‘Hi, how’re you doing?’
‘Too much on’
These exchanges, or similar, will be heard thousands and thousands of times per day, in offices or workplaces all over the world. It would be interesting to really know what was really going through the minds of our colleagues (or former colleagues in my case….) as they respond. Is it an automated response? Are we conditioned to give the impression that we are pulling our weight within the team? It could be that you are on the way to the coffee machine, carrying a piece of paper for effect. Yes we’ve all done it! We all want to be seen as an integral cog within the corporate machine, indispensable and industrious.
How do you really feel when this question is asked?
Maybe you are tired, knackered, busy and have too much on.
Life is full on. Pressure is everywhere, and so often work is where the squeeze really comes on. This is when we need to think about rest. Relaxation is overlooked in life. Smartphones and tablets don’t help, but workplace pressure makes it difficult to rest properly. As does life at home. As does our own nature. Many people find it really difficult to sit. Just to sit and watch life happen around them. The good friend who inspired this piece was telling me yesterday this is a personal struggle that he has. He is not alone. Overcoming the need or desire to be busy is a challenge. Subsequently, rest is relegated, de-prioritised, with the result that you are constantly tired. What can follow that?
The impact can manifest itself physically and mentally. According to US statistics, 14% of workers have suffered the symptoms of burnout. One in seven!
I am sure there is more to come on the subject of burnout and stress. But my point here concerns how we chill out. I am in a position now where I can practice rest, but I know I am blessed and in a minority. Again, I do not have a perfect answer, but there are many things that can help. Mindfulness, meditation and prayer are all valid ways to help. Exercise is another, training or playing hard so you really do feel like sitting down! How about reading, losing yourself in a novel?
Resting can be hard, but the reward is better physical and mental health. Worth the effort to do nothing.
Take the time to do it.