Maybe you didn't know it had a name. You only know what hurry sickness feels like
You smile and get through your days, but the accusing voice in your head says you'll never be quite enough.
I know it well. Do you?
"Hurry sickness" may sound like a made-up condition, but it's real
Google the term and you'll find a number of entries. Here's one definition from Dictionary.com:
"A behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency."
Every life includes periods when we're chronically short of time.
Think of moms with lively small children and moms who juggle jobs and mothering their families.
For some, life stresses go on and on. Parents of special-needs children and caregivers for loved ones with ongoing health problems, for example.
Whatever our life situation, if that sense of I don't have time for this! pounds in our veins even when we're supposed to be relaxing, it signals we're out of balance.
Take a moment to count up the daily responsibilities on your plate
We make lists, then too often our lists accuse us. We say, "I just need to get myself together!"
Before you beat yourself up for not coping better, think of this:
Even when we chose our responsibilities, want them, love them, we can be on overload.
Continual overload produces stress, which experts call "a silent killer." Habitual stress often leads to high blood pressure and predisposes us toward other health problems.
Sooner or later continual stress takes its toll on our hearts, our bodies and, yes, our minds.
Yet living in stress can become a way of life so familiar to us we ignore the signs we have hurry sickness:
- Snapping at others, even the people we love most.
- Exhaustion that hangs on despite a good night's sleep.
- Being weepy.
Hurry sickness makes us feel we're endlessly on the hamster wheel of "when/then." (When I get this done, then I can relax.)
Technology just ramps up the pressure
Technology, as wonderful as it can be, is a bully.
Consider how often each day so many of us "must:"
- Listen for "pings" on our amazing smart phones and check for texts and emails
- Go over tweets on our Twitter page--and follow up on them
- Check Facebook to see what's new
- Ditto to Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
All this technology expands our horizons, true. It's a gift for people who are housebound. They can roam the earth and that's a wonderful thing.
The down side is it brings extra stuff to keep up with. Anxious thoughts and feelings of falling behind multiply.
Do-it-yourself antidotes to hurry sickness
This is an inexact science, as variable as individuals. In many ways, it's a matter of following Jesus' example.
- Live in the moment. Decide what you will and won't respond to, as deliberately as you choose your TV programs. Practice being fully present and engaged in the now.
- Remember this moment is God's gift--and this moment is all any of us really have. Stop and smell the roses of your life.
- Take regular breaks, time to focus your thoughts on all the ways God has blessed you. The blessings are always there, even in the midst of problems.
- Get away, even if it's just to walk down the hall or around the block.
- Be sure you take care of yourself. Get regular exercise. Eat healthy. Take naps and get enough sleep at night.
- Carve out time for reading the Bible and talking to God. Ask Jesus, your friend and brother, to walk with you. Start your day focusing on faith and you'll be calmer all day long.
- Rethink your priority list. Most of what we label "musts" really aren't.
The world will not come to a halt if you don't get everything done that's on today's To Do list.
- Revamp how you think and speak. Let how you express yourself reflect your new mindset. Shake off the guilt monkey by learning to say, "Let it go" and "It doesn't matter."
The foundation underlying your new practices
Jesus showed us how to live and stay in rhythm with how God made us.
- Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. --Mark 1:35
- "Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you as well." --Matthew 6:33
- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." --Matthew 11:28
- "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." --John 10:10
I'm working on it, too,