After a morning workout yesterday, I took my dogs to the beach. At 10AM. On a Tuesday !! It was the perfect fall day and we had the entire beach to ourselves. But I couldn’t ignore the feelings of guilt that continued to pop up. I had thoughts like “I should really be at work…” or “I should hurry up.” In reality, I didn’t have anywhere else I needed to be; all of my clients were scheduled for the afternoon, I was all caught up on emails and paperwork, and I felt pretty on top of things. But I had to consciously keep pushing aside the feeling that I “should” be doing something.

Society tells us that we should be busy. That being busy deserves honor and recognition and if we’re not busy, we’re not doing it right. So, we bury ourselves in things we think we “should” do just to keep busy. We believe our life is only valuable if we have a mile-long list of tasks or activities to complete. Being busy has somehow been equated to making a greater contribution to the world. But being productive and being busy are two very different things — for me they are sometimes mutually exclusive.

Many people enter counseling because they’ve bought into this belief that we must be busy. They’ve found themselves overcommitted, and with no time left to care for themselves, problems are beginning to emerge. They are sleep deprived, can’t remember the last time they exercised, making poor nutrition choices, and their overall life perspective has become grim. They’ve become victims of a life that has been overtaken by “should,” and it’s becoming the norm.

Part of the reason I decided to take the entrepreneurial route and open Mind Body Method was so that I could be in charge of my own time. I am at my best when I am NOT busy; I am my most productive, empathetic, creative, authentic and happy self when I have an abundance of “me time.” I better serve my clients, friends and family when I have time to reflect and recharge. Sometimes that means taking my dogs to the beach at 10am on a Tuesday and not feeling guilty about it (a work in progress).

What does your best life look like? I encourage you to challenge the need to be busy; to slow down and replace some of the things you think you SHOULD be doing with things you actually WANT to be doing. Notice the difference it makes.