The culture of “Busyness” and how it affects your health.
Whether it is running to work, grabbing groceries or scheduling time with friends, Americans seem to always be busy. Even trying to relax has become a scheduled, even hectic thing when one tries to fit in an hour or two for hobbies or exercise. This culture of busyness has become a means for one to feel well-rounded as an individual. As stated in a New York Times article, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
Even so, it is a challenge to completely let go for a day and to not follow a strict schedule in which every time slot is filled. There are various sources quoting the effects of stress on health and overall wellness. However, this does not always take into account the busyness that includes leisure time planning or over scheduling. A simple solution is to take a few minutes to completely unplug and de-stress. Yes you may have lined-up lunches with friends or finally fit in an episode of your favorite show, which is a feat within itself. But, it is important to take small amounts of personal time for reflection and clearing one’s head before setting out for the day. You may not be able to remove items from your schedule, but you can focus on being calm and mindful during the day’s activities.
Here’s a small list to get you started:
- Take five minutes to meditate. http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/ht/5_minute_meditation.htm
- Eat lunch away from your desk or work if possible. If your lunch is short, don’t spend it hunched over your smart phone. Eat and take a short walk. 30 minutes is plenty of time to eat and take a minute to mentally recharge for the day.
- Spend time with friends in less structured environments. http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/4-social-activities-for-fitness-and-fun
- Unplug. If your phone is constantly in your hand, or you eat a considerable amount of your lunch in front of a screen, it may be time to unplug and take a mini technology vacation. Here are a few tips: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/how-to-unplug/
- Take time to eat and eat well. Choosing salad over the burger is not a simple feat, but it is just as difficult to actually enjoy what you are eating. Taking time to focus on your meal not only makes you feel fuller but also quiets the storm of the mental to do list, even if it is just for thirty minutes. http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-enjoy-food-more-7-tips-to-savor-meals/
Make the most of your free time by making it “free”.