The thump-thump of my heart echoed in my ear, the tightness in my chest only increasing its volume. My peripheral vision blurred a bit as I desperately searched for all the things I thought we might need. I almost didn’t recognize my own shrill and panicked voice as I demanded, “Hurry! Get in the car!” With all the drama, one might think we were rushing out of a burning building. Nope. We were late for an appointment. Again.
This scene of rush and panic replays itself over and over at my house. I often find myself living, what author Glynnis Whitwer identifies as, an overbusy life. In her new book, Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest, Whitwer untangles the causes of an overly busy life and offers wisdom on how to handle it better.
My over busy roots go deep. I operate with fierce self-sufficiency and desire to always be in control. This leads to a too-long to-do list. At the end of the day, my still-to-do list is longer than my done list. This state of being over-committed and under-resourced often causes me to be short-tempered with others.
Does any of this sound familiar? Do you feel in over your head with life?There's a longing in every overbusy woman's heart to press pause. @GlynnisWhitwerClick To Tweet
Whitwer says, “There’s a longing in every overbusy woman’s heart to press pause, breathe deeply, and soak in the sacred moments of life.” This idea of pressing pause resonates with my hurried heart. When I stop the hustle for a minute, I am better able to see what is essential and what can wait.
Spiritual rest teaches us that God is our source, our portion, our provider. When we truly understand that, our souls sigh in relief. (Glynnis Whitwer)
I found a few short activities that help me recenter. Pressing pause helps me turn to God who never asks too much of me and gives me all I need.
6 Ways to Press Pause When You’re Too Busy
Stop, drop, and roll. We teach our kids this fire safety rescue strategy. Similarly, our response to busy panic should be to stop, kneel, and pray. Lay out the to-do list, and ask God to help you determine what you should do and what you can let go. Ask him for the resources to do what must be done. This simple act of submission does so much to bolster our faith in an almighty God.
Listen to Music
Turn on a favorite hymn or worship chorus and get lost in the melody. The lyrics of these songs can help refocus your heart much like prayer does. Need a brain break? Turn on a funky song and dance! The physical release of control can help you let go of stress.
Meditate on a Verse
I love to post scripture around the house. Verses that help me remember God is in control help me to loosen my perceived grip on my life. Little bumps in the road aren’t as traumatic when I remember who is in control. Try some of these verses: Psalm 24:4-5, 2 Chronicles 20:12, Deuteronomy 31:8, and Philippians 2:13.
When the to-do list threatens, it seems illogical to stop and play. However, I found playing a game of solitaire (with real cards) or reading a chapter in a book helps me to breathe a little slower and treat people a little nicer. Try an adult coloring book, a few stitches of your knitting project, or ball tossing with the dog. Avoid games on your phone or tablet, lest you get sucked in too deep or get distracted by email notifications!
Take a Quick Walk
Step away from the rush with a quick walk around the neighborhood. The quiet gives your mind time to sort out the mess and find a clear path through. The fresh air and physical activity will energize you. This is also a great place to have a talk with God!
Drink a Glass of Water Outside
This may seem like a silly combo, but those of us who get stuck in a rush-rut are often dehydrated. We dart from one activity to the next with coffee cup in hand to boost alertness. Step away from your desk and rehydrate out into the sun. You will feel better and the moment of peace will help you refocus.
…And Then Take Something Away
Chances are, you can eliminate something on your to-do list. After one of these press-pause moments, re-evaluate your schedule and your task list. What can you clear from your planner to help cut down on the busy? Whitwer says, “As women who tend toward living with overloaded lives, there will be times when we need to remove responsibility, resign a position, or abandon a goal.”Stepping away for just a minute will help you gain perspective. #presspause #doingbusybetterClick To Tweet
Stepping away for just a minute, be it to stroll around the block or coloring a page in your adult coloring book, will help you gain perspective. These breaks in the busy help me to loosen my grip on my over-commitment and see the to-do list God has for me.
Would you like to dig deeper into your overbusy life? Glynnis Whitwer’s book, Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest, will help you uncover the source of your busy and identify ways to get a handle on it. Through personal stories, biblical wisdom, and practical tips, Doing Busy Better gives the frantic woman hope for a peaceful life. Find additional resources including a sample chapter and a bonus study guide at GlynnisWhitwer.com.
Product links are affiliate links.
I received one or more of the products or services mentioned for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Photo credit: Brigitte Tohm via Unsplash.