Being Busy Isn’t Always a Good Thing: Why It Pays to Take a Breather
These days, we take pride in keeping ourselves occupied with school, work, and social life and making sure we tick the checkboxes for all our daily tasks. Attend soccer practice? Check. Attend Calculus study group? Check. Go to the movies with best friend? Check. Drop by uncle and aunt for their 20th wedding anniversary? Check.
For most of us, being involved in enough activities and attending enough events are fulfilling. We’ve grown so accustomed to be always doing something that if we do find ourselves with free time for one reason or another, we are at a loss. Sure, having something to do all the time is great, and it beats splaying out on the couch and watching “Stranger Things” for the ninth time. However, keep in mind it’s fine to take a breather once in a while when things get overwhelming:
Learn to prioritize.
It’s 2019, and yes, that cliché rings true more than ever: you can be whoever you want to be. Do you want to be a world-class chef? Go to YouTube.com to learn how to whip out a Michelin-level meal. Do you want to learn how to code? Invest in some online classes, and you’ll understand the essentials in a short time. Because almost everything is now within reach thanks to technology, we often are afflicted with the “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO syndrome. However, take note that if you try to be everything all at once, you won’t become anything at all. So hit pause and re-evaluate your life now. What areas do you think need priority more? Focus on those instead, and put the others in your mind on hold.
It’s OK to say no.
Often, we take on more things than we can handle because we are afraid to disappoint the people around us or we are too focused on trying to impress them. If you often go by these two reasonings, chances are, you’ll get overwhelmed and lose focus on who really needs attention: you. You are not a superhero, and it’s completely understandable if you can’t do everything that people ask of you. If your favourite aunt asks you to plan her upcoming wedding and you know fully well you already have a lot on your plate—be honest with her and politely refuse. If you always set out to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.
Take time out from social media.
We always tell ourselves that we are not the type of people to be lured by the temptations of social media, but we do fall into the trap more than we realize. Our addiction to social media can lead us to be busier than necessary, so we get to update are profiles regularly, and we get more likes and more clicks. In addition, the more we see other people on social networks being busy and active, the more we try to be like them, and in the process, we lose sight of the important things: working hard to build skills for our future career, spending quality time with family and friends, and others.
Keep your health in check.
When you become overwhelmed, you tend to take your health for granted, and this is a big NO. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep and the right food even when you are busy, otherwise, your health will pay the price. Ensure you always get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, or if not, find a way to take cat naps in between classes when you can. A power nap can help you regain the energy you’ve lost. In addition, avoid fast food and instead go for nutritious food that’s home-prepared or home-cooked no matter how tempting it is to order fast food via online food delivery services.
Being overwhelmed is common these days when multitasking has become a life skill. However, don’t give in to the pressure and try out the recommendations above to keep your head above water.