How to Stop Hiding in Your Busy
I want you to think about a feeling.
It’s a feeling we all know, yet some of us experience it far too infrequently. You might notice it when you finally lay your head on your cool, clean pillowcase at the end of a long day. Or when you take down your ponytail and shake your hair out, loose and free. Maybe it comes to you in a quiet moment of meal prep, lost in the rhythm of chopping colorful veggies or sautéing fragrant garlic. Or perhaps you find it midway through your run, when your breathing is just right and your every muscle is working in harmony.
It’s the feeling of letting go, and allowing yourself to be utterly in the moment.
(And it feels great…!)
Like many of us, I’m guilty of “hiding in my busy” – camouflaging my real needs with all of the myriad demands of my days. But “busy” can quickly transform from a pleasant bustle to a tightly bound, chaotic trap. The leap from “My calendar is full because people like me and need me!” to “Everyone needs me, and I don’t have any time to care for myself!” is hardly a leap at all. More like a cycle – and one that’s hard to stop.
But when we get caught in this cycle of busy, we go from “human beings” to “human doings.” And we miss everything that really matters: quiet moments with family and friends, peaceful solitude to refresh ourselves, pleasurable activities that recharge us for the next fast-paced busy moment.
And when we don’t stop to smell the roses – literally! – we no longer have our full strength to give to our busy lives.
That’s why I’m taking a stand. I’m looking my busy square in the face and politely – but firmly – telling it that sometimes, I need to come first. Because when I take a moment to release my clenched grip on my crazy schedule, I renew my energy and focus. I remember why I took on all these responsibilities and activities in the first place, and bring new depth and fresh eyes to the task at hand. (Make that TASKS at hand…!)
So, I’m challenging you to do the same. When you find yourself staring blankly at your packed calendar, or startled by that reminder popping up on your phone, or saying “yes” to yet another event or meeting or lunch date, take a second to step back. And give yourself the permission to say no to anything that is not a full-blown YES. And while you’re at it, give yourself permission to let go of repetitive thoughts (like what happened in the past or what might occur in the future) and hold on to the here and now for dear life!
Look for those small opportunities of release throughout your day – and honor them by giving them the time that they deserve. Whether you slip away from your phone for 10 minutes of sunshine (and a homemade popsicle) or get up 10 minutes earlier to stretch in the quiet morning hours before anyone else is awake, finding time for yourself gives you the ultimate gift: more of yourself.
And you can bring that gift – along with the relaxing feeling of unclenching your jaw, dropping your shoulders, and filling your lungs with a sweet, deep breath – with you throughout the day EVERY DAY, no matter how busy life gets.
Now It’s Your Turn: What’s your favorite way to slowly let go? Let’s inspire one another to let our hair down, take a few deep breaths, savor the moment, and just be in the comments.