What I learnt this week: Busy?

I’ve been busy for as long as I can remember.  I don’t really get less busy, I just somehow get more busy.  But I’m definitely not alone.  All of my friends are the same- BUSY.  It’s almost like some sort of epidemic these days.  The busy disease…

And it’s like a sickness that takes over you.  One that’s incredibly hard to shake.  Trying to stop yourself from cramming your day with an endless to do list or filling it up with social outings or staying at work that little longer is a seemingly impossible task.

There’s only really one way that the ‘busyness’ can be stopped.  And it’s not by trying.  You can’t write ‘relax’ on your to do list.  Believe me I’ve tried.  The only thing that stops it in its tracks, is sickness.  I’m talking debilitating, black plague, bed ridden for day’s type sickness.  So that even if you wanted to get up, your body will absolutely not let you!

This week after an extreme period of being busy I was struck with tonsillitis.  It almost killed me to cancel work for 4 days straight.  Alas, I had no choice.  I was forced to stay in bed- shaking and shivering, feeling sorry for myself.   Knowing I’d let myself get so run down that I’d brought it upon myself.

Day 2 I felt a little better and I was able to indulge in a little Netflix therapy.  I watched the latest season of ‘Jane the Virgin.’  It’s funny, that show  always comes into my life just at the right moments and season three taught me what I needed to know in a big way.

I won’t spoil it for those of you who watch the series.  I’ll just say something horrific happens and Jane needs to go to therapy because she’s having panic attacks.  The therapist tells her about a technique she can use when she feels the attacks threatening to take over.  It’s called HALT.  You put your hand on you heart, breathe and check in with yourself.  Are you- Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Or Tired?

Usually these are the triggers for the attacks.  Of course this may not always be the case but I thought it was an interesting concept.  And I applied it to my busy life.  I asked myself why I’d been keeping myself so busy recently.

When I got the answer it wasn’t what I expected and I cried.  And cried and cried.  I got it all out.  And I realised I was lonely.  Not in the regular way.  I have a wonderful group of friends and an amazing family.  There’s never a shortage of things to do or people to be with.  But it was more than that.  I missed my ex but I hadn’t wanted to see that or deal with it.

I’d been strong for so long.  Not thinking about it.  Saying I was better off.  Attempting to move on with someone new.  Just fill that hole in my heart right up.  Hahaha.  Well, it doesn’t work that way.  Worst of all when you can’t find someone to try to be with, you start filling that hole up with something else…Like being busy.  Yep, you distract yourself from the real issue.

However this week I beat ‘busyness.’  Getting sick was the best thing that has happened in a long time.  Because I had to stop and find out what I was running from.  Feeling all my sadness and loss was really hard.  However now I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time.   I’m still tired but a heaviness has definitely lifted.

So, will I stop being a productive person?  No.  But I will be more mindful about cramming my days so full that I don’t even want to get up in the morning.  That’s why HALT is my new best friend.  My check list for when I feel like I’m heading into ‘busyness’ overload and beyond!  I’m going to HALT and see what’s really going on!

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