Last year I realised (and was told several times) that I was always busy. Every time someone asked how I was going I was quick to respond with busy – but I realised that busy, for me, was synonymous with stressed. I found that was I was doing a lot stuff that was really not productive. Instead, it was box ticking in order to prove that I was valuable and “doing my part” or whatever that is supposed to mean. Basically, I was getting stuff done but it wasn’t the important stuff. The stuff that I wanted to get done versus the stuff I needed to do.
So, earlier this year I had a conversation with some of my amazing colleagues about how I want to reframe my thinking by moving away from the “B” word. Because I was busy being stressed rather than being productive. My aim was that I wanted to do more things that would bring me personal happiness. But not just happiness – maybe a sense of positive accomplishment.
To be honest, I was worried that I would fall back into the “busy” habits that I had formed over the last few years as a teacher. However, I have noticed that I have made some really good changes.
One: I am exercising more consciously. I’m still going to dance class and I am starting to see real improvements. (Though I still need to work on my confidence…I tend to rely on being goofy and need to look at myself more confidently!) Thanks Jacqui for forcing me to smile properly. And I am still going to the gym once or twice a week. The aim is to get to three times a week.
Two: My reading is still going strong. I’ve finished ten books and I’ve still not bought any new ones, yet…Plus, it’s actually good for me to just sit down for a couple of hours on the weekend and just read.
Three: I am trying to say no to the things that I don’t really want to do or delegate the things that I not totally beneficial to me. In a way I have been trying to place boundaries around my time while I’m at work.
Four: Last year I made a rule that my Saturdays were for me. No school work, no school talk if I could avoid it. It was my day to relax and restore.
There are other things that I am actively working on but am not ready to share just yet. I am, after all, actually quite shy around people that I don’t know.
One of the most important things that I have started is trying my best to remove the word “busy” from my vocabulary as much as possible. Sometimes I replace it with productive and sometimes I answer honestly and just say that I am doing bitty work that is not as important as other stuff. As always, I am a work in progress – like everyone I know. Who would have thought that humans are strange and complex beings in a constant state of change.
So, what tips do you have for more balance? Keeping in mind that I tend to be an active relaxer. What do you recommend?
That being said – I hope that you are doing well and staying healthy. Look after yourselves and look out for those who may need our help.