I can be one of those strange masochists; when my schedule is super on the go, jam-packed and busy, I derive a certain satisfaction from it. I feel fulfilled. I feel productive. I strive off that type of intensity.
I think in a certain way, especially in today’s age, most people enjoy this consistent go-go-go. It’s the reason those that run after success do and it’s also perhaps the reason social media takes such a large role in our lives – it’s never ending, like your schedule.
As much as being busy and productive makes me feel alive and good about myself, it can also be an aid to stuffing or ignoring emotions or situations I don’t want to face. It can feel like I am just running and burying myself in work to see nothing other than my creation and what I am slowly building away at.
When that happens, productivity can become dangerous. A burn out, a breakdown or even just a momentary lapse in happiness can be the cause of an over productive life.
I know my trigger warnings. When I start waking up in the middle of the night multiple times, I know that there is too much on my to-do list and therefore on my mind. At that point, I know that I need to slow it down – or at least have consistent moments throughout the day where I pause.
Meditation is said to be great for this, as I am sure you have all heard, but meditation and I have had a rocky relationship. It’s hard for me to meditate. I have never felt those amazing perks – as I am sure I have not meditated consistently enough to even approach them. Each time I have sat down to meditate, it is either painful or I just want to fall asleep. Most of the times, honestly, I am falling asleep and I am unsure of whether or not that hits the mark of meditating. So while one day I hope to get there, meditation is currently not a tool in my tool box I use to balance a go-go-go schedule.
Tools I do employ (that can help you too) include:
- Lavender Essential Oils: Before I go to bed, I like to hold a bottle of lavender oil up to my nose and take a few deep breaths. Then I rub some lavender on my upper lip and outer nose to make sure I continue breathing the scent in. This helps calm me down significantly.
- Eating Dinner With My Fiancé: Taking some time out of the day to have a meal with a loved one significantly helps you slow down from your schedule and enjoy the company of a friend, significant other or family member. Eating dinner with my fiancé Adam always helps me stay grounded and rooted in the foundational things: family and love. Nothing else grabs me out of my work like dinner with Adam does.
- Working Out: I was never naturally athletic and abhorred the gym when I was younger but when I have a busy schedule, just 30 minutes to an hour of power walking and listening to music can be a life saver. It wipes my mind of my daily life and puts all that energy into my power walk. I also listen to fun, uplifting music that makes me want to dance to further lift my mood. Working out also helps with my sleep, so the benefits come full circle.
- Journaling: When in doubt, journal. If I am too busy, taking just fifteen minutes to sit down with a pen and paper (not on your computer) and physically free write is extremely therapeutic. It also keeps you highly grounded to yourself in a time of stress or a busy schedule.
- Express Gratitude: My favorite tool of all tools. Expressing gratitude works like magic. In the midst of a stressful schedule, write down five things that you are grateful everyday and really feel those five things. It’s a guaranteed mood changer and will help you remain positive as you tackle your day, week, month or even year.
We all have a busy schedule these days – that is kind of the fun of it, right?
For those that thrive off their work and staying busy, slowing down is just as important to maintain longevity with your goals.
How do you unwind?
Photo by Arielle Levy
Dress from BC The Label
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