addicted to being busy

Are You Addicted to Being Busy?

I thought I’d kicked this dirty habit of needing to be busy. Yet here I am at 6 am wondering what I should be doing. I’m awake, so I can’t go back to sleep. Lying in bed I feel like I’m wasting this precious time of peace before the telephone begins to ring, the tv is blaring with another Netflix binge session, or the need to respond to social media notifications. I anxiously ask myself, “what should I do,” hoping my intuition comes up with a suitable response.

This is my time to go within. However, there is such guilt about it, which surprises me. In the past, I felt guilty for not being more productive. If I had energy and my eyes were open, that meant it was time to work. Entrepreneurs don’t rest, so that meant every waking hour was a time to hustle if I was a true entrepreneur.

I’ve long kicked that mindset to the curb for one that allows for self-compassion and self-care. It’s with this refreshed mindset that I’m perplexed on why I can’t comfortably sit and be still doing absolutely nothing right now.

Instead, I feel anxious and my addiction to being busy has me rethinking my next steps. At first, I try to find a podcast on personal development, but nothing resonated with me. Next idea was to listen to a guided mediation and journal. And then I thought about reading a book to further enlighten yourself on how to be more mindful. That’s when I stopped and questioned, “OMG, are you still addicted to being busy?”

Reflecting on how this was even possible, the answer was clear. I had traded the busyness of the entrepreneurial hustle for the busyness of personal development and self-care. And just because it is a healthier habit doesn’t make it any better. Being addicted to being busy no matter the habit, is still an addiction and an unhealthy habit.

Signs You’re Addicted to Being Busy

  • You wear your busyness as a badge of honor and pride
  • Constantly feeling exhausted and not having time to slow down
  • Feelings of guilt or anxiety when you aren’t being productive or doing something
  • You’re often thinking about the next thing you need to do and are rarely living in the present
  • Slowing down means you are still doing something like reading a book, watching TV or social media

So, now that I’m mindful of my addiction, now what? I challenged myself to simply sit. No book, no meditation, no music, simply me sitting in a room in complete silence. Honestly, before trying to be busy, my intuition was yelling at me to be still and enjoy this time. Instead, I allowed my mind and my addiction to being busy talk me out it.

One of my favorite mantras or phrases from Jack Kornfield, a meditation guru, is that when your mind starts to wander during meditation to “simply begin again.” This mantra also applies to those addicted to being busy. When you’re aware of being caught up in being busy, stop without self-judgment, and ‘simply begin again’ as often as you need to do.

Self-Care Challenge:

Sit in a quiet space, eyes open doing nothing but practicing being still. Use breathing techniques to quiet your mind to the point of stillness. This may be difficult at first, but remember the mantra of ‘simply begin again,’ without judgment.

Investigate how spending between 5-30 minutes of stillness makes you feel. When I do this, I like to look out a window and focus on the subtle noises to be fully present. Or I’ll replay a time in my past when I was still, like when I was in Costa Rica and stood in a river focusing on being still and watching the water flow around me. I’d love to hear your feedback, so drop a comment in our Facebook group, women of color travel therapy.

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