busyness

Are you self-creating stress?

My happy place. I always make time to get out in nature with the dogs.

My happy place. I always make time to get out in nature with the dogs.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about balance, and my constant struggle to find it. Especially right now, with the month of May being full of birthdays, camping, trips and other activities. My weekends are pretty much booked full for the next two months. Part of me is excited by all these fun things and experiences I get to be a part of, but the other part is wondering how I’m going to find the time to take care of general chores, tackle yard work, write blog posts, write my regular freelance articles, help my online fitness clients, work at my 9-5 job, and make time for family and self care.

According to the American Psychological Association, busyness is the reason why the majority of American’s have high stress levels that interferes with their health, and as author Scott Dannemiller points out in this Huffington Post piece, the majority of the stress we experience is brought on ourselves:

Dr. Michael Marmot, a British epidemiologist, has studied stress and its effects, and found the root causes to be two types of busyness. Though he doesn’t give them official names, he describes the most damaging as busyness without control, which primarily affects the poor. Their economic reality simply does not allow for downtime. They have to work two to three jobs to keep the family afloat. When you add kids to the mix, it becomes overwhelming, and the stress results in legitimate health problems.

The second type of busyness also results in health problems, but it is a sickness we bring on ourselves. Like voluntarily licking the door handle of a preschool bathroom or having a sweaty picnic in the Ball Pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It’s busyness we control.

Self-created stress.

I definitely think I self-create the majority of my stress. (more…)

Take back your time: How busyness is the greatest distraction from living

“I don’t want to get to the end of myYou know when you read something that slaps you in the face then makes you question everything you’re doing?

I read inspiring quotes and little nuggets of wisdom every day in my travels across the internet and on social media, but this article that I came across earlier this week flipped some kind of internal switch and inflicted the following emotions when I read it, in no particular order: sorrow, despair, excitement, ambition, happiness and anxiety.

By now we’re all familiar with the problem of busyness, not being present for day-to-day life and multi-tasking. Not only does it leave us stressed, tired and unhappy, but also distracts us from living our real lives. Lives in which we only have a short time to experience. According to the author of the article, Maria Popova, we have “a refusal to recognize that ‘busy is a decision’ and that presence is infinitely more rewarding than productivity.” She goes on the explain that she’s concerned “being productive is the surest way to lull ourselves into a trance of passivity and busyness the greatest distraction from living, as we coast through our lives day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from our selves, mistaking the doing for the being.”

I agree. (more…)

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