Busy~

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I was born in 1959 ( I admit it!)   Life was lived a little differently back then.  All businesses closed at 5pm.  On Sundays everything, except restaurants and churches, were closed.  The opening of the store 7-11 was a big deal “back then” because no one opened that early or closed that late!! There were only 2 or 3 television channels and usually only one television in the house. Sports competitions only took place before or after school, never in the evenings or on Sundays.   These elements created some natural boundaries for family life.

Today life looks a lot different.  Business is always open via the internet and even locally stores remain open well into the evening.  TV shows are streaming day and night with or without a television, sports teams play late in the evening and all through the weekend, and we don’t really ever leave work because we carry the possibility of constantly working on our mobile devices.  There aren’t really any natural boundaries for family life.

I think some of the changes have been great – I can stay in touch with my family , friends, and even clients wherever I am; any time of the day.  I can easily shop at home and watch my favorite shows at my leisure! I can do my job from anywhere!  The downside is that these opportunities can also keep us too busy!

In his book “Crazy Busy” Kevin Deyoung  expresses this dilemma this way ” Our lives have no limits. In all our lifetimes we’ve seen an exponential expansion in the number of opportunities for children and adults, opportunities for leisure and for travel, opportunities for education,  there are endless opportunities for church and community involvements.  In this generation we even have opportunities to make a difference around the world. Opportunities are endless!  No wonder we are so busy!”

From young mothers to energetic entrepreneurs; busyness impacts the quality of life…even with the best of intentions.   I acknowledge that there are “seasons” where our schedules will be fuller than others; yet when these “seasons” become our lifestyle we  might need to make some fresh considerations.   In my 16 years as a Life Coach I have readily issued Permission Slips to leaders helping them to feel the freedom to re-group and re-fuel!  In order to live a healthy life full of rich relationships engaged in professions that we love, we all need to regularly assess our busy schedules making certain we are applying time and attention to areas that truly matter to us!

Is there a valuable relationship that needs your attention?  A hobby that needs to be dusted off? A book you’d like to read?  A gym membership unused? A bible that needs to be cracked open again? Pots and pans that could be used to create healthy meals? If you had a free day would you use it to catch up on work or would you grab an opportunity to engage in a cup-filling activity?  What guard rails might you need in your schedule?

After you assess these questions I give you a Permission Slip, today, to catch your breath! 🙂

Could It Be Time For A Needed Break?

 

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More often than not, we finally take a break long after the need for it began to arise!  However, what would it look like if we would give ourselves permission to take a break BEFORE we needed it!  Well, perhaps it would be helpful to list some of the telling signs that show us that we are “spent”:

1.  Even upon rising in the morning we feel a sense of dread rather than hope and anticipation. We dread the tasks of the day;we just feel tired.

2.  We find ourselves having a shorter fuse than we normally have. We will react strongly to situations that we would have navigated better when we had greater life balance.

3.  We start to sabotage the “good systems” we have had in place~ excercise, rest, quiet time with the Lord, and “screen free” time. We make excuses saying that we just don’t feel like taking the time.

4.  Often our food choices start to waver.  We start eating foods we know make us feel bad. We tell ourselves “We’ll start eating better on Monday”.

5.  We can begin to feel apathetic.  We can waste our time surfing the web, watching mindless television, ignoring  phone calls, and even turning down invitations from friends.

These are just a few of the signs that we are in need of a break!

Now sometimes we need a break at a time when we cannot take a vacation; cannot disengage from our responsibilities. So, how can we find ways to re-group and catch our breath?  Here’s a few:

1.  Get offline.  If we are overwhelmed the last thing we need is to burden ourselves with media information, mindless games, and even an over-dose of Facebook.  We need to give ourself a chance to breathe!

2.  Take a “staycation”.  Use local attractions to your benefit; live music, picnic in a park, go to a Museum, take a hike, rent a Kayak, take a cooking class, simply take the opportunity to make a refreshing memory.  It’s amazing how activities like these lift our spirits and give us a fresh attitude.

3.  Read or watch something light-hearted~ something that causes rich laughter.

4.  Take a spiritual retreat.  Set aside a full day – somewhere private or peaceful where there would be time to rest, read inspirational thoughts, pray, journal, eat chocolate, a dream again.

5.  Grant permission to say “No.”    We are often exhausted by maintaining activities that have served their time.  Allowing yourself to re-think the activities that fill your weeks and to say “No” to create greater bandwidth is a gift you give yourself!

For all of us; learning when enough is enough will be key. Learning to recognize when our energy is expiring will help us to take that needed break BEFORE we need that break!!  🙂