Lifestyle We Wear Busyness Like a Badge of Honour

We wear busyness like a badge of honour. The term “burnout” is now a phrase we apply to far too many people. 

The common response to the question, “ How are you today?” has now become, ”I am keeping busy,” or just “busy…” or “ tired.”

Yet if someone were to respond with “ I am so rested and content with my life…” we may wonder what on earth is wrong with him/her? We may also be secretly jealous and avoid that person and their smiling ways for a while. 

Rest is defined as “ to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” 

In a world that prioritizes efficiency and results, we have failed in helping one another understand the importance of rest, time, patience, and discipline. 

We want results and we want them now; we want immediate feedback. We want more and we want it all. 

A dear friend once said to me:

“ Let me take that appointment for you so that you don’t have to rush. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to rush.” 

Wow! That has really stuck with me. We pride ourselves on constantly doing something. Now we see a new generation of young people coming up who CONSTANTLY feel the need to be doing something. Scrolling, texting, looking, messaging. No wonder the rise of mental health problems continues to grow. No one gets a break. We are constantly available. We are constantly “turned on” to the world and everything that is happening. News is instant. Feedback is constant. 

We survive on little sleep and a lot of screen time. 

What would happen if you tried an experiment? What if for 30 days you said no and were a little more picky about saying yes to things? 

What if you turned your phone to DO NOT DISTURB mode by 8 pm and left it for the rest of the evening to unwind or talk to a human face to face? Do not touch the device again until the morning.

What if you took a day to rest and not work?  What if you took a water break to leave your desk or what if you simply took that actual lunch break and did not work through it? 

Do you know how to rest?

I don’t mean binge-watching screens or just taking a week-long vacation.

How does your body recharge and unwind on a daily and weekly basis? What makes you smile, laugh and feel content?

This is a hard question for many. We are so exhausted all the time that rest often looks like “ crashing” and binging” which rarely restores anything. 

When it comes to putting more rest and recovery into one’s life it requires a great deal of decision making. It means saying no to things (even when you think you can). 

It requires you to stop working. 

It requires you to get outside, read a book, take a bath or shower, talk to humans and to do something that you enjoy.  

What happened to having hobbies?

Hobbies are not just for retirement, they are things we are to do in our normal lives that are a change of pace, a change of scenery, and a change of focus. 

So often as humans, we keep ourselves so busy, thinking that it will make us smarter, more successful, and more effective with more opportunities. This can be true for ourselves and for our kids. We hustle to make our future better but at what cost? We miss living now. 

Have we forgotten the value of rest and boredom? Do you remember that creativity, memories and surprises can come from being available and spontaneous? 

How often are the best things a result of the unplanned? 

Do you leave time in your schedule for margin? For the ability to rest, unplug and refresh. 

We keep ourselves so busy and then talk about burnout like it is something that just happens. 

Dear friends, we are not machines. Our bodies require recovery and rest. And if you continue to live in a manner that pushes that limit, you will eventually break. You will then be forced to take a break, not on your own terms but medically.  If you think taking a break is a waste of time, just wait until you cannot do the things you want to because you are now physically unable.

One of the largest stressors to our health may very well be the lack of rest and recovery. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We push the limits thinking that a pill or a caffeine drink can push us through- but is that really even living? 

So if this resonates with you, now what? 

What can you do today and this week in order to make rest a priority? 

Start small. Look at your day. What are the top priorities that need to be done (not that you want to be done) We often think that “must happen things,” must happen- when they can actually wait or be delegated out. 

What areas do you need to ask for help? 

What activities or events do you need to say no to or back out of? 

Perhaps some reflection needs to happen to better plan for the months to come. 

Prioritizing sleep requires us to unplug and go to bed. This is easier said than done. 

Unless you start thinking that things can change instead of “ this is the way it is”…. You will stay stuck in the cycle of burnout. 

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. 
Just because we want to, doesn’t mean we have to. 
Just because they ask, doesn’t mean you need to say yes. 

Funny how we think that by doing more we are more productive. And yet, when our bodies and brains have appropriate rest, people are often more productive and efficient. 

We are so obsessed with DOING that we forget about just BEING human.  

Watson Wellness


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