It seems that when asking someone the question “How are you?” a common response is “Busy. I’m really busy.”
Families are busy. Kids are busy. Work days are busy, and the daily schedule gets jam-packed. But we think it’s okay to push through the busy day because the weekend will be more restful, right? But the weekend arrives and there are errands to do, housework to catch up on, kids’ extracurricular, family events, and other commitments. But then we tell ourselves it’s okay to push through those because they’re all fun or necessary. Somehow a vicious pattern begins to take place and we can’t get out of this cycle of BUSY.
Stillness in our lifestyle.
Rather than waiting for ‘someday’ to be quiet and restful, we can try to make rest a priority today. This is so counter-cultural in our fast-paced world. However there are so many wonderful benefits to slowing down and letting go of ‘busy’ in order to embrace being ‘still’. What if some of the words you used to describe your day included: peaceful, restful, and serene. Doesn’t this sound more enjoyable than racing through the endless to-do list?
One practical way to achieve this is by being intentional about doing less. Prioritize and make time for the most important things first. Make rest a priority. Take an objective look at your calendar and identify what are really necessities or priorities. Other things can tend to fill up the calendar when we say yes to too many things. Ultimately we need to say ‘no’ to some things in order to say ‘yes’ to others. Learning to say no is one of the ways to slow down your schedule.
Stillness in the day-to-day.
As a mom to two young kids, believe me when I say that I know how family life comes with loud, energetic, and active days. So I try to find simple ways to slow down throughout the day.
My ‘being still’ during the day could be any number of these things:
- Waking up early and enjoying the sunrise
- Siting still for a cup of coffee in the morning.
- Snuggling with my kids and reading together. (We’re currently reading ‘Little House On The Prairie’.)
- Reading a good book.
- Going for a walk.
- Having meaningful conversation – really listen to the other person.
- Sitting down to dinner as a family.
- Quiet time after kids are in bed.
- Getting to bed early for a good nights’ sleep.
Even doing some of these simple things throughout the day can be a way to find rest and relaxation. These things force me to slow down and be still.
Making rest a priority.
Sleep can alleviate so much unnecessary stress and tiredness. And you probably need more sleep than you think you do. Getting enough sleep provides huge benefits; sleep can improve attention, productivity, learning, memory, emotional regulation, mental health, and physical health.
Making sure we get enough hours of sleep each night can make life so much more simple. Find out what time you need to be up the next morning and go to bed at a time that will ensure you get enough sleep. A better night’s sleep helps reduce stress levels and increase energy the next day.
Breaking the ‘cycle of busy’.
In a world that seems to have non-stop demands, finding time to be still and be quiet can seem impossible. It’s important to stop the overwhelming list of things to do, and find balance during the day.
Think about ways that you can hit the pause button in this busy world.
Slow down, take a break, and find time to be still.