Dear Cherished Friends,
I've been vacationing in Mexico for the last 10 days and it has been wonderful! Our first stop was Merida for one week and now we are in Tulum for five days. One thing is certain; the culture in Mexico is VERY different from the culture in the U.S.
A slower pace is the most prominent difference.
Comparing the hectic lifestyle of Americans to the different culture and pace of living is an eye-opening experience and one that I'm reminded of every time I've visited Mexico since 2006. The slower pace is also one of the reasons I intend on moving to Mexico sooner rather than later.
People are becoming busier and busier, it seems. Longer hours at work, more activities and added distractions contribute to being less connected to each other.
Why do we feel the need to be busy? Does it make us feel more important? Does it help us be more productive? When we aren't busy, does it affect us negatively?
I had a constant need to be busy when I was younger. I told myself being busy helped me stay on track with both personal and professional goals. I reminded myself that if I wasn't busy, I wasn't reaching my potential. I was continuously searching for items to add to my to-do list because being busy helped me feel better (or so I thought).
On the rare occasion that I allowed myself time off, I would feel guilty. Then I would feel guilty for feeling guilty. Vacations had the same effect. I rarely took a vacation but, when I did, I would do so much that I would be exhausted once I returned home. I needed a few days of rest from my vacation before returning back to work. I needed a vacation from my vacation.
Here's why being busy isn't a good thing:
#1 - Being Busy Doesn't Allow Us Critical Time We Need to Rest & Relax
There will ALWAYS be things to do: cooking, shopping, working, spending time with loved ones and the list goes on. Life does not stop and it is up to us to make the choice to take time for ourselves to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
We have become drained physically, mentally and emotionally from our busy lives. Giving ourselves permission to take breaks is important AND necessary. Self-care needs to be at the top of our priority list.
#2 - Being Busy Creates Unnecessary Distractions
We tend to miss things by being so busy. We miss connecting with people. We miss simple pleasures in life. Sometimes being busy is used as an avoidance technique to distract ourselves from processing emotions.
Being busy is also used as a way to avoid people or feelings or even when making decisions. The downside of this creates unhealthy boundaries.
#3 - Being Busy Can Be Dangerous to Your Health
Busy-ness can cause stress and can contribute to ignoring health issues. Have you ever had a pain or an injury that you didn't take care of immediately because you were too busy to go to the doctor? I'm pretty sure we're ALL guilty of that!
Working longer hours or when we are exhausted also leads to increased risk of injury, illness, hypertension, stress, depression and other health risks.
#4 - Being Busy Disconnects Us From Others
When your kids were growing up, did you ever tell them that you didn't have time to throw the ball or play dolls with them because you were too busy? Or tell a parent or grandparent that you couldn't see them because you didn't have time and that you would see them "next time"?
I learned the importance of making time to see the people I loved when I was just out of college. My great-grandmother became very ill. I would always make time to see her when I was in town. One particularly busy time of my life, I almost left before seeing her. I gave it a second thought and decided seeing her was more important that beating the traffic back to Austin. This was the last time I would be able to see her before she passed away. That experience helped me realize that the most important thing is to take advantage of the time we have at this very moment.
#5 - Being Busy is Mentally Draining - Literally
Busy-ness drains our energy both physically and mentally. The majority of my clients report sleeplessness or feeling unrested when they wake up. I believe the main culprit is our need to be constantly busy.
We have taught our brains to continually process information. Our conscious brain might be "trying" to sleep while our subconscious brain is still running in the background. We try sleep techniques and even meditation however we are unable to quiet our "monkey mind". Then we get frustrated when we can't meditate or sleep. It's a never ending cycle.
I hope you will take some time BEing instead of spending all your time DOing.
I'm excited to announce I've been selected to lead a workshop entitled, "The Heart of the Matter: Successful Dating from Midlife and Beyond" at the Take Flight Summit on October 19th from 3:00 to 4:15.
The summit is open to the public and you can click on the link above for more information. I will also be present both Saturday and Sunday in the vendor area selling and autographing my book Better for Being Broken. Please stop by and say hello!
Here's to being less BUSY, Amy
Wake up in the morning and feel anything is possible!
Living a life full of light, joy and inspiration is possible,
let’s start here ➡️ Calendly.com/AmyJones