You’ve got project deadlines, church meetings, your child’s dance recitals and sports games, AND household chores, not to mention important relationships to maintain. Meanwhile your computer, iPad, iPhone, and BlackBerry alarms keep going off, reminding you of events, birthdays, appointments, and oh, here come the holidays! “I’m BUSY!” We’re human, which means we are created with limits. We need to eat, breathe, and sleep. These are God-ordained boundaries to live by. Sometimes we begin to live like we do not need to. It’s up to us to regulate our own schedule; if we fail to create boundaries, busy-ness can take over our lives. So what can we do to combat this epidemic?
Guard yourself: Sometimes the things we turn to for relaxation actually divide our minds and lower our productivity. Everyone needs time away where you can “unplug” from your favorite forms of technology. Give yourself a break. By taking this time, you are able to re-center yourself and take stock of what are legitimate needs and priorities on your to-do list, and those that are obligations running you ragged.
Know yourself: Sometimes we get stressed out because we get trapped in the tunnel vision of the daily grind. Take stock of how you’re feeling, and know when you need to say no to something. It is OK for you to not do everything! Or make a list so that you can cross a task off of it, and celebrate little accomplishments one at a time.
Be yourself: Sometimes we use busy-ness to escape something deeper going on. When we fill our schedules chock-full, we are less likely to have the time to feel sad, angry, or lonely. However, if those issues are continuously stuffed down and ignored, they will fester and can manifest in unhealthy ways. This can lead to problems like anxiety, excess worry, depression, low self-esteem, or the kind of stress that presents as physical health problems such as high blood pressure, poor eating habits, or heart disease. Try journaling, or speaking to a trusted friend or counselor.
Prepare yourself: It may be that we need to take time to reorient our minds to the security and joy God offers. Planned times of quiet and solitude are a good way to balance to a busy life. If we take time to quiet our hearts before God, the Holy Spirit has an opportunity to change the way we see our life situations.
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand”.
~ Psalm 16:8–11~