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Go go go. It is a plague on our culture–the need to go go go. The ideas of weekends of nothing, letting our kids play hours on end or time to ‘just be’ is a foreign concept to many of us. From the times we wake up to the time we go to bed we are on the move. We are busy, our kids are busy, we have become a culture of busy. Some of that busy is awesome. It allows us to feed our interests, explore new ideas, to grow and change. Some of that busy is dangerous. It keeps us from re-connecting with ourselves and our families, and it keeps us stuck in perpetual motion, so we are in a constant state of stress and anxiety.
Of course, there are radical ways to shift our busy lifestyles. Stopping everything or adopting a minimalist lifestyle. I am more of a slight shifter than a radical shifter–so here are some relatively simple, easy, non-radical ways of shifting your busy, busy, busy lifestyles. When we shift the busy, we can relax a bit, get back in touch with ourselves again and learn what matters most.
Commit to eating a together. Commit to eating a certain number of meals together a week. This can be dinners during the week or weekend brunches; it doesn’t matter. But commit to eating a certain number of dinners as a family. And TALK to each other. Talk about your day, play a word association game, have fun.
Implement a family night. One night a month where you just have fun. Maybe it is playing video games or Monopoly; maybe it is watching a movie while eating homemade ice cream sundaes. Just join as a family and engage with each other. Laugh and have fun.
Plan free time. Yep, you read correctly. Plan some time that is unscheduled, unaccounted for and free. Allow yourself, your kids, your spouse to do whatever they want at this time. Give yourself time to just be.
Take Stock. Before you take on another ‘to-do’ ask yourself or your kids Do I want to do this activity? What will I gain from this activity? What will I lose by engaging in this activity?
Do something different. Get out of your busy, busy, busy pattern. Take a different way to work or school. Experiment with a new food, order something different at the coffee shop or try a different workout.
Give Back. One of the dangers of being busy is you get too caught up in yourself. Figure out a cause where you can give back. Cleaning out your closets, donating food, feeding the homeless, etc.
Any other ideas you have for getting out of the busy? How does being busy help or hurt you?