I have been noticing a trend lately which is that time is flying by faster than ever. I don’t have any explanation for this; it is just a personal observation, are we just too busy to appreciate the day, or is the world truly spinning faster? What does this really mean and why is this important to uncover? I don’t know about you, but I want to breathe – I mean truly take time and breathe, without feeling any pressure to do this or that, and just enjoy the day. It seems that we are so immersed in busyness that we aren’t taking time to rest, relax, and refresh. This is a critical part of any day which allows us to face the next one.
The negative effects of being too busy are staggering, with numbers in the billions as far as health costs, including mental health, as well as the costs to organizations resulting from lost productivity and absenteeism. When is it going to stop – or can it?
I believe it can and it all starts with you – this is an individual effort. While we all have demands placed on us which come from our jobs, our families and friends, and trying to balance these with our personal needs, which really need to come first. If you’re not good to you, you’re not good for others.
Here are some steps you can begin to implement today, which are easy and cost-free:
- Breathe – how simple is this step? Breathing helps to open the red blood cells in the body so your stress chemical, Cortisol, can go throughout the body and relax you. Just this simple act can help to calm the body, refocus the mind and even help you sleep.
- Release – when you keep all kinds of fear and overwhelm inside, it leads to feeling more helpless and worried – what about that presentation, how will I pay that bill, is my child safe and happy; everyday worries can lead to bigger worries so releasing them keeps them out of your head so you won’t focus on them any longer. Easy ways to do this: speak about them out load (to yourself or another), write about them, such as through journaling , or pray/meditate on them.
- Plan – in the busyness of the day, it often seems that everything needs to be done now which only leads to more stressful feelings. Time seems to be in a blur as to how all will get done. So one of the best ways is to plan by writing down what is on your plate and attaching start and end dates to complete them. Use a calendar on your wall, computer or phone; set a timer as a reminder. This is also an accountability system to do what you say you’re going to do.
- Let go – there are times, which I have found, that we need to just close up the computer, turn off the TV, and enjoy the time you have. Sitting in the silence helps us to go internal and ‘hear’ what we’re being led to do. Or, it might be that you sit back and enjoy outings with the family, go off to to the gym or other hobbies you enjoy, or clean and purge in you house or office. Some of the busyness involves the need to control so letting go of this need will relax you more and allow time to evolve as it should.
- Be grateful – this very act alone will change the way you think and view the world. We always know everything we don’t have, which can lead us down the slippy-slope to victim-hood; changing your outlook and appreciating every little thing you do have, which includes your achievements and differences you are making, alters the happy chemicals in the brain so now you will think and feel better.
Time may be flying by but it is of your own making. Take time, starting today, to slow down, appreciate what you have, practice self-care, and take back the control of your time. Your life will improve overall if you continue on.