Why Are We So Overscheduled?
May 8, 2017
It seems being busy is the new black these days. Everyone is constantly talking about how busy they are and whether it’s considered a status symbol or a frustrating reality, I think we can all agree, being overscheduled isn’t exactly fun after a while, as it leaves most people feeling stressed out, tired and cranky.
My family and I are definitely overscheduled and it’s something we’re constantly evaluating to determine what we can do to free up our time and leave some room for enjoyment and relaxation. However, I’ll be honest, with my husband working full-time in Corporate America, myself being an entrepreneur and running my own company, us having two active, elementary school-aged boys with lots of academic and sports activities and having friends, neighbors and family whom we enjoy spending time with, we don’t have much room for down-time these days. Our weekends are often filled with soccer tournaments, baseball games, basketball clinics, birthday parties, baby showers, neighborhood get togethers or dinner with friends. Our weeks are usually filled with work, work dinners or networking events, periodic work travel, school, after-school activities and sports, volunteer work, workouts, homework, appointments, cooking meals, clean-up and prep for the next day.
At the end of the day, this is just life and life can inevitably get busy. However, being aware of how busy we all are and making a conscious effort to scale back on activities is a healthy exercise to do on a regular basis. It’s okay to turn down some social invitations and say no to projects at work or school sometimes. When we have some time and space to be at home to rest, relax and just be, it’s a nice change of pace. It will refresh and rejuvenate us and give us the energy we need to once again show up, be present and engage with all the events, activities and people in our life. It’s also healthy for the kids to be free of obligations and scheduled activities sometimes so they can be bored, creative and feel a sense of freedom to truly be kids.
Obviously, it’s not always easy to free up time, but below are some things I try to do for myself and my family to keep life in balance and ensure our calendar doesn’t get too out of control:
-Keep one weekend evening free if possible (though we do at times have plans on both Friday and Saturday evenings and I definitely feel the difference when we do)
-Try to get work, the kids’ homework, dinner, clean-up and prep for the next day completed by 7:30 p.m., so the whole family has a little bit of down time together before getting the kids ready for bed and my husband and I usually needing to get some more work done after that before we can usually relax a bit more or read before going to bed
-Schedule the kids in one major sport per season (i.e. soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball in the spring, etc.) since my kids also have karate and are in a reading/math program throughout the school-year
-Check in with myself and my family often to ensure stress levels are in control and if anyone is feeling overly stressed, ask why and figure out what things can be done or obligations can be removed from my and/or their plate to alleviate the stress
-Try to have some Saturday or Sunday mornings when we don’t have somewhere to be right away and hang out in our PJs, have a relaxing breakfast and watch movies
-Give everyone in the family an opportunity to have some time to themselves (the kids included), whether that means the kids can have some quiet time in their rooms to read, play legos or ride their bikes or scooters outside, my husband can veg out in front of the TV and watch sports, go to the gym or work in the garage or I can go get a massage, talk to a girlfriend on the phone or get a workout in
-Listen to meditation apps with the kids to wind down before bedtime
-Go for family walks or hikes on a Sunday afternoon or evening when the days are longer and the weather is nice
I hope these ideas help and you find your own ways to not be so overscheduled and to have some down-time. That’s it for today, Passion Fit Crew. I’ll be back with another post soon!