Have you noticed when you ask people how they are, they often reply “busy”? Some are a bit more forthcoming and are “soooo busy” or “ridiculously busy”.
Busy seems like a badge of honour, something to be proud of. Busy can help people feel important and to the outside world give the perception of achieving lots of good, important work.
The fabulous Brené Brown covers this in her book, Daring Greatly. She says “one of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy. I often say that when they start having 12 step meetings for busyaholics, they’ll need to rent out football stadiums. We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.”
Mmm, interesting isn’t it?
Life these days is busy, we all know that, but being continuously busy can bring overwhelm, frustration, anger, denial and eventually burnout.
As a Life Coach, I support people to help them find the things they want to do, the jobs they want to have, the person they want to be and to conquer the goals they want to achieve. And I encourage those people to get out, get started and to do those things, in order to make the changes they want to make. Which in turn gives them the life that they want to live.
That can be a lot of ‘doing’.
However, I would like to add that sometimes I also say and I would like to encourage you to realise, that every waking moment of your life does not need to be filled with intent, purpose, added value, success, opportunity or reward – all those things that we believe create happy lives.
Don’t get me wrong, they are all part of the bigger picture of having balanced, happy lives but there is another thing that we seem to have forgotten.
I wonder if we have simply forgotten how to just ‘be’.
We have forgotten that sometimes we can just do nothing for a while. Maybe daydream, maybe sit and look out of the window without feeling that you have to fit something else in. We can sit by ourselves or spend time doing nothing with other people.
When we sit around doing nothing, the majority of us feel guilty. We feel lazy and unproductive because we have been conditioned to use every spare minute of our time to be productive, to organise or sort things out or to check our phones and social media.
There is a lovely letter that Richard Branson wrote about just being, that was published in Mind’s book ‘Dear Stranger, letters on the subject of happiness.’ He said we are called human beings not human doings for a reason and I quite like that. If you want to read the whole article, click here.
The truth is doing nothing for even 5 minutes a day is good for your health. Even the busiest of people can find that amount of time to help reboot their mind. Like a mini-meditation.
So, this Bank Holiday Weekend, I would like you to take some time for yourself. No phone, no TV and if you have to get away from the kids, lock yourself in the bathroom. Sit for a few minutes, breathe normally, maybe close your eyes and just be.
Once you start doing this and realising that it does help, it will feel easier and more natural to do. Maybe some days you will have more than 5 minutes. Oh, and the guilt about not doing anything will subside.
It could do more for your crazy busy life than you realise.