I grew up being called lazy. People thought I was physically slow and weak but it was just that I was more cerebral than physical. I was also often too unwell to get busy with anything.
My mother finally accepted that the problem was my poor health as opposed to laziness. According to her, when I did have little energy, I would not stop over exerting myself.
By the time I was an adult and in relatively better health, I hardly knew how to rest. Nor did I know how to slow down and take things easy. Whenever I was feeling upbeat for instance, I would stretch myself thin with activities, becoming too busy for my well-being and that of my family. Very often, it would lead to a physical break down and I would then need a longer period of rest to get back on my feet. But as soon as I recovered, the busy cycle resumed all over again. It took a recurring physical breakdown and a boss who often sternly told me to stop working and go to bed, to eventually learn how to pace myself.
Being busy has its place, but it is much better to be productive. It is easy to fall into the trap of getting over involved in everything, from work to business and social commitments. But the risk with this is, you could easily go from ‘business is good’ type of busy to ‘my customers/spouse and kids/organs are angry’ type of busy. So, very quickly, I want to run you through a list of ways to check if you have crossed the line of what is reasonable and as such, need to slow down and take things easy.
You Feel So Busy And Wake Up Tired
You go to bed tired and wake up exhausted. Not once in a while, but every day. You could be so busy that your mind keeps working, refusing to shut down even in your sleep. If care is not taken, this may lead to constant headaches, migraines and general jeopardising of the quality of your life.
You Are Constantly Eating
If more than half of the time you find yourself eating while walking, driving, or waiting for a meeting, then I’m afraid you are simply being fueled by junk and adrenaline. This is what some people call stress eating. The risks involved are enormous. It may lead to a bad heart or even a dead heart.
You Are Out Of Touch With Friends And Family
When your friends and family no longer bother to invite you for events anymore. If they believe you will be too busy to attend, then it is time to check yourself. Apart from the fact that you need to rest, you may also find yourself excluded from major family meetings and events. You may even find yourself asking: ‘Ah! When did so and so get married/give birth/die?’
You Are Out Of Touch With Yourself
It may be that you hardly do things for yourself. You have stopped nurturing your body, mind, and spirit. Also, you are not exercising, not engaging in your hobbies, not stopping to pray, laugh, or breathe. At this point you must know it is time to slow things down.
You Are Putting Out Subpar Work
When you are stretched too thin, you end up too tired and unable to think clearly. Also, the rush of being in a hurry does not allow you pay attention to the details of your work. If you don’t slow down, you will find that the quality of your work has gone from ‘this is fantastic!’ to ‘did you even look at this?!’
You Are Irritable And Judgmental
Perhaps you find yourself snapping at people or unnecessarily crying. You could also find that you have become harsher in your judgment of others, especially to those who seem to be a lot more easygoing. In this kind of situation, it may be the stress or busyness triggering your hormones or trying to get you to slow down and rest.
I guess what I am trying to say is, in a world where people place a lot of value on motion and getting things done, we must remember that it is really okay to just kick back your heels and chill. It’s okay to slow down and rest.
What do you think? Share your thoughts and comments below.