Break Up With Busyness and Commit to Something Better
Theresa Polley
September 20, 2022
August 16, 2023
Self Care

Stillness in the midst of endless doing and going can feel like a cool ocean breeze on a sweltering hot day. A peaceful respite when it feels like everything is spinning out of control. But how do you find stillness when you’re trapped in the spinning hamster wheel?  

The quieter you become. The more you are able to hear. ~Rumi

The Never-Ending Cycle of Busyness

I know I must build time for stillness breaks into my day or else the day slips away and I realize I’ve been going non-stop. Going non-stop is overwhelming and can contribute to mental, physical and emotional distress.

Maybe you’ve fallen into the trap of cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, answering emails plus a few other chores before bed. You fall into bed exhausted – maybe even falling asleep while reading or watching TV. In the past that was my “bedtime routine,” but now I realize life is too short to spend all of my waking hours being “productive,” whatever that really means. 

Maybe you’ve been in a situation at work or with family where you’ve felt completely overwhelmed. Your knee jerk reaction is to “fix” the situation as quickly as possible, but a few days later, the situation has begun to resolve itself and you discover you were stressed and anxious for no apparent reason.

I always thought I needed to keep moving (stay busy) in order to move forward in life. Now I know just the opposite is true. Instead of speeding up, I slow down. But once I stopped the constant “busyness” I had subjected myself to for years, I found, not only more peace, but more energy. 

Now when it comes to wrapping up my day, I pick one thing to get done – not everything. And I absolutely do not answer emails past 7 pm. With all of that extra time, I take a bath, read, listen to a podcast or watch Netflix. Freedom!

Practicing Stillness Gives You A New Perspective

When I stop the mindless running in place I’m able to approach tasks, life situations, fear and anxiety with a clear head instead of on the verge of panic. 

By giving myself permission to pause, I stopped the cycle of depletion and never enough time or energy. I found stillness allowed me to refill my cup.

In stillness, I am able to make well informed decisions about what I need to do. Not everything in life is an emergency, though sometimes it may feel like it. It is when we blindly react to our mile long to-do list, work and personal obligations, that we tend to over react. And I’d like to make a case to under react.

When I take a moment to pause, I create a shift in my perspective and everything else in my life shifts. I find my to do list is less daunting. And by stepping away from the thought “everything must get done right now,” I find peace.

How to Bring Stillness Into Your Life

1. Practice Pausing

When your to-do list is overwhelming and your calendar is full – instead of rushing through your life in order to accomplish more in less time, give yourself permission to pause. Take a moment for you. Reflect on what absolutely has to be done and do it. I promise – it’s not everything on your list. Remember doing more in less time doesn’t work.

2. Skip the Multi-Tasking 

Research has shown that multitasking not only doesn’t work, but its detrimental to our concentration and focus. By continually pulling our attention from one task to another and back again, we shorten our attention span and lose our ability to immerse ourselves in one activity until completion. Do one thing. Then move on to the next. Be good to your brain, it’s the only one you get!

3. Choose Stillness 

Realize stillness is more mental and less physical. But also know that constant movement is less productive. It’s more like spinning your wheels. Allow your racing thoughts to slow down with yoga and meditation or simply be present with your surroundings, noticing the sounds, the smells and the sights around you. Being present in nature is ideal for stillness in body and mind.

4. Slow Down

Don’t end up exhausted and stressed. Realize there is no satisfaction in cramming your days full of too many projects without down time. When things get the craziest, instead of running faster and trying harder, practice mindfulness to help you slow down, pause, reflect.

Give Yourself Permission to be Still

I’m at the point in life where I prefer to be under committed versus over committed. I consciously choose to not fill every hour of every day with things to do and places to go.

I hope you’ll join me in the journey of slowing down. I’ve always loved the saying, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Enjoying every moment doesn’t mean you have to be productive every minute. Allow yourself stillness and savor the moments of doing nothing.

If you need to pause, join us for a retreat – the physical, mental and emotional benefits of taking a time out are phenomenal.

Women’s Retreats in Texas

Join us for a weekend wellness retreat at Retreat in the Pines. We are a women’s retreat center located outside of Dallas-Fort Worth,  designed to cultivate community, connection, and mind-body healing in a serene, inclusive sanctuary. 

Leave your worries at the gate, get comfy and enjoy: chef-prepared meals, gentle yoga, guided meditations and as much rest as you want. Find connection, clarity and exactly what you need. 

Join us for one of our wellness retreats for women, happening almost every weekend. View All Our Retreats

This blog is intended to provide helpful suggestions for self care and overall well-being. I am not a mental health professional. If you’re struggling I encourage you to seek the help of a professional. Find a Mental Health Professional | National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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