As I sat in the Garden earlier having a cuddle with River on my lap enjoying the sun there was a battle going on in my head. I could see laundry that needs ironing, the grass that could do with a cut and that’s just from my patio chair. If I dare to think about the business, then the should and musts come rushing through my head and I have to work hard to stay in my chair and not rush off to do some marketing.
With growing numbers of cases of mental health have we become a nation that feeds on stress and anxiety, which can often lead to depression? The world would have us think that nobody is achieving anything. I am bombarded on my twitter feed with tips on how to do this, how to do that. Often there is an assumption that we are struggling and we maybe, but its not always with inactivity. It’s easy to get sucked into the feeling you are not doing enough, when you are surrounded by busy bees even when you’re really motivated.
With social media we now know what everybody is doing and I wonder does it leave us measuring ourselves up to other people and coming up short. Oh hell, I have not written a book yet, yes you can call me lazy but I am not writing one well not yet and I am ignoring the urge to keep up with those writers. I am hyperactive, a goal setter and highly motivated but my problem isn’t getting started its stopping that is difficult for me, I have to work really hard at applying the breaks.
I have just signed a new contract so theres more work coming in, so for now I can just sit and do nothing for an hour and the world won’t fall apart, so why do I find it so hard?
I think it’s how I was raised as a child, I can hear the words “you must be productive, don’t waste time, hurry up we have not got all day”. Playing and fun was frivolous you just worked worked worked. There was a house to clean, when I didn’t know what to do I would clean. its my default setting. This programming was put in when I was very small and its hard to override. It leaves with a strong work ethic but I can be guilty of putting the chores in front of the fun stuff and even creating them so I don’t have to do the fun stuff. Crazy I know but its true at times.
When River wants a sit on my lap I oblige and we watch the birds, the clouds and I have to work really hard to shut off the voice saying “lazy time waster, you should be doing something”. I do envy those people who are really good at daydreaming and wasting time I am getting better but it’s a constant battle.
I think many of us overwork because we are programmed to or because we don’t feel good enough and are still trying to prove something or be accepted. If we can feel good enough and if we accept ourselves, we are half way there. If we are over working to avoid some painful truths then there is more work to do but thats another blog for another day.
We over work to compete in this competitive world and society also tells us we are supposed to be busy and that being busy is a good thing, but it is it? I am not so sure.
I ignofred the pull to do anything today and I just sat and enjoyed the warm sun on my face and the dog in my lap, we watched the birds and squirrels. I remind myself to practice what I preach and take the time to just sit and be. I have also added a new rule that says don’t waste the sun or the chance to give River cuddles!
Therapy is a good space to explore some of our not so health habits so we can work on updating that rule book for a better quality of life that’s not so driven by the should must and ought to language, that can leave us with all work and no play.
I am hear if you need some help to be less busy, or if you need help being more busy because I really think the balance has to be right for us to stay happy and healthy.
I invite you to resist the urge to stay busy just for the sake of it. Learn to take it a bit slower and remember a good pace you can sustain is better than a sprint that leaves you breathless, but likewise if you never start you never finish anything either.
If your busy avoiding stuff then thats gets pretty exhausting at some point too.
Balance my good friends is what we aim to achieve.
I am happy to confess I have stopped re folding the towel cupboard now and finding things to be busy with and have embraced the idea of fun, hobbies and a bit of day dreaming.
From this not so busy bee I bid you farewell my friends.