Message for “Busy” Folks: Taking Time Off Doesn’t Make You a Bum

If this isn’t the truth. (photo via EvelynGiggles on Flickr)

Recently, someone made a statement that changed my perspective on what I’ve been doing (or more importantly, not doing) since finishing yoga teaching certification a month ago.

We are often so busy either doing things, or making plans to do things, that we often don’t take the time to enjoy the fact that we’ve done them. Take time to just be.”

 

Much has been made of our culture of busyness, in which everyone is constantly on the “go,” on their “grind” and in no-sleep mode (which never made sense to me because good lord I am cranky without rest). If your social media timeline isn’t filled with mentions of the flights you’re taking, the meetings you’re having with the folks just like you and the after-hours networking over dark liquor and Cuban cigars, then what are you even here for?

I say to those folks “Mannn, hush!” If you build your self-worth on the highly curated and specially-selected experiences of others, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I admit, I wanted to be in the studio, teaching others and being a boss at it, immediately after finishing the program. I feel the desire to become one of those extra-flexible yogis from Instagram on a regular basis, even though my hips and back clearly haven’t gotten the memo to let go of that stiffness (working on it).

And then it hit me: in the last year, I’ve completed a Master’s degree, started a new job and kicked butt at it AND completed a 200-hour certification for yoga. I deserve to take a moment, even a month or two, to just sit in the cut and enjoy. So what if I don’t wake up until 11 a.m. on Saturday. I earned it. So what if I decide that sweatpants on the sofa night trumps working out. A practice of wellness and fitness allows for a day off. Unlike the folks who just have to let you know every time they and their smart phone cross the threshold of the gym, I live low key. No selfies from the mat or while holding a dumbbell. My focus is me, gaining energy and strength and peace of mind or whatever it is that I need during that session or class.

The past month has been restful and rejuvenating in many ways. I missed the time with the BF and my family. I missed books. And I needed time to plan and determine what I truly wanted to do with the achievement of being a certified teacher and how I want to impact those around me. I think I’m in the groove now, which means ramping up my personal practice, getting out to new studios and connecting with more like-minded people.

Do you feel a similar pressure to always be in “beast mode”? How do you overcome the “Fear of Not Doing Enough” brought on by social media?

One comment

  • Richard Buse

    Thanks for sharing this, Veleisa. It’s crucial we avoid glorifying busyness and living life in the hamster wheel.

    What helps keep me from lapsing into that trap are memories of two wonderful vacations I took in the 1990s. Both vacations fell during times when I was swamped with work. In both cases, I felt guilty about taking time off when there was so much work to be done.

    In both cases, though, I had made commitments to others to enjoy that vacation time. As much as I fretted over taking vacations when there was so much work to do, I feared even more telling those special individuals that I couldn’t spend time with them because I had so much work to do.

    Both vacations were wonderful. I felt incredibly refreshed afterward and was amazed how quickly I was able to finish what had seemed like daunting workloads.

    Those memories help me recognize the value of maintaining a proper work/life blend.

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