Yesterday I read a thought-provoking post about our culture and being busy. It has become an almost-constant state of being for many Americans. To some, it is a huge source of pride. “How are you?” “I’m busy.” We sit back, ready for everyone to be impressed with how important we are because we’re so busy.
The truth of the matter is that being interminably busy can cause a number of health problems. The most obvious is stress which leads to a number of other health problems. The human body is designed to effectively handle stress as long as it is followed by periods of relaxation or down-time. On the other hand, constant stress can lead to high blood pressure, headaches, stomach pain, and trouble staying or falling asleep. Any of these can lead to even more health problems sending people into a downward spiral. Don’t even get me started on how hard it is for this Type A personality to juggle everything without beating myself up for letting a single thing slide.
Periods of “busy” can strike anyone at any time. No matter how hard I fight it, my To Do list has a habit of growing in direct opposition to my free time. It is important for me to remember that being busy is not a way of life. Our bodies function so much better when they are not in a constant state of “on”. No matter the form it takes, relaxation and down-time are crucial to being able to effectively manage life and all that it throws at you.
Some of my favorite types of down-time? Yoga, exercise, reading, movie nights, writing, knitting, and playing with the puppies! In fact, it’s time to play with the puppies now.