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Resisting the Cult of Busy

Feeling overwhelmed with life’s demands? Cynthia Ransley, MA (’15) offers a brief argument for joining the resistance.

Busyness has reached something like cult status with a lot of people I know.

I don’t share this fascination with overscheduling, mostly because it doesn’t feel good. Busy to me means suffering – my heart-rate goes up, my mood goes down. I start trying to just get through my days.

Benefits to resisting busyness are many. Here are a just a few:

Less comparison, more kinship. When you give up on busyness, you accept that nothing will match the idealized versions we see on social media or in movies. The relief of this acceptance will open your heart to the people around you, because you will know we are all doing our best.

Curated free time. When you are careful in choosing what you really want to do – surprise! – your free time feels genuinely like your own.

Deeper intimacy with the people who matter most. Let’s not spend our nights and weekends rushing around and not seeing our partners, children, best friends, siblings, etc. Resisting busyness means first deciding to spend time together and then deciding what you really want to do (rather than seeing what’s happening and maybe dragging people along).

Feel healthier (no exercise required). When you stop rushing around all the time, your body will have a chance to relax. Stress hormones will slow the heck down. You’ll sleep better and make fewer compensatory food and drink choices.

Part of the trick of resisting busyness is realizing that you may have to say no to things you actually do want to do; it may not be enough to just reject what you don’t want.

The other part is giving yourself enough time and space to literally enjoy what you do choose.

Because, otherwise, what’s the point?

Cynthia Ransley, MA, LLP

Cynthia Ransley is the Communications Coordinator for MSP.