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Too busy for self-care?

Not long ago, when you asked anyone how they were doing, they used to reply with, “I am fine, thank you.” But nowadays, almost everyone answers, “Busy.”

Seemingly, being busy has become the default state for too many of our lives.

As human beings, we naturally gravitate to being “busy”. The scientific term for this is idleness aversion. The funny thing is psychologists say busier people tend to be happier than people who are idle because we dread being idle.

In today’s world, some of us equate being busy with being productive but the link between both is flimsy at best. It all comes down to priorities. In my opinion, nobody in this world is too busy — you rank or prioritize based on the importance of whatever you’re busy with. Too often, many people struggle to prioritize their interests, which is robbing them of ever experiencing a happy life.

Consider the following scenario: you are very busy. You may be working on a project, preparing for an exam, or managing multiple things at the same time. Suddenly, you feel a tight knot in your chest with rapid heart palpitations and the room feels as though it is spinning. You feel around to grab onto the nearest chair before you pass out. At this point, you realize that you have been ignoring your body for some time now and your “busyness” has caught up with you. Has it been worth it? Obviously not!

Do you see that? Being “too busy” is detrimental to your well-being.

You need to make yourself a top priority all the time!

We often think that we are too busy with our work, but the truth is that we usually spend a lot of time on things that don’t have a high priority. It is important to be aware of our priorities and to give them the time they deserve. If we don’t do this, we will have no energy left for those things that really matter to us.

Many people think that they are too busy to spend time with their family, friends, or do other important things. But it is just a myth because when you are really busy, what you care the most about is your work.

“Take a deep breath. Get present in the moment and ask yourself what is important this very second”

— Gregory McKeown

We are all busy, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. Controversial as it may be, we only have as much time as we want to make for ourselves — nothing is stopping us from carving out some of our time for exercise, meditation, or simply staying healthy by eating right and focusing on what’s important in life.

As a result of globalization and the rapid development of technology, everyone is moving at a really fast pace. The priorities of our daily life have shifted from being about ourselves to being about our work. In consequence, we are always busy with something and usually, it’s work-related. People are living with extreme stress daily. And nearly all adults can agree with me when I say that most of us regularly lie awake at night because of stress. This is a problem. We have become too busy.

Are you “too busy?”

Busy makes you feel important, accomplished, wanted, and maybe even loved and appreciated. On the flip side, “too busy” wears you down and dilutes your efforts. This does not have to be the case. Busyness is not unavoidable. Each of us can take conscious steps to declutter our lives.

Keeping busy is simpler than making a change at first. You have the illusion of control when you are busy and your day is packed with back-to-back engagements and responsibilities. There is no room for the unplanned or unexpected.

Change your mindset and learn to put tasks into the “high-interest” category. The truth is that we have a choice in how we spend our time. With priorities and a plan, you can easily find time for what matters most.

It’s not about how much work you have on your plate but what you prioritize. Whether that’s your work or someone else’s. Strike a balance between what is more important in your life and not taking on too many projects at the same time.

Take Back Your Mornings

It all starts when you wake up in the morning. Before your feet hit the floor, your eyes are either on WhatsApp or Facebook, or they are turned inside for a few seconds of peace and quiet. Begin with 2–3 minutes for yourself and progressively extend your time. Wake up earlier or restructure your morning so that you can finally have 30 minutes or more to develop a meaningful morning routine and start your day the way you want.

With all the busyness and care in the world, make an effort to simply slow down and breathe by doing less. It only takes one step toward simplicity, toward doing less and enjoying more. Trust me, that initial step is really worth it. Perhaps focusing on achieving a dream or connecting with family, or both is that one step. As long as it is not everything at once. You have the opportunity to discover what you truly need, as well as what those around you need, and to establish a stronger sense of community and contribution.

Learn to say “NO!”

Recognize the intrinsic importance of the word “no”. Learning to say “no” to less important commitments frees up your time to pursue what is most important.

I know it is not easy but nothing brings fulfilment as doing more of what you love and less of what you don’t. You could be the most thoughtful, kind, and loving person in the world, but if you’re always on the go, you’re missing out on the tiny moments of love happening in your life every day.

Allow yourself time and space to recognize love, give love, receive love, and be love.

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