Busy But Happy
With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, you may find your schedule suddenly rather full. There are more social gatherings and shows, outdoor work to tackle, and new projects (dreamed up during the winter) to get started on. If you get too busy, you might become grumpy, burned out, or exhausted. Here are a few tips to keep your life balanced and help you be busy but happy:
Schedule exercise. Not only does exercising keep your body feeling healthy and strong, it’s also a great way to release stress and keep your emotions on an even keel. Schedule times for regular walks, gym workouts, or your yoga practice.
Plan ahead for life’s basics. On the weekend, plan your dinners for the week and do your grocery shopping. Get the laundry done and sorted ahead of time. When you know you have a busy week ahead, getting you and your family’s basic needs taken care of will help relieve some of the daily stress.
Get help. Enlist family members to vacuum the floors or to cook for an upcoming potluck meal. Again, it helps to know in advance what your needs are so you can ask for support. Planning and communication are key.
Make time for you. If you have a regular spiritual practice, a busy week is no time to take a break. You’ll need the relief of setting aside the busy mental chatter for a few minutes. If you don’t have a regular practice, be sure to make time for things that nurture and recharge you. Go to bed an hour early and read a book, take a hot bath after work, or combine your lunchtime walk with a silent meditation.
Remember that you can’t do everything. So many of the invitations you receive will sound fun and exciting. But in order to say “yes!” you have to sometimes say “no thanks.”
Take a bigger view. If you don’t get everything done, what’s going to happen? You’ll do it later, or decide not to do it, or send your apologies that you can’t make it to the meeting or party after all. Life goes on. If you get too busy to do it all, then don’t. When others are involved, inform them politely that you can’t do this particular thing after all, without excuses or guilt. They’ll understand – or if they don’t, they’ll get over it. You’re no help to anyone if you get stressed out and ill.
Life is meant to be fun. There’s no reason why you can’t be happy, even when your schedule is full to bursting. Enjoy!