Ban the busyness ….
Four times a year we spend 10 weeks running, planning, teaching, assessing and reporting only to fall ill in the holidays. There has to be a better way.Busyness is a drug and the for the last two months, i have been the busiest I have even been. From Sydney to Gold Coast, Adelaide to Brisbane, Wollongong to Canberra, and even venturing to Roxby Downs (a mining town at the centre of South Australia). Whilst sharing insights in Teacher Wellbeing, Growth MIndsets and Coaching Psychology for Mentors, I have also still been teaching, assessing, marking and reporting with my own classes at Western Sydney Uni.
Whilst I feel privileged to support so many teachers across Australia, and I love teaching, facilitating, coaching and mentoring, it has been a tough term for my own wellbeing. Long days and nights of teaching, long travel commitments, deadlines to meet and endless hours on the computer meant I was tired. Like all good educators, I pushed through, took mindful moments when I could and remembered to breathe deeply continuously……. but this simply wasn’t enough.
For the first time in many years, I was looking forward to a break, to having some time off from thinking and planning. I was excited to be spending 5 nights in Noosa up in QLD. That’s when the awareness kicked in and the lesson began.
You see, I had been pushing myself so hard that I was so wound up and I couldn’t switch off. I was really looking forward to sitting by the beach with a cup of tea and book, to just watch the world go by but I couldn’t sit still. I would get up every few minutes and look for things to do. I would walk, explore, clean, organise or just move. It wasn’t until my partner yelled at me and said “for goodness sake, will you just sit still and stop jumping around” that I started to notice my own discomfort at being still. My energy was scattered and I had built a habit of ‘busyness’ that needed to be addressed.
This was a real awakening for me… here I am teaching people about managing their own wellbeing and mine was scattered. At that point I made a conscious effort to STOP, BREATHE and OBSERVE myself. I was shocked at how hard it was to sit still, how strong the drive was to keep busy and how my mind jumped from making lists of things to do, to dreams, visions and actions I could perform.
Needless to stay, I practiced deep breathing to observe the discomfort, listened to guided meditations, practiced focussed attention exercises and more. I literally forced myself to stop and slow down, to unwind and let go of the busyness. It took me 4 days to come to a place a calm and stillness. Only then did I feel like I had begun to restore my own energy stores where the urge to move was gone, the guilt of doing nothing had passed and I was able to be present with my own surroundings.
this time I have even more strategies to avoid being as wound up as I was before.
In fact this book “Do Less – Be More” , is probably the simplest and most practical book I have found to support my own learnings this past holidays. I highly recommend it. Let me know what you think by joining the conversation on Facebook