Busyness is overrated! Stop the glorification of busy!
“You can’t pour from an empty cup”
I posted this on my FB page recently as a reminder that we all need to attend to our own energy reserves regularly. In my psychotherapy practice I work with many clients who are so busy taking care of others that they totally ignore their own need to be restored. In fact, most of us do not even recognize when we are not practicing good self care.
There is a uniquely American habit of adoring busyness. We believe that busyness is our natural state and there is no option. This seems to be the standard conversation; how busy we are, how little time we have, and how much work we do.
Talking with each other we frequently say things like…
“The week flew by... I was so busy I fell into bed each night”.
“Yes… work, work work...I couldn’t tell you what’s happening in the world”.
“I’d love to get together but I am so busy…”
“I understand, swamped here too…”
“I just can’t catch a break…”
“Let’s try to put something on the calendar in a month or two...”
BUSYNESS is overrated! Stop the glorification of busy!
We are truly a nation of habitual over-doers. We have accepted that this state of busyness is normal.
So here’s the inside side scoop, it’s neither normal nor healthy. Over-doing is not what is best for our mind, body or spirit. Sure we can continue this pace for quite a while but eventually something gives. The accumulation of stress is subtle. We are capable of carrying it for long periods of time until we can’t carry any more. Imagine your body as a storage vessel capable of holding vast amounts of stress and energy. Each day your accumulated stress fills in another little space or corner with sludge, losing more of the room available to store energy. It’s OK, you’re doing fine, you still have energy left and you go about the business of life until the day that the stored sludge (stress) outweighs your energy reserves. Then what…?
Warning Signs of an Imbalance
1. Frequent illnesses
2. Poor sleep
4. Low mood
6. Eating too much or not enough
7. Increased drinking/drug use
9. Overuse of caffeine or sugar to boost your energy.
I realize many of you may be experiencing these symptoms and do not identify these as warning signs, but you should. Maybe it feels like self care is selfish and indulgent. But this isn’t the case, grasshopper. If you want to continue to care for others, take care of your responsibilities and be a good “giver’’ then it’s essential that you care for yourself 1st. Remember “You can’t pour from an empty cup”.
I see you over there rolling your eyes, I hear the “yes...buts” coming though… stick with me here for one minute. What if I told you there were simple and effective self care strategies you could implement that would only take a few minutes a day, and didn’t require a purchase or leaving your house?
You’re still here!! Great!! You can do this and I can help.
First, put yourself on your list of things to do. Not the last thing on the list. You are first.
Start by setting aside 1 minute a day to meditate. (Yes, meditation again.)
One minute, I’m not joking, ONE MINUTE. When you have got the hang of one minute you can work up to two, three, then 5 and maybe even 10. Research has shown that there are significant changes in your brain with as little as 5 minutes of meditation a day. Meditation fills your cup and is a perfect de-stresser. Giving yourself a few minutes each day to restore your internal balance will improve your day to day functioning.
Try this. Set a timer for one minute.
Close your eyes. (Just this simple disengagement from the outside world begins to calm your over active nervous system.)
Take 3 conscious breaths. (Breathe in… breathe out. Notice the breath. Is it short and shallow or long and smooth? Just notice.)
Take 3 more breaths where you extend the exhale for longer than the inhale. (The longer out breaths trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to disengage from the stress response.)
Repeat silently an internal chant of I am well. Continue until the timer rings. (Sending yourself a healing message begins to shift your inner dialogue.)
Slowly open your eyes, notice how your feel and go about your day.
Easy breezy right? See!! You can do this. Make a commitment to do this daily. First thing in the morning is perfect but anytime will work.
You are taking the first steps to filling your cup. One minute, one drop at a time. Your mind and body will thank you. Through this practice one day you will notice…my cup runneth over.
Sending Peace and Love,
#Busyness is overrated #stopthe glorificatiofbusy