Off-late I’ve been talking to a lot of people and when asked what do they do on their weekend or free time, the answer is usually like there is no free time or it was a crazy weekend, had to do the household chores, take care of the kid, meet up with friends, work on that presentation and so on..
I have hardly come across someone saying, my weekend was relaxing, I finished that novel I wanted to read, watched that movie with family, spoke to that friend for hours, was at home painting, or was working on my song or as simple as was all by myself with my thoughts.
How many times has each one of us felt tired and not just physically but also mentally? With the monotony of life, of those non-stop worries, the pile of responsibilities to fulfill because of all that is expected of us in our job or back at home or by our friends. And sometimes we even burden ourselves with unrealistic expectations.
We wake up, prepare breakfast/lunch, see off our kid to school, rush to office, spend close to 9-10 hours a day working. We come home, we worry about the kid, their homework. We cook, we put kids to sleep, might work on a few mails, plan tomorrow’s day, and doze off.
And the cycle continues.
But when did being busy become something to be proud of? I feel people today, revel in the idea of being busy. Maybe it makes us feel more worthy if we barely have time to eat or sleep. It makes us anxious to see our calendars empty. And even if somedays we’re not busy social media is there for the rescue , isn’t it?
Is being busy and prodcutivity directly propotional? Does having a busy calendar necessarily mean a well-planned schedule? Does being in a hurry, give us an insight on where we’re headed to?
We have forgotten in this mad rat race that the reason we started working was to able to take care of ourselves and our families, to be satisfied and happy, to be able to do what we love. And instead, the work and responsibilities have now been prioritized over living. What happened to the long talks and discussions we once used to have, what happened to the bedtime stories to our kids? That’s taking care too!!
All these responsibilities have become our goals now. And if anyone of these is not fulfilled, it is followed by the retrospection of how we’ve failed our family and ourselves even after doing our very best day in and day out. This in turn causes physical and mental stress. And Stress is one of the biggest health enemies nowadays causing all the major health issues like heart problems, obesity, diabetes, headaches, depression, & accelerated aging too.
All these are the signs and signals our body is giving us to Just stop, Breath & Relax. To slow it down a notch. Sometimes slowing down is a power move. Pace is a proof of maturity.
When was the last time that you took to your hobby, felt relaxed or woke up all fresh and excited for the day?
When was it last that you felt content after a day feeling yes today was a productive day, I learned something, I did something for myself?
When did you last sit down with your thoughts and not worries?
While you reflect over those, I’d like to talk about why it is important to un-busy. To having fewer things on your plate. Often when we’re caught up in a constant rush of doing, we’re not giving ourselves time to rest, connect, and contemplate. When we’re in a rush, we can be less thoughtful and empathetic. And while we are chasing onto our next goal , we forget to cherish what we have already accomplished.
The first benefits of being not so busy will be better sleep than just dozing-off, which leads to better immunity and clearer thinking. And when our mind is stable with one thing to do at a time, we become more present at the moment, we allow it to focus on what truly matters. The goals that need more attention, the people that are worthy, and the hobbies/activities that interest us and calm us.
How to achieve the above? Most important is the realization that we need to slow down, some discipline, planning and saying “NO” to what’s not important:
- Instead of trying to finish up everything, set priorities, just focus on the top 3 daily.
- Set a bigger life goal like something you want to learn and invest time in those completely. Or even better spend some time on your hobby daily, that will soothe you for sure.
- Plan your day in a way that above is taken care of and voila you are left with time for your family.
- Learn to say NO to things that you feel will overburden you.
- Give yourself compassion. Be easy on yourself. Don’t push yourself to a point where you can’t take it anymore.
- Get into a healthy routine of exercise for both body and mind like yoga & meditation.
Done for 21 days at a stretch it becomes a HABIT and when done for 90 days it becomes part of your LIFESTYLE. Cultivate this habit of being unbusy and feel that difference in the energy and mind. Sounds good right?
It’s all about what lifestyle you chose that will make a bigger difference.
Well, I am not saying in any way to not be ambitious. To achieve something in life one has to make certain sacrifices and do the hard work but at the cost of what is the question. It sure does not have to be our peace or our relations.
Let’s adopt the swedish culture of Fika which means “To have a moment to slow down and appreciate little things in life.”
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