Home Faith and Family Hi, How Are You? …. I’m good, just busy.

Hi, How Are You? …. I’m good, just busy.

I want you to be honest with yourself for a second. When greeted with a, “How are you doing?”, have you ever responded in any way that implies that you are well, but “busy?” If your answer is yes, you are not alone!

Advertisement

A lot of conversations these days go something like this.

“Hi, how are you?”

“Oh, I’m good…. Just busy.”

This has been weighing on me heavily lately. From repeated conversations with clients about their “plates being stacked too high”, or their life just feeling “chaotic”, to my own personal life and struggling with balance and prioritizing rest, it has been a major topic of discussion.  Why? Why do we all complain about being so busy, yet at the same time, many of us refuse to slow down?

If we really get down to it, in our world today, the concept of busy-ness has become synonymous with success. We often glorify those who are constantly on the go, juggling multiple responsibilities, and maintaining a full schedule. If you are working all the time, you’re productive, and successful. If you have a full social calendar, you’re popular and well-liked, fitting in. If you’re like me, you may have even grown up in a home where both parents were always on the go, always doing, working hard and therefore performance and productivity is how you learned to feel worthy and valuable. “No rest for the weary”, “ Naps are for lazy people” – sound familiar?

To top it off, the constant barrage of “keeping up with the Joneses” from social media, creates a societal norm where being busy is not just accepted, but celebrated. It’s seen as a badge of honor, a testament to one’s dedication and hard work. However, this mindset overlooks a fundamental aspect of human health: the necessity of rest.

But, rest is often misunderstood as a sign of laziness or lack of ambition. And listen, if you struggle with slowing down and rest – I am right there with you – I’m a DO-ER (as my mentor always likes to remind me) and I love to work. Sometimes slowing down can even feel like failure.

But, what I’ve learned is that being in constant motion, can oftentimes be a way that we have adapted to cope, to manage or control circumstances. If I “do” enough, or work hard enough, maybe I can outrun this other problem, or distract myself from the pain or hurt that is just too hard to bear.

Busy-ness and rushing can also put us in a constant state of STRESS. Stress is a normal part of life, but a constant state of stress is not. Anxiety is at an all time high, and it’s not just coincidence. Stress leads to increased cortisol, which leads to adrenal fatigue, and a whole host of other problems, like struggles in relationships, physical health, lack of sleep and the list goes on.

If our calendars are constantly full, and we are rushing from one meeting and task to the next, our bodies can get stuck in fight or flight. And guess what? Our bodies are not meant to be there – fight or flight is a survival state – our bodies are designed to go there when we are fighting off a lion or a major threat – not rushing to Publix to grab 3 things we forgot earlier, before taking the kids to karate, to then go to the 3rd dinner with friends we’ve had this week….

You are not lazy for choosing rest or saying no instead of yes. You are burning yourself out!  And we simply can’t pour from an empty cup.

Scripture even tells us over and over how important stillness is and quieting the noise in our minds. How can we see the needs of those around us and serve others if we are too rushed to get to the 10am coffee meeting that we knew we shouldn’t have added to our already full plate this week?

Our great friend and pastor, Nathan Pooley (with Upper Room Church) said it so well in his sermon last week,

“There are people that are in your life that you can help, and the first step is to slow down enough to see them. You can’t really help someone when you’re in a hurry.

The interruption is the miracle. Sometimes we can get so busy that we miss the miracle that God has placed right in front of us.”

Wow, that really hits home.

This is a meaty topic, friends. I hope you’ll take some time to chew on it and see if it strikes any chords with you. My guess is it probably does. It is really hard to not get caught up in the busy-ness of the world that we live in.

If you are finding that you are feeling burned out, struggling to balance it all, here are some simple and effective ways to slow down and embrace rest:

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves being present in the moment without judgment. Simple practices like deep breathing, prayer, meditation, or mindful walking (without talking on the phone or listening to headphones) can help you slow down and reduce stress. Just a few minutes of mindfulness each day can make a big difference.

  1. Limit Screen Time

Constant connectivity through phones, computers, or social scrolling can be very draining. You may want to put a time limit on your social media or commit to unplug from your phone 1-2 hours before bed.

  1. Engage in Relaxing Activities

Find activities that help you relax and incorporate them into your daily routine. This could be anything from taking a warm bath, listening to music, gardening, or practicing yoga. The key is to choose activities that you find soothing and enjoyable. Bonus, get outside and connect with nature – nature has an inherit calming effect.

  1. Practice Saying No

Whew, this is a big one! It’s important to set boundaries and not overcommit yourself. Learn to say no to additional tasks that aren’t necessary or social engagements that don’t align with your need for rest. Prioritizing your well-being is not selfish; it’s necessary for sustainable productivity and a well-balanced life!

  1. Nurture Relationships

Spending quality time with loved ones can be incredibly restorative. Engage in meaningful conversations, share a meal, or do an activity together. Positive social interactions can boost your mood and provide emotional support.

  1. Simplify Your To-Do List

Focus on the most important tasks each day and let go of the need to do everything. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate your progress. I like to choose the 3 non-negotiables you have to accomplish each day – eat an elephant one bite at a time!

 

What if the next time someone asked you how you are doing, you replied with, “I’m doing great. Feeling really balanced and rested this week!” Imagine yourself truly feeling that and living life from a place of rest and balance.

Let’s commit to redefining success to include a balanced approach to life, one that values downtime and self-care as much as hard work and productivity.

Remember, friends: Rest is productive! It may feel uncomfortable slowing down at first, but in the discomfort lies the miracles. Let’s not be so busy that we miss them! 

Previous article2024 Pensacola Beach Air Show Full Schedule
Next articleHistory of the Blue Angels Through Photos
Lauren is a mental health counselor and holistic nutrition and wellness coach, with a background in luxury international travel. Raised on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, she is a Southern, beach girl through and through. You can often find Lauren on the water (fishing, boating, paddleboarding, long beach walks), enjoying live music, cooking, enjoying good food and wine, snow skiing and TRAVELING! In her work, Lauren's focus often centers on supporting women and teenagers, specializing in helping heal their relationship with their bodies. Whether grappling with body image, battling an eating disorder, or simply seeking ways to feel your best and cultivate self-love and self-care, she provides guidance and tools for navigating these challenges with grace and compassion. Additionally, with a background in travel, Lauren leads wellness retreats for women and couples across the Gulf Coast!