For many of us, our drug of choice is busy-ness. I’m guilty. Brene Brown says that she was told that she should write what she most needed to read. So here we are….this is a big thing for me and something I work on and need to continue to work on.
The more frantically you see me running around (December performance season aside when my job dictates sometimes as many as 30 performances), the more you can be assured there is something wrong or at the very least there is something I am avoiding spending time thinking about. Can you relate?
In art and music the spaces we create are as important as the actual brush strokes and notes. We call it white space, rests or silence.
Space in our lives can feel scary. We might experience feelings that aren’t comfortable. Truths we may not quite ready to see are often revealed in the stillness of space we create.
Slowing down is easier said than done when we are trying to keep the space of our lives filled. But there are some simple things we can do that make a huge impact, still allow us to feel safe and also help us to create a little more space in our lives.
Four tips to managing busy-ness
- Breathe. Focus on your breathing by taking in a breath for 5 or 7 counts, gently hold on the inhale, then exhale for 5 or 7 counts and gently hold on the exhale. This is a great way to get ourselves out of “Fight, Flight or Freeze”. Anyone can get stuck in the Fight, Flight or Freeze but if you have experienced abuse or trauma, this is more likely for you. Turning to our breath allows our nervous systems to reset and brings us out of the Fight, Flight or Freeze. This means our bodies relax and we begin to use our whole brains again, not just the brain stem (also known as reptilian brain). How does this relate to busy-ness? Busy-ness is the flight component. There is lots more on this in my upcoming book, “The Inner Peace Prescription”. As a survivor myself, see more about my story here, even 12 years later I continue to work to stay out of Fight, Flight or Freeze… or in my own personal version of busy-ness (anyone else out there relate?? I’d love to know your story!!)
- Pause. This sounds so simple, and it really is. For many of us, it requires conscious thought to create a pause. Pausing between activities for even a breath cycle while focusing on relaxing the body can be a huge benefit and help clear thinking. The pause I rely on most is the pause before committing to something. Pausing to give yourself time to really think before agreeing or not agreeing to do something can mean the difference between making a decision you feel good about and a decision you regret. Sometimes, building in a bigger pause by admitting you need time to think is helpful. How does this relate to busy-ness? Have you heard the phrase, “need something done? Ask a busy person.”? Busy people get things done because they get so task oriented they may not even stop to eat. Pausing slows you down long enough to consider if you have the time, mental space or emotional bandwidth to do something.
- Travel somewhere new. This could mean you take a new route to work or park several blocks from work and walk the rest of the way. Maybe it means you go to a new place to eat. Or…it could mean you actually travel. Being in a new place allows you to become more aware of your own thinking patterns because you can recognize them more easily outside of the context of your daily life. Your hopes and dreams begin to resurface or even change form. How does this relate to busy-ness? It helps you re-prioritize. Travel to me is like medicine. In fact, I’m writing this blog post from a hotel room in Pendleton, Oregon on my way to the Oregon Coast for a trip with my daughter and family.
- Journal. Writing down our experiences and feelings is cathartic. It can help reveal truths we may not have totally realized were there. I’m often surprised by what my journaling reveals. And I love going back through old journals because it helps me remember how far I’ve come. If you are looking for some journal prompts, I invite you to take a look at my newly published book, “Know Yourself”.
What are ways you deal with busy-ness? I’d love to hear from you. You can comment directly below or email me at Brenda@brendawinkle.com.
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All my love,