Packed Google calendars. Multiple side projects. Coffee dates with every person I know. I don't know about you, but I absolutely jumped into the new year with my hands in about 15 different buckets. I'm a busy bee and too often I pride myself on that quality - as if it validates who I am.
What I've already realized is the burn out is real my friends. It comes quick and it comes hard, like a bulldozer straight over my heart. And the tracks become visible, deepening as the week goes on. And by the time it's Friday, I'm plumb tuckered out. All I can think about is curling up in the fetal position, with a face mask on, force-feeding greens while watching Making of a Murderer.
Definitely not what you'd call thriving, my friends. Not thriving at all.
Are you one of those people who when people ask you how you are, you reply with, "Busy. Really busy." Ugh, I hate that - don't you? I'm so guilty of this. I don't want that to be the theme of my life. When people ask me that question, instead I want to respond with, "I'm doing fab. Really rejuvenated and excited about what God's doing in my life." Now, that would be a stellar response. Well actually, a little too Christianese for my liking, but you get the idea.
No instead, I'm too busy being busy that I'm not creating room for the Creator.
In Mark, Jesus calls us to retreat back, to stop the glorification of busy. To instead, soak a bit of him in.
"Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'" Mark 6:31
Woo, Jesus. I totally would love to do that. That sounds like chicken soup to my soul. And while that's great in theory, how do we actively pursue that? How do we swim through the mess of our schedules to find a window of time to just chill out and hang out?
Well, aren't you glad you stopped by! Here are 4 tips that I'm using that may help you also overcome the glorification of busy:
Write down all the things.
For Christmas, my dear friend Robyn bought me Lara Casey's PowerSheets. I am absolutely obsessed with them! The PowerSheets help you press into what you want your year to look like, getting all of your thoughts down on paper. While the sheets are great, you can complete the same exercise by simply sitting down and writing whatever comes to mind. Write down what's stressing you out and your goals for the year. Then, break it down to simpler monthly and daily tasks - what can you do to accomplish that goal or eliminate that stress right now? By breaking it down into smaller chunks, the overwhelm will become much more manageable.
Start your mornings with stillness.
This is a practice I started at the end of last year and it's made a world of difference. In the past, I jumped out of bed and headed to the gym or straight to the shower. And while that was fine, my mornings were a blur and I felt that by the time I got to work I was already exhausted. Instead, I've adopted a slower pace in the morning. Getting up 2 hours before I have to get to work - I sit in the living room with a candle a-blazing, cup of joe in hand, Brandy to my left and my Bible and journal on my lap. I swear, there is nothing more divine.
This may sound silly, but I have to actively carve out time to do nothing. For me, it's Friday nights. I just had to get real with myself - I'm exhausted by Friday nights so me trying to be a social diva wasn't helpful to anyone, least of all myself. Let's just say I'm not the same party-going Jena I was freshman year in New York - and I'm totally cool with that. Instead, I now pencil in time on Friday nights to spend with just myself. See a movie. Read a book. Make a dent in my tending list. Go to bed early. Like 9 PM early. Whatever strikes my fancy as restful. What I've found is that if I don't schedule it, it probably won't happen. So my recommendation - schedule it.
Get your yoga flow on
Okay, so I used to hate yoga. I'll admit it, I thought yoga was stretching masked as exercise. I mean, why would I waste my time contorting on the mat when I could be sweating profusely at Barry's Bootcamp, which seemed a much more efficient use of my time? See the issue? What I didn't take into consideration was how yoga was equally about exercising my mind as it was my body. Ending the day with some yoga has helped me flush out my stressors and bring me back to a state of rest. Now I crave it. And let's be serious - I go to yoga now just for the shavasana.