We, Americans, pride ourselves in our work ethic. In our society, busyness is next to holiness. It has become a competition to see who has worked the most hours, who has the most meetings, the most assignments due in the next few weeks and the least amount of sleep. The importance of hard work and discipline is not meant to be underplayed or dashed by any means, however, there is something to be said about our obsession with busyness and the problems that it brings.
Burnout is real and for me, it is the result of being disconnected from my own personal needs and instead, diverting all of my energy into whatever is keeping me 'busy.' Somewhere along the line, I decided that I was too 'busy' to wake up at 7 am on the days I didn't have class until 12:45 because I needed my sleep even though I was going to bed at 11:30 every night. I decided that I was too 'busy' to journal everyday and write out the things I was grateful for every morning. I was too 'busy' to take 30 minutes at the beginning of each week to plan out the rest of my week and set my goals in my kick-ass planner that I've been enthusiastically using all year.
Waking up early, as awful as it sounds, gave me extra time in my day for reflection, doing laundry before the mad scramble for the machines started and for just being quiet. Journalling and writing the things that I'm grateful for every morning helped me to frame my thoughts to be more positive for the remainder of the day. These things helped to keep me grounded.
When I neglected them for the first time, was I actually busy? Probably. Am I too busy to do these things now? No. I'm just lazy and unmotivated (which is very unlike me).
When you feel ungrounded and disconnected from yourself and the things that add value to your life, you begin to feel lost. Priorities become hazy and procrastination becomes King.
As much as it sucks, disconnect is normal. One does not expect nature to be peaceful and tranquil all of the time so why do you expect the same for yourself?
The first step in reconnecting with yourself and becoming grounded again is recognizing the fact that you are disconnected. The second is to commit yourself to change. This isn't something you do at 12:30 at night where you vow to do it in the morning. We all know that motivation doesn't work that way.
How you decide to reconnect with yourself is completely up to you. For me, it's creating set morning and evening routines and sticking will them, exercising daily and goal setting. For others it might be taking time to reconnect with family and friends or volunteering. Whatever it is, find the things that make you feel alive and do not allow the illusion of busyness get in your way.