Busyness according to the Oxford Dictionary is defined as the state or condition of having a great deal to do, the quality of being full of activity. This term comes full front and center especially during the holidays. With an already full schedule compounded with the added stress of Christmas decorating, buying, wrapping, and delivering Christmas gifts, Christmas parties and family events, take busyness to a whole new level. How many of you find yourself thinking I just don’t have enough time in a day to get everything done?

I myself am guilty of being super busy at times and recently have taken some time to step back and take a look at why I am so busy. I have discovered that busyness is a very good strategy to not have the time to look at what is truly important or a good avoidance strategy. Being so busy at times, keeps you so occupied that you don’t have the time to breathe and smell the roses, but also no time to check in and see how you feel. Life becomes a literal blur and you just find yourself moving from one moment to the next, never taking the time to reflect, reassess, or appreciate what you just experienced. I know I am not alone in this and the busyness of life runs one down so ragged, that exhaustion is the end result or some health crisis, or a nagging injury or pain will arise to force you to stop.

The hardest thing to do is appreciate when you come down with the flu at the wrong time or a health crisis/pain arises. You have not failed or your body is not punishing you, but is self-generated for the purpose to protect you from yourself. Taking care of yourself is one of the greatest ways you can show love and appreciation to the most important person in your life, and that is you. I have learned that you cannot help others if you don’t help yourself. The best analogy to illustrate this point is the directions given in case of an emergency landing – first place the oxygen mask on yourself before you put one on your child.

My recommendation during times of busyness is to take a breather from time to time. Recognize the benefits of pausing and taking a break. Stepping back from a situation brings a different perspective and many times helps you to see the bigger picture. Next, pay attention to any tightness in your body or any changes in diet, sleeping habits, and breathing patterns. By understanding your body’s cues, will go a long way in helping you identify the stressors in your life and give you the opportunity to be proactive versus reacting to stress. Let this holiday season be more even keel, and know you have the power to decide how hectic and busy you want your life to be. Your future self will thank you for pausing and not getting swept up by all the should’s, have to’s, and ought to’s.