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Mental Health

Staying Busy 24/7 is Damaging to Your Mental Health

Taking time for yourself is one of the most important things you can learn to do. I know people say they don’t have time for themselves because they might be too busy or have a lot of work to do, but whatever the excuse is, there is always time for yourself. As a society, we need to learn to stop being so busy, because staying busy isn’t always good for yourself. We need to learn that it’s not always good to be people-pleasers while spreading yourself too thin.

I’m sure that you’ve heard of people pleasers before. I personally consider myself one. I often find it hard to tell people no and I always make sure to put other people before myself. This isn’t good though. You’re always told to put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else if you’re on a plane, so why put other people before yourself? People-pleasing can be seriously detrimental to our lives, our relationships, our careers, and our health. Learning to be less of a people-pleaser and becoming more assertive doesn’t mean that you will never help others or that you will say no to everything. It does mean that you will make choices about what you do and don’t do, your relationships will be more honest and less complicated, and your self-esteem will be enhanced. I know personally, I need to learn to be less of a people pleaser and put myself and my needs first more.

I know I’ve been told more than once about how “busy” I am. I’ve never really liked when people tell me that because, in my eyes, I don’t think I’m busy, and being busy isn’t always something good. When you’re busy, you aren’t present. Life is made up of hundreds of thousands of moments. Some that move us, others that change us, and some that provoke us to action. Being busy takes us away from those moments. You also don’t prioritize effectively. Priorities are how we separate the things that we need to do, versus ones that we should. They keep us in line and on track. But when we are too busy, everything seems like it needs to be done. It doesn’t. When you identify what matters versus what can wait, you become efficient with your time, allowing you to do the things you really want to do and with more regularity. Lastly, when you find yourself constantly busy, you forget to love and care for yourself. Self-love should be non-negotiable in your life. It should be a part of how you remain successful. Taking a vacation or a day off isn’t being lazy or neglecting your responsibilities, it’s a part of remaining in shape holistically, in mind, body, and spirit.

With being a people pleaser and always being told you’re busy, also comes spreading yourself too thin. One look at your calendar confirms the sneaking suspicion. It’s so covered in ink and scribbles and dates that you aren’t sure when your next day off will be. Reality sinks in, and soon you’re filled with terror and dread for your busy schedule. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It’s normal to want to be all things to all people — the best friend, the hardworking employee, the social butterfly, the helpful neighbor. And yet, saying yes to everything can quickly lead to overwhelm. This is what happens when you find yourself spreading yourself too thin. This is never a good feeling to have. You feel like everything is a chore, you feel anxious and all the days are starting to blend together. A never-ending, 24/7 schedule is too much for anyone to handle. So make sure you keep an eye out for these signs that you’re spreading yourself too thin, and be ready to make some changes to prioritize your time and health. It isn’t fair to constantly be putting others before myself and my own needs. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do that for me, so why do I do it for others?

In the end, I think it’s important that we bring attention to the fact that it’s okay to want to take time for yourself. It’s okay to tell people no. It’s okay to be distancing yourself from others and it’s especially okay to just not have anything to do. If we constantly find ourselves in the same habits we’ve had for years, it’ll soon take a toll on our mental and physical health. I’m learning it’s okay to not always be a people pleaser, it’s okay to distance myself from people so I’m not spreading myself too thin and it’s really okay to have nothing to do at times. I want to challenge everyone to take a step in the right direction to make these changes and be able to realize that some of these habits we have won’t be good for everyone in the long run, and that it’s especially okay to tell people no.

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