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The Highly Contagious Disease of Busyness

By: Michele Wahlder

Stress Management While on a flight from Texas to New York recently, I found myself reflecting on friends in my life with whom I have lost contact. I wondered about them with fondness and sadness because the disease of busyness had consumed them.

We have probably all come down with symptoms of this disease at one time or another; however, some people become chronically busy. You know the symptoms: no time for social outings, no time for a quick bite to eat with a friend, no time to talk. Well, quite simply no time to be a friend. As you well know, once you catch the bug it is very difficult to recover.

And who suffers from this illness? The disease of busyness manifests itself in all areas of a person's life. Children suffer. Spouses suffer. Friends suffer. Pets suffer. Parents suffer. But the diseased person suffers the most because one day in a time of need, she finds herself surrounded by only deadlines, the boss, and the clients, but not one friend in sight. And she wonders how someone so successful could live such a lonely life.

That is what the disease of busyness does; it alienates and squashes out one's passion and confuses one's direction in life.

So, how do you protect yourself from being consumed with busyness?

1. For starters, take the phone call. Make time to answer the phone. Caller ID has allowed us to develop into a perpetual state of "I need to return phone calls." We look at Caller ID and think, "Oh, it's Mom, I can call her later." But later doesn't happen, and your mom misses you.

2. Second, make time for face-to-face outings with your friends. They need you, and guess what? You need your friends. As the old adage goes, "To have a friend is to be a friend." Believe it or not, work will wait.

3. Third, nurture your relationship with your significant other. Intimacy should not be ignored. There is a level of communication that happens when you are intimate with your partner that does not happen in any other setting. It is in moments of intimacy that your souls connect. Find the energy. Make the time. In five, ten, twenty years, you will still see the rewards of that time well spent.

4. And lastly, nurture your relationship with yourself. Find "me time." Schedule a weekly date with yourself, even if it is only for an hour. Do something that nourishes you. Walk the dog. Take a yoga class. Take a nap or a hot bath. Your alone time is just as important as your time with your spouse, your children and your work.

*Prevention is the key to wellness. Be careful to safeguard the relationships in your life, as well as yourself, from the nasty disease of busyness.

Michele Wahlder, LPC, CLC, PCC, is a Professional Certified Life Coach and Psychotherapist, specializing in relationship enhancement, career transitions, and overall health & well-being. For more information or a complimentary 40 minute telephone consultation, please contact her at 214-823-LIFE(5433) or visit her website at http://www.michelewahlder.com.
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