• The Plague of "Being Busy"

    Busy is a buzz word. It’s the latest craze to be taking the world by storm. In our society everyone is busy. It almost comes with a certain level of admiration, as the busier you are the better you must be doing at work, study, family life. Free weekends are non-existent and invitations are sent out months in advance to guarantee attendance. No sooner does free time come up in your diary then it is refilled with another important event. People who are busy are often shrouded in a cloud of guilt; a friend confessed in tears that she was too busy at work to help out with a best friends baby shower, another ashamedly admitted to avoiding friends calls just to dodge the possibility of being asked to go out.

    The reality is that being busy can be a complete departure from the present moment, in essence a mudslide to mindlessness.

    How many times this week have you eaten breakfast whilst checking emails, or even worse eaten breakfast whilst driving? When was the last time that you cleaned your teeth whilst thinking about everything but cleaning your teeth?

    Busyness is undoubtedly accompanied by its best friend, stress, whose favourite mantra repeatedly reminds us that we “have too much to do” or “can’t cope”.

    So how can we create more space in our day? How can we be more productive? How can we ease stress and avoid the inevitable burnout that comes with being busy all the time?

    As a student studying two subjects, working full time, interning and having full-on sporting commitments, I am completely guilty of being in the busy trap. I am that person who when someone asks how I am I say, “I’m really busy” and I hate myself for it! As an interning psychologist at a Mindfulness institute I felt like a fraud to say that I often feel completely stressed out and overwhelmed by all the things I have to do. I often think: “when this assignment is done then I can relax”, or “when this event is over, I can start getting things done again”.

    The one thing that seems to make me feel better (when I can fit it in) is meditation.

    This statement brings one word to mind, priorities. Making meditation a priority rather then the thing that lives at the end of your to do list (along with calling your grandparents and washing your car) is the key. Making meditation a priority has a trickle-down effect of first creating space in your mind and then space in your day. A calm and quiet mind is better able to solve problems, is more productive and is a place where creativity can flourish.

    The positive effects of Mindfulness Meditation are endless when it comes to things such as improved concentration, stress reduction, and positive mood. All these things can help you cope with the many tasks that fill your day and stop you from feeling completely overwhelmed. So, every day take 5 minutes to connect with where you are right now even if it’s just sitting at your desk. Feel your feet on the floor, your body in your seat, take a few deep breaths and acknowledge the moment that you are in right now. Challenge yourself to 10 minutes of meditation each day for a week and see the impact that it has on your life.

    For a link to a free meditation that you can listen to right now, check out:

    Good luck with your journey!

    XX Ali