For me, 2014 felt like it was 4 months long. I was so busy, that I misplaced most of the year! I was like some type of sicko that got off on telling everyone that would listen ‘how busy' I was! If someone exclaimed that they too were busy, it was like this crazy she-monster emerged from me to prove that I was the busier person and therefore better than them. During the 2014/2015 break, I sat down and reflected on why I was so stressed, tired and feeling generally blah! The reason? I was so busy!
Or at least that was what I kept telling myself! Don’t get me wrong, I was actually very busy (ok, I’m probably still in the rehab phase. I just can’t seem to let busy go completely just yet!), but for 2015, I’m no longer telling myself that.
Towards the end of last year, I started to realise that if I didn't change something, tomorrow I’d wake up and be 84. I’m not going to lie, that revelation terrified me! Having my first 2 week holiday in a long time gave me time to stop and not be busy. It was wonderful! Days were longer, I achieved so much more all because I didn't keep short changing myself by telling myself how busy I was.
Being ‘busy’ is very much a status symbol these days. Especially amongst women. It has become a constant competition to see who has the least amount of time. When a close friend of mine proudly declared that she hadn't had time to poop properly in quite some time, it dawned on me; being busy is stupid!
Even though this year is still pretty new, I've done a good job of changing my self-talk. Now when people ask me how I've been, my go to response has changed from ‘good, just really busy,’ to ‘really good, just enjoying a lot more down time.’ The truth is, I actually don’t have a lot more free time, but by simply changing the way I speak to myself, I’m more relaxed and I’m actually enjoying every moment here in the present, rather than stressing about not getting things done because ‘I’m so FREAKING busy!’
Being a culprit of the busy culture, I was actually proud of being so ‘busy.’ I was part of the problem. But now, I’m embarrassed that I perpetuated this fallacy that being busy is synonymous with being successful and a real woman. I now shudder at the fact the most workdays I didn't have lunch until after 3 pm because I was so ‘busy.’
If you’re constantly telling yourself and other people that you’re really busy, just stop it. I know you are, but you’re probably stressing yourself and stressing those around you like some sort of fast talking tornado! Challenge yourself to change your own internal monologue for one week from ‘holy mother of coffee I’m so busy,’ to ‘wow, there’s actually a long time between my morning alarm and bedtime.’ I’d be surprised that if by the end of the week, you weren't feeling less stressed. Don’t listen to how ‘busy’ other people are, just concentrate on how free you are!
Now excuse me while I go and take a nap, because I’m really not that busy!
Dr Sarah Elston
I am a chiropractor, small business owner and I am dedicated to improving the health and well-being of other women! I spend most of my waking hours taking care of other people's health! This blog is about giving women the health advice they need to be inspired to live a healthier and balanced lifestyle.