~ when I completed my detailed inventory it ended up being a lot of hours over the course of the day and the week! Again, social media is something that can serve us well. For business-owners it’s a must. For others, the social connection is very uplifting. But, when your time spent on social media adds up, when it gives you FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), when it makes you feel bad about yourself because you are comparing your life to the lives of others, or when it is exposing you to the negativity of others, it is NOT serving you well.

What I found for myself, and what my clients find, after doing this exercise, is that there is a lot of time we all waste on things that are not helping to make us happier healthier people!

Use this exercise to help you figure out what you are doing that is NOT contributing to your feeling relaxed and happy.

 

TRY TO DO THIS! NOT THAT!

  • Spend 10 – 15 minutes meditating by cutting 10 – 15 minutes off your social media time.
  • Spend an hour-and-half weekly going to yoga by carpooling for your kids’ soccer, gymnastics, etc. etc.
  • Spend an hour reading (or listening to a good book) by cutting out an hour of TV time.
  • Spend an hour taking a warm, relaxing bath at night by asking your partner to do the dishes and/ or put the kids to bed. Trade off nights with this if need be.

You get the picture! Fill in your own ideas. Once you get going I bet you will find that there are a ton of DO THIS ideas on your list!

 

Go to it Peaceful Living Warriors! Find your inner peace and healthy life by BREAKING BUSY!  I know you can do it! And if you need support in your quest to Break Busy, reach out to me! We can schedule a breakthrough coaching session in which I can support and motivate you! I’m here for you friend.

Love & Light,

Jen

Want more easy, helpful tips on how to break busy? Check out my blog “Are You Addicted to Being Busy?”

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