We tend to feel like we’re measured by how busy and productive we are. Why are these terms the gold standard of our value, and what if we measured our productivity and success in other ways – say by the quality of our relationships, our communities, our quality of life, our health, and our personal growth? Think about how this reframe would shift our thinking, and impact our quality of life.
We tend to feel guilty or lazy when we’re not busy, in the traditional sense of the word, as if our worth and value as a productive member of society is dependent on just how much we “get done.” What’s missing in this busy paradox is balance. Our bodies and minds are not designed to be “busy” 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When we’re constantly going, going, going, our mental and emotional health may suffer. A hectic schedule with no time to rest and recharge can cause some people to become depressed, anxious, and have trouble sleeping. Busyness can take a toll on our physical well-being also, and we can develop serious health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease.
The fact is, it’s OK to not be busy! Our bodies can only handle so much, and we only have so much energy to give. That’s why downtime is essential to well-being. Downtime is different from sleep, and it’s also not just sitting in front of the TV or computer. Downtime is taking even 10 minutes for deep breathing, writing in your journal, listening to music, spending time in nature, or whatever else brings you joy and fulfillment. For some people, baking is relaxing. Find whatever it is that brings you joy and peace, and make it a priority.
“But I don’t have time for downtime!” you might be saying. Well that’s all the more reason for it! We make time for what we think is important. Downtime doesn’t have to mean alone time. You can involve friends and family in an activity you find relaxing and enjoyable. You’ll be spending quality time with them while teaching them the importance of downtime and self-care.
- During lunch hours or after work, take 15 minutes to recharge, either with deep breathing, reading, or going for a walk.
- Take regular breaks for self-care, or make it a family event, where everyone turns off all technology for a given amount of time.
- Make resting a priority, and as important as eating and sleeping.
- Remember that resting gives you more strength!
How do you get your downtime? Please post your ideas in the comment section below!
Weekly Flu Report, January 20, 2017 posted on Jan 20
The latest weekly flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days. We’ve seen these rates head up and down over the past few weeks, which is an indication of how unpredictable flu can be. Here in New England, most flu …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 20, 2017
Folic Acid for the Future! posted on Jan 18
We all know the common New Year’s resolutions this time of year: losing weight, getting more organized and catching up on sleep are at the top of many people’s lists! But chances are, many women, in particular, are overlooking an important addition to their list: …Continue Reading Folic Acid for the Future!
Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017 posted on Jan 13
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past 7 days. But flu can be unpredictable, and we’re not likely to see the peak of flu season until February or even March. So if you haven’t gotten a …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017