Stop the glorification of busy-ness.
Who else has trouble finding those moments of mindfulness and peace throughout their day?
Western culture has a knack for celebration, even an obsession with the amount of todos and tasks that someone has on their plate at any given moment. How many times have you heard someone go on and on about how busy they are? Busy-ness is almost seen as a competition between mothers, business professionals, students, and even children.
Everyone wants to prove to the next person that they are busier, more productive, more prestigious, and therefore “more important”. When did the obligations on our plates become the way of measuring success?
Changing the Definition of Success
When you think of the definition of success, what comes to mind? The CEO of a company? A healthy and happy family? A 4.0 GPA at a top-tier university? The successes listed above are all noteworthy and commendable achievements, but is a gold star on your transcript or your diploma really all there is to success?
I don’t think so.
Success can be anything from the joy of waking up early to see the sunrise, making yourself a delicious meal, having ten minutes of meditation to yourself, or even fostering a new relationship.
Success as defined by Merrian-Websters– A degree or measure of succeeding. Favorable or desired outcome. The attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence
When we take a step back from the cookie cutter definition of success, we are able to find the joy of doing what we actually want to do and maybe even find the joy of doing nothing. There is an Italian phrase that is featured in the iconic movie, Eat, Pray, Love, that says “la dolce far niente.” This translates to “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
A Cultural Shift
Many people and cultures across the globe have the understanding that life is for enjoying. There is more to life than working 9-5 and coming home just to work more. This is why Mexico has siestas. This is why the French refuse to engage in business talk at parties or outside of work. This is why the Italians get delicious, decadent lunches with their family and friends during the day.
Why is it so difficult for Americans to follow suit?
In this day and age, we are constantly being hit with stimuli. Phones, emails, social media, and news blasts are constantly overloading our brains with noise. When we take a step back from all of the chaos, we may be able to enjoy “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
When was the last time you took a sick day from work and really did nothing? When was the last time you treated yourself to a half-day or a lingering lunch with colleagues? Have you ever left your computer for an hour to go journal in the park or go to a yoga class?
If you cannot think of the last time you took a pause from your work day or stepped outside to take a moment of stillness and quiet, let’s change that!
Finding Moments of Stillness
Spending time with yourself, away from the distractions of a phone, work, or other people, can have immense benefits for your mental wellness and overall worldview. By the way, spending time with yourself does not mean isolating yourself. According to the New York Times, “solitude helps us regulate our emotions” and “can have a calming effect that prepares us to better engage with others.”
Finding those moments of mindfulness and the time alone to process our thoughts and emotions not only can positively impact our work lives, but also our relationships across the board. As leaders within companies, it is important to keep the mental and physical wellness of your employees at top of mind. When employees are able to have time doing the things that bring them peace, tranquility, and stillness, they are able to come to work feeling refreshed, more productive, and more creative.
Let’s celebrate the leaders who work to create a culture that supports the many wellness benefits of being still. If you are feeling unsure how to find these moments for yourself, we have some inspiration for you.
- Go outside and lay down in the grass.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Ground yourself by walking barefoot.
- Read a book of poems.
- People watch outside your office building.
- Drink a warm cup of tea with herbs.
- Mist or dust your desktop garden.
- Take some meditative breaths.
- Create a vision board.
- Get outside and get dirty by gardening.
- Turn your phone off
For more wellness tips and meditative practices, check out our blog, The Sage.