THE BLOG
10/29/2014 11:04 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Finding Peace Amidst Crazy: Five Quick and Easy Ways to Balance Busy

Wavebreakmedia Ltd via Getty Images

It's really easy to get sucked into busy. I watch people race around corners, speed talk into their phones, order lunch while texting. And I confess, I've been addicted to busy too.

Not long ago I was a single mom of two, and then started a business. If that wasn't enough, a few years after that I went back to school and then... Yes, the list continues but not for long because soon I'd blown my adrenals; too much stress.

Guess what that felt like? Having a constant panic attack. Instead of feeling no energy, I felt even more anxious, stressed out and crazed. Fortunately, I had a health practitioner who diagnosed it, and I didn't need anti-anxiety medication, just adrenal supplements. Almost immediately I felt calmer.

But here's the thing.

A pill helped me feel better but I had to change my lifestyle AND confess that I was addicted to busy.2014-10-28-peaceamidcrazyimage.jpg

Busy is very alluring. After all, busy made me feel important. I had calls to make, appointments to attend, people waiting for me, more emails in my inbox than I could read. I mattered. I had value. I was doing, doing, doing until I dropped.

So now what? How to manage busy with balance?

Well, balance is a word that didn't feel like it fit at all in my modern world. But when I started inserting small acts of self-care, rest and pleasure, it was easier for me to begin to release busy.

If you're willing to try and alleviate busy, just a little bit, here are some easy ideas to slot right in:

1. Heading to Work? Try breathing.
  • Turn off the radio, close that magazine or newspaper and breathe.
  • Do it for 5 minutes and count your breaths. Inhale one, exhale two until you get to 11. Then start over.
  • Ignore the people staring at you or driving by.
  • Focus on your breath. If you lose count, start over.
  • This will clear your mind and allow you to feel more focused when you get to work.
2. Stop at Lunchtime. Take 20 minutes and go sit outside, preferably by water.
  • Eat an apple or a yogurt (something satisfying but healthy-ish).
  • Don't look at your phone. In fact, don't even bring it.
  • Just listen to the water, look at it and stop.
  • If you do this, you'll be amazed at its ability to recharge you. The afternoon will be more productive, feel less stressed and fly by.
3. Fun. When's the last time you had fun? What does fun even mean to you?
  • Throw a Frisbee in your back yard or a nearby park with a spouse, friend or child.
  • Dance around the living room to your favorite upbeat song.
  • Play a board game like Clue, Pictionary or Twister instead of a computer one.
4. On Your Way Home? Instead of listening to the news or going through the home To Do List or menu planning -
  • Put on some uplifting music. Something that will kick you into happy.
  • How about Beethoven's 9th Symphony and soar with Ode to Joy?
  • If classical music isn't your thing, try some banjo picking blue grass or choral South African rhythms.
  • Find something that will instantly put a smile on your face and make your heart sing.
  • When you get home, you'll feel clear and ready for the next task.
5. One Minute Mantra -- This is something you can do anytime.
  • Try it first thing when you wake up or at any point throughout the day.
  • Pick an affirmation that will calm you down.
  • It could be "I am safe" Or "I easily and effortlessly get everything done."
  • Maybe it's "Creativity flows through me" or I am surrounded by love."
  • Take one of these or find a saying that feels good to you.
  • When your mind starts with "I can't...." or "I have too much to do..." and you feel the anxiety rising, embrace your statement.
  • Just repeat it over and over. Instantly the anxiety should lessen.

Let me know how it goes and if busy feels suddenly less so.