Stop the glorification of busy

November 23, 2017
busy, time, rushed, stressed

This post is specifically for those of us going through difficult times.  You don’t have to be super human.  You don’t have to be mega productive.  You don’t have to keep up social expectations, and most importantly, you don’t have to keep busy!  I’m here to tell you to be kind to yourself, go easy on yourself, lighten your load, and rest when you can.

At the moment life is quite sad and stressful for me (and my family).  I am trying my best to remain positive and strong, because I need to for me and for others.  I don’t want to say much but if you follow me on Instagram or on the WOTM Facebook page you would have seen a couple of references to the fact my 87 year old Dad is very unwell and he, and my family, are pretty much the entire focus and priority in my life right now.

One thing to come from this I guess is my observations of myself and how I am managing to cope.  It has been an eye opener.  I have bad days and good days but on the whole, so far I am doing better than I thought I would (so far!).  It comes back to being in tune with your mind, body and spirit and recognising what you need to do in order to keep yourself well and able to carry on.  It comes back to SELF INVESTMENT AND SELF CARE.  Yes, you have to look after yourself in order to be any good to others.  Remember, self-care is about self-preservation, not selfishness.

For the first time ever, I’m going to disagree with a quote I’ve come across.  This one by Lee Iococca:

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.

busy, time, rushed, stressed

What I particularly disagree with is the reference to ‘keep busy’.  Yes try and keep positive but do not wear yourself out thinking you have to keep busy in order to not feel or in order to appear strong or in order to be worthy or to impress others.  In complete contrast, I recently came across this:

busy, stop the glorification of busy, quote

… and I couldn’t agree more.  We don’t need to use our busy-ness as a measure of our worthiness.  During times of great stress in particular we need the opposite of busy.  We need to rest and we need to restore.  Ever heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”? 

Everyone is different and needs different things in order to manage/cope with difficult times.  I thought though that it might be helpful to share a little of what I’ve done during the last few weeks, in order to help myself:

stress, self care, mind, body, spirit

The RESTorative yoga class with Live Sound Healing Meditation that I went to on Sunday with a girlfriend was fabulous and such perfect timing.  Have you heard the sound that comes from those antique Tibetan Singing Bowls?  The sounds are beautiful!  It was the most wonderful, relaxing afternoon and very much needed and appreciated.  For anyone interested in the details, the session was with Sandy Cuneo Yoga and the antique Tibetan Singing Bowls were played by Dan Turner of Unity of Sound.

singing bowls, tibetan, yoga, healing, sound healing

Photo taken at the RESTorative yoga class with Live Sound Healing Meditation that I attended with a friend

There’s a lot more I could write about the glorification of busy and how “being busy is the disease of our time” but that is for another time and another post.  This post is specifically in relation to during times of great stress.  However, here’s something to ponder till I write more on this subject:

The ‘disease of being busy’ has become destructive to our health and well-being on every level.  It stops you from being present with yourself and with your family and friends.  It stops you from listening to yourself and looking after yourself.  The ‘disease of being busy’ these days involves almost always being ‘switched on’ but not really connected.  This is not how we, as humans, are designed to live. 

Next time your life gets a bit stressful or a lot stressful, please don’t think you need to keep busy.  Listen to yourself.  Tune in to yourself.  Look after yourself.  REST!

Ciao for now,

Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:

Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit
Lyndall of Seize the Day Project
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age
of Debbish
and Jo of And Anyways

It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.


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  • Reply Jo Tracey November 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Self care, time out & exercise is certainly important, but the whole keep busy at times of stress thing misses one big point – I think it’s more about keeping practically busy, i.e. doing things that mean something that will give you an outcome when everything seems to be pure chaos. It’s not busy for busy sake – which is where the ego & glorification of busy comes in – but a completely different kind of busy. It’s those ticks in the box – no matter how small the tick & how small the box – that sometimes remind you that not everything is spinning out of control…most things, but not everything. xxx

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Totally agree with what you’re saying here Jo. With things as they are for me right now, life is busy. I spend a lot of time at the hospital and driving to and from it. Outside of these times, I’m exhausted from the emotional roller coaster we’re all on right now, so that is where the rest and being kind to myself comes in … to help me keep going and to cope. xo

  • Reply Ingrid November 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Having a seriously unwell parent is so difficult! I’m glad it sounds like you are taking time to look after yourself as well at this stressful time for you and your family!


    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Ingrid. I’m trying. xo

  • Reply Vanessa November 23, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Last year for me it was learning to drop things. Busy happens to us at times, and sometimes it’s genuine (not self inflicted) and we have to ride it out in whatever way works for us. I hope you dad is getting the care he needs and that you and your family are getting quality time with him xox

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you! Busy sure does happen and is unavoidable at times. Whichever way it comes it’s good to keep tuned in to yourself so you know what you need in order to balance out the busy or reduce the busy or whatever you need to feel well and ok. xo

  • Reply Jo Castro November 23, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I so agree Min, but we push ourselves so hard most of the time and who knows for why really? Taking time out, letting things slip a little, not sweating the small stuff – all important in today’s world where expectations can be unreasonably high.

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Sometimes it seems that in today’s world you are more highly regarded the busier you are. Some people thrive on being busy but regardless, all people need to take the time to tune in to what they need to feel balanced and fulfilled and not overly stressed. You’re right Jo, today’s world can tend to have unreasonably high expectations.

  • Reply Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama November 23, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Very wise words indeed Min. I am struggling a little this week, with motivation and energy. It’s been super busy at work (which is great – more income) but I’m looking forward (and desperately needing) the quiet time I will have on my 3 week Christmas break!

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      It’s that time of year Janet … time to wind down and take a break. I have a 2 week holiday coming up in February at the beach. I really need it. Stil months to wait though! Your 3 week Christmas break will do wonders for you! x

  • Reply Jan Wild November 23, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I totally agree with you Min, that suggestion to keep busy seems to suggest that separating ourselves from our feelings is a good thing, which of course is wrong. We need to allow ourselves the time and space to sit with our feelings and acknowledge them (and cry if we feel the need). It is a great time of the year to remember to take time out. I feel for you as you go through this challenging time and wish you, your Dad and your family the best possible journey.

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Yes Jan my thoughts too – we need to allow ourselves the space and time to feel our feelings. It’s a tough time for us all at the moment – a rollercoaster ride of emotions and so close to Christmas. Thank you for your kind words. xo

  • Reply Kathy Marris November 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Yes I truly believe for the moment you do need to take care of yourself and not worry too much about the small things. I had major dental surgery on Monday, so have been unable to do a lot of thing this week, including exercise, housework, shopping or cooking. I have just had to rest so that my mouth can recover and the swelling on my face to dissipate. I’ve only been doing the things that aren’t strenuous and having an afternoon nap each day. I think you should be doing the same and it does sound like you’re on the right track. Take care xx #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Oh Kathy, I didn’t know about your dental surgery. I hope you’re healing and doing ok. I’m glad you’re taking it easy. I pretty much need to do the same right now. When I’m not at the hospital I’m at home catching up on jobs around here or taking it easy in whatever way I need to. xo

  • Reply JODIE FILOGOMO November 23, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    I’ve finally learned to give myself grace, and not expect everything to get done. Of course, that usually means that the house is a mess and dinner is not planned. But figuring out priorities makes it workable!!

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Good to hear Jodie. We don’t have to be superhero’s. Noone is going to notice and noone is going to thank us! xo

  • Reply Deborah November 23, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    My closest friends know that I need alone-time and are very conscious of that, which I think is wonderful. It means they know me not wanting to do something isn’t usually about them… but rather it’s to preserve my own mental health and stop me getting angsty with them and others around.

    I’m still not always good at saying no, but think I’m improving.

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I need oodles of alone time too Deb. It’s the introvert in me. I have got a lot better at saying no but I struggle with saying no to things I really would like to say yes to but know that I just can’t do them or go to them etc.

  • Reply sue from sizzlingtowardssixty & beyond November 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Min, I totally agree with you that busyness is sometimes worn as a badge of honour. I used to be like that and felt a failure if I stopped and ‘said I need a break’ when times were difficult. We have always been taught to ‘soldier on’, ‘stiff upper lip’. However, as I chose my word for the in 2016 ‘Balance’ and then ‘Simplify’ in 2017, I have learned that it is okay to take step back and just have some quiet time. The yoga class sounds wonderful and just what you need. Take care and my thoughts are with you and your Dad at this time xxx

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      I used to fall for the “busyness” trap too Sue. I worked full time, had kids at three different schools, was on various school committees, went to bootcamp on Saturdays, attended Pilates on Monday nights, ran the house (washing, cleaning, cooking, garden etc), attended school functions and committee meetings and working bees and helped with the performing arts events at my daughters school and much, much more. Ultimately it all led to a crash and burn and new found appreciation for self care and taking much better care of myself. Thanks for your kind words. xo

  • Reply Jenni | Unclutter Your Universe November 23, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I’m with you Min, I hate this constant push push to be busy all of the time. It’s something that I’ve been noticing more and more and decided to write about the topic and posted it to my blog last week and the link up this week. Being super busy all of the time is usually when we are at our least productive. We are much better to stop take a breather and then come back to it, if it is one of your priorities. Selfish or not, I don’t care anymore. I’ve finally learnt that If i’m going to keep afloat, I need to make time for me.

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Totally agreee Jenni. I don’t believe that constant busyness is good for me. I like to be productive but I like to feel well too, so good balance is key for me. xo

  • Reply Leanne | November 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I’m so sorry about what you and your family are going through Min and I hope your Dad is doing better than expected. I totally agree with you that it’s important to keep yourself mentally, emotionally and physically strong and “together” because you can’t help others if you aren’t coming from a place of strength yourself. Keep being kind to yourself and taking time where you need it until you get through this difficult season. xx

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      It’s up and down with Dad Leanne. We don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. It’s a roller coaster of emotions and incredibly consuming and draining and stressful. Hence, my need to rest and restore when I can. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. xo

  • Reply Suger November 23, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I’m sorry your Dad has been so unwell. Moments like these absolutely show us what really matters. I appreciate you sharing the ways which you have pared back and ‘helped yourself’. It’s a reminder for me and many others too, I’m sure. x

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Thanks so much! xo

  • Reply Natalie November 24, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Go at your own pace and take care of yourself, Min. I usually ignore the masses who glorify “busyness”, and focus my time and energy on what’s important to me at my own pace in my own way.

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      You’re very wise Natalie, and thank you! xo

  • Reply Denyse November 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I have been thinking about you knowing how hard it is to have a very unwell parent…and there is nothing much you can do about it. I recall the time when Dad was stressed to the max looking after Mum who was dying and he eventually took up the doctor’s offer to have her go to a private hospital to spend her last weeks. None of us liked it, most of all Mum, but she also understood that it was all too much for Dad. I did ‘keep busy’ by teaching as I was already employed at that time in a new school but then I listened to my body and emotions and my GP said “this is not a time for is a time for being and being at home or just taking time for you is the best.” So Min, this is such a great thing you write about here and is a good reminder yet again of “being” rather than “doing.” Hugs to you. Denyse x

    • Reply Min November 25, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      I feel for you that you were working during that time of great stress Denyse. I honestly could not work right now. I’m emotionally exhausted and my brain is so scattered. Thanks so much for such lovely thoughts and words to me. It’s so appreciated. xo

  • Reply Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject November 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Taking care of ourselves, especially during stressful times, is vital to our health and wellbeing. You’ve been in my thoughts lovely lady and it’s good to hear you have some perspective on the situation you find yourself in. I’ve been there too (twice actually) and it’s definitely not an easy time. I hope you continue to take care of yourself. Sending love and healing thoughts to you and your Dad xox

    • Reply Min November 29, 2017 at 7:26 am

      Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and words Lyndall. It means a lot! xo

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