I've always craved being busy. During the academic year, I usually study up to 40 hours a week. During the summer, I work double shifts as a CNA, working 45-50 hours a week. I always have to have something to do or somewhere to be, free time makes me nervous. I can't sit down for a meal without thinking of what homework I could get done while I eat and in the summer when I'm not working I calculate how much money I could make if I was.
I'm in a sorority, which takes up a good portion of my week, I'm in a relationship that requires attention, I have friendships that need to be maintained, and God time is probably the glue that keeps me from losing it.
I don't do these things because I have to, I do them because they make me happy. Often, things that we do or are involved in can seem a lot bigger than they really are. Sometimes we feel like our job is our whole life, that our worth is only found in what friends we have or our presence socially, or that we're only as good as the number of times we go to church in a week.
A little mantra if you will helps me to find balance and peace: Keep things small.
When I sit down to study, I take advantage of that time and get the most out of what I'm studying. When I'm at work, I do the best that I can and take time to talk to my patients to give them the best care that I can. When I'm at sorority functions, I invest in friendships. When I'm at church, I take the time to center myself in my faith. When I'm with my boyfriend, I take the time to listen and be present. The key is that these things don't bleed into one another.
When I study, I focus to really take the most from what I'm doing. When I'm at work, I focus on work. With my friends, I focus on making memories and nurturing relationships, etc. You get the point. No matter how busy I am, not one of these takes hold of my entire life. I'm not defined by each one, rather they are all parts of me and what I care about.
This might seem like a simple concept but when you're intentional about where your focus is, things seem a little bit smaller rather than blowing up and becoming you're whole being and purpose.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, keep things small.