We live in a modern world full of responsibilities and tasks we must accomplish. A person is often looked upon as lazy if he or she is not constantly busy or accomplishing goals. Stillness is not highly valued in our culture even though there is increased discussion about the beneficial qualities of being quiet.
The irony of the situation is that we are usually overwhelmed with the technological advances that were meant to improve the quality of our lives. Computers, mobile phones, tablets and social media, etc. have eroded our idle time. We are busy all day, often at the expense of neglecting our relationships, our health and our dreams.
At the end of the day, we are usually exhausted because we have engaged in constant menial tasks. As a result, we often forgo exercise, cooking a healthy meal, eating as a family or engaging in a meaningful conversation with loved ones. We convince ourselves, however, that we are connected with others through the use of email, Twitter, Facebook and other social media avenues. While these are definitely wonderful ways to connect with others, it does not make up for intimate connections such as going out with a friend or engaging in genuine dialogue with another.
When it is time for bed, a restful night’s sleep often eludes us as studies are reporting that watching TV, working on a computer or playing video games just before going to bed actually decreases the quality of sleep. We have a restless sleep and wake up exhausted in the morning, having to consume several caffeinated drinks to give us the necessary energy to engage in the daily cycle.
It is empowering to become conscious of our behaviors and how they impact our overall health to include mental health. It is fine to engage in all of the above activities but are you aware of how much time you dedicate to social media, computers, tablets and TV and the effect it has on your overall life? Is it necessary to communicate as often as we do and expect instant responses?
We can choose our priorities and how we expend our energy. When we become fully responsible for our actions, we feel we have control of our lives. The anxiety that often hovers over us dissipates. We no longer worry that we do not have enough time to do “it” all. We prioritize our responsibilities and make time for our main concerns, leaving smaller tasks at the end of the list.
It is often helpful to discuss with an objective person what your priorities are in life as many of us have confused what is really important. Having someone to bounce ideas and give honest, non-judgemental feedback is invaluable.
If you have decided to take action over your life rather than be reactive to the factors available in society and you need guidance, reach out for a psychotherapist that can support you through your journey.
By: Maritza Rodriguez-Arseneau, M.Ed., CCC
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA