148. Addicted to Busy?

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[et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]Think about what happens when you sit down to take a break – how long does that last? Do you quickly hop off the couch and get back to work? Why?

I used to buffer with busy all the time! Maybe you do the same thing.

In this episode of the podcast, I explore the reasons why it’s challenging for us to become “unbusy.”

I’m not saying we can’t get things done (’cause I love to get things done), but we want to be intentional about work and rest.

If we’re unable to rest because we’re addicted to busy, it’s definitely worth addressing.

I share all the details inside. I’ll see you there! xo, Janeen


If you’re interested in joining me for the Wellness Retreat I am hosting on September 13-16 in Parker, CO reach out to me anywhere on social media or book a call @¬†janeenalley.com/breakthrough

And if you’d like to join me for my LIVE event, From Hustle to Harmony, that’s happening this week, click the link to join:¬†janeenalley.com/workshop

Insight Timer Meditation App is the app I mentioned in the show.

>> CLICK HERE to Watch on YouTube



[00:00:00] Janeen: Well, hey there you guys. Welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I am Janeen Alley, and as always super thrilled to be hanging out with you guys today on the Mamas Who Do podcast. So what I am talking to you about today on the podcast is, Being addicted to busy, and I want you to kind of self-assess, are you addicted to busy? If you are, you’re definitely not alone. I, I think this is something that is really common actually.

[00:00:28] I think most of us can find ourselves somewhere on this spectrum of being addicted to busy. And I’m gonna give some examples of how this shows up today in the podcast. And then of course, we’re gonna be talking about what to do about it if you find yourself somewhere on the spectrum of being addicted to busy.

[00:00:44] But before I get into all of the amazing content that I have for you today, I want to share just a few fun things that are coming up that are created just for you. So I am really excited to let you know that the wellness [00:01:00] retreat is happening in September. This is an event that I did a couple years ago and it was amazing.

[00:01:05] And I have to say, I don’t think that there is another experience quite like this out there that I’ve ever seen. I have created this experience to be definitely a rejuvenation and restorative experience for people who come. But also I want you leaving with information about how you can create some of these systems to become more relaxed and to become more calm, and to become more joyfully productive in your own life, in your home.

[00:01:35] People are coming to my house so that they can see exactly how to do this in their own life, how to pull it off in their own home. so it’s not gonna be like a week where it’s amazing and relaxing and then you don’t know how to implement it on the back end of that, you actually get to take it home with you and that is what I want for you.

[00:01:54] So if that sounds amazing, I actually only have three spots left. Just three spots. So if you want one [00:02:00] of those spots, I want you to get in touch with me right away, cuz I think I actually sold another spot this afternoon, so not a hundred percent confirmed, but I might have two or three spots left. If you’re interested, reach out to me either on email or on the socials, or you can head straight to janeenalley.com/breakthrough.

[00:02:18] You can book a call with me and we can hopefully make a way for you to be here with me at my house. It’s gonna be an amazing experience. Again, those dates are the 13th through the 16th of September, here at my home in Colorado in Parker, Colorado. And like I said, we’re gonna do all the amazing food, all of the yoga.

[00:02:37] My massage therapist, Karren, is going to be here not only to do massage on everybody, but also to impart some of her amazing wisdom with the people who are here. And so I’m really, really excited to share that with you. So again, if you’re interested, get in touch with me. So social media, email, janeenalley.com/breakthrough and let’s get you, [00:03:00] let’s get you booked.

[00:03:00] Let’s, let’s make it happen so that you’re here. Okay. Another amazing, fun thing is I have a brand new workshop that I’m doing on Wednesdays. I’ve been learning so many fun things and some great things from the people who have been coming, and the workshop this next Wednesday is called From Hustle to Harmony, and if you would like to join me for that, please go to janeenalley.com/workshop to join me for that.

[00:03:24] We’re gonna be talking about the ways to shift from hustling super hard in your life to finding more harmony and peace in your life so that you can show up with more intention and again, more calm and everything. And I would love for you to join me for that experience. It’s free.

[00:03:39] If you’re interested in the from Hustle to Harmony workshop, just go to janeenalley.com/workshop. I’m going to be putting all of this in the show notes of the podcast so that you have quick links that you can get to to make it happen.

[00:03:52] All right, so let’s dive into the content today. So I was talking with one of my clients and she was mentioning that she has a really [00:04:00] hard time slowing down. I, I feel like this is something that was really common with my experience as well.

[00:04:06] I would sit down on the couch and my brain would still be going like a million miles a minute, and I’d be like, well, this isn’t really effective. I have so much to do, so I would just get up and just keep going.

[00:04:17] I think this is a really common experience for people and what might surprise you is how much this episode resonates with you. You probably didn’t think before you started listening that you were someone who was necessarily addicted to being busy. You probably are just assuming, well, this is just my life with kids, or this is just the way that it goes in 2023.

[00:04:37] I think that we become kind of unaware or numb to it because we see it all over the place day in and day out.

[00:04:45] It’s something that we’re submerged in and it’s really hard to see that our life experience could be different. Even now after coaching on this for a long time and also doing so much work on myself, I still catch [00:05:00] myself kind of carried along by cultural norms in the way that I show up in my life and the way that I’m talking to myself in my head and doing some of the things that I do that I’m gonna be sharing with you today.

[00:05:12] Okay, so how do we know? How do we know if we are someone who is addicted to being busy? Well, like I mentioned, I have that experience of sitting down and my mind is going a million miles a minute.

[00:05:22] I want you to just kind of think about what happens to you. What is your experience when you start to slow down or you sit down to relax? If you’re not sure, I want you to just try it. It’s been a long time since you’ve sat down to put your feet up. I want you to just try it and sit down and see what comes up.

[00:05:43] Like I said, I think sitting down and letting your brain just kind of go is really common, and we think to ourselves, well, this just isn’t very productive. As if the purpose of getting some rest and relaxation is so that you can do more. Not necessarily the case, but I think sometimes we think that way, [00:06:00] but we don’t want to get ourselves to a place where we’re so efficient with our time that we become kind of like a machine in our lives, like we’re super robotic for the purpose of getting more done. I think that that is the fast track to burnout, trying to get more done so that we can get more done.

[00:06:17] That’s not a healthy way to live your life. So when you sit down, what starts to bubble up to the surface? Well, I have some ideas here for you to kind of explore. Of course, the first thing that bubbles up are gonna be your thoughts, right? If you have an unmanaged mind, you are going to have some thoughts that probably don’t feel very good to you.

[00:06:36] One of the things that my Coach Brook would say about having an unmanaged mind is it’s like your mind sometimes is like a two-year-old running around the house with knives. That’s what it feels like in our brain sometimes when we don’t know how to manage our thoughts very well, right? We harshly criticize ourselves or harshly judge ourselves because we feel like we’re not doing things right or

[00:06:58] we’re gonna get this [00:07:00] wrong, or we should get it better, or whatever the conversation is. It just doesn’t feel good to be sitting with ourselves. And of course, if this is your brain conversation, you wanna turn it off, you wanna buffer that experience away because, like I said, just doesn’t feel good. If you had the TV on and it was just sending those berating messages to you, you’d probably turn it off.

[00:07:20] Or if you had a friend that was talking to you like that, you probably wouldn’t be friends with them for very long, hopefully, right? But we put up with this conversation because it’s so normal to us, we don’t even recognize it as something that is optional. And so what we do when our brains are kind of running amok like this is we buffer, right?

[00:07:39] We buffer with our phones. Sometimes we buffer with food. There’s so many different things that we buffer with and sometimes we buffer with busy. Right. I know when Merrill was deployed, I had so many people ask me how I was doing, and I was like, oh, I’m doing great. You know, and I would talk about some of the things that I was doing or whatever, and they’re like, oh good, so you’re staying busy.[00:08:00]

[00:08:00] As if like, that’s the goal, right? But I think sometimes we think, well, if we stay busy, then time will hurry up and we’re just gonna speed through the day. Like, is that how you really want to be living your life? Do you wanna just speed through your life? to what end? Like what? Why do we do that?

[00:08:15] So I want you just kind of thinking about that, and I want you to just be thinking about the experience it is to be with yourself. One of the things that I actually love to do now, this has not always been the case, is I just love to be with me. I love to take myself out to lunch. I don’t do this super often, but I have no problem doing that.

[00:08:36] I love to sit with myself and just think about amazing ideas. I love to speak really positively to myself when I see myself in the mirror. Like all of those things are things that I do now because I have a managed mind, I should say. I have a more managed mind than it used to be, and I’m able to pick up on those kinds of little harsher, judgmental kinds of conversations that used to be the [00:09:00] norm a hundred percent of the time, and I just don’t talk to myself like that anymore.

[00:09:03] So I really do enjoy being with me. So it’s one of the reasons why I don’t have a problem sitting still. Another thing that’s gonna bubble up to the surface are gonna be the emotions that we have. It’s so fascinating to me how uncomfortable I used to be with being bored. And I don’t know if you can relate to this or feeling whatever, right?

[00:09:23] But boredom is something that I think happens when we sit down and we’re not checking our phone or we’re not doing anything, we’re just sitting. Right. We get restless because we’re bored. We don’t like feeling bored. We feel like we need to get back to work. We feel like it’s a waste of time. We feel like we should be doing something else, right?

[00:09:43] All of that is just a conversation that happens when we feel that emotion. And I want you to just ask yourself, if you’re uncomfortable with feeling bored, I want you to ask yourself why? Why are you uncomfortable feeling bored. You’re gonna come [00:10:00] up with some thoughts there. Some thoughts that might be useful to analyze for yourself.

[00:10:05] Okay. The other reason why I feel like we become addicted to busy is because our self-worth is tied up in doing. And listen, I love to produce. I love to get things done. I love to check the boxes. I love to work. I really do. And for a long time, producing and getting a result and checking things off of the list was all tied up in my self-worth.

[00:10:32] I also really loved being a go-to friend, somebody that people could depend upon, and I also took a lot of pride in being very independent and not asking for any help. And I think the belief that I believed, and I think that is very pervasive in our culture, is that the more we get done, the more value we have as a human.

[00:10:50] Now, if you’re thinking about it, you’re just like, I don’t think I believe that. But I think this is a very subconscious, subtle Idea that we buy into culturally, and I think what we do [00:11:00] when we’re feeling this way is we do more in order to justify our existence on this planet.

[00:11:07] And the better we can do something, the better we are. We get things done in a beautiful, seemingly easy way, if we’re living more of an Instagram worthy life because of how productive we are, because of how beautiful our homes look or our children look, or whatever, people give us feedback that you’re amazing.

[00:11:28] And I wanna tell you right now, you’re amazing even if you don’t have an Instagram worthy life like I do, we’re still amazing. Okay? But if this is a belief we have and we’re not producing for whatever reason, because we’re just plain old, tired, Or because we’re sick or because we’re pregnant or because we have other people to take care of and we’re not actually getting to the things that we want to on our list.

[00:11:53] We’re still getting things done, but we’re not getting to the things that we want to, I think it’s really easy for us to get depressed.

[00:11:59] And I think [00:12:00] sometimes when we see this in the way that it plays out in other people’s life, I think that we’re much more compassionate with other people. And we’re like, of course, take a break. Take a rest. You deserve one. And I think we think that those reasons are all legit reasons for other people, but we don’t necessarily apply those same rules to our own lives.

[00:12:19] And so we end up being very harsh on ourselves because we have these almost impossible standards to live up to that we’re not meeting because we are humans and we do get sick and we do get tired. I think we kind of have this measuring stick in our minds of what creates value. And the more that we produce, the more value that we have and the less that we produce our value and our worth decreases. And of course, if you’re on this path, it’s a super fast track to burnout. Right, because these two things are actually not related.

[00:12:52] Your worthiness or your enoughness as a human being is already a hundred percent. You’ve already maxed capacity on your [00:13:00] worthiness as a human being. But if you’re constantly chasing after this idea, that doing makes you more, you’ll never stop hustling because you’ll never be able to achieve the goal.

[00:13:12] It’s like your worthiness is already there, and yet you’ve got this idea that you’ve gotta work really, really, really hard in order to get there, and it’s never going to equate. And so we’re hustling harder and harder and harder in order to feel that way. So one thing to kind of check in with yourself is if you don’t get all the things checked off your list, or if you’re unable to get all the things checked off your list for whatever reason, how do you feel about yourself?

[00:13:38] You feel like garbage? Or are you totally fine? And I know for a long, long time I beat myself up over that because these two things somehow in my brain had linked themselves together and I believed subconsciously that my worth was created by doing. All of these reasons that I’ve shared, what [00:14:00] our thoughts are doing, how we’re feeling, whether our worth is tied up in doing all of these are reasons why we become addicted to busy. But most importantly, I wanna talk to you today about what it is that we can do.

[00:14:13] We want to be able to find peace. We want to be able to find more calm and more space in our lives. We want to become joyfully productive instead of hustling for our self-worth. So I want you to, first of all, I want you to practice sitting quietly. This is the first thing that I think would be helpful to do if you feel like you are in some way addicted to being busy.

[00:14:36] And of course, there’s a spectrum, like there’s some people who are way addicted to busy, and there’s some people who are just a little bit. And so I want you to just practice sitting quietly wherever you are on that spectrum, just practice sitting quietly and see what comes up in your mind. What is it that makes that experience uncomfortable for you?

[00:14:56] Is it the things that you’re thinking about or the way that you’re talking to yourself kind of [00:15:00] by default in your mind? Or is it uncomfortable because of the emotions that are there? Are you bored, for example? I remember the very first time I practiced sitting quietly. I think I’ve shared this story before on the podcast, but I started meditating back in 2014 and I started meditating with some of these meditation classes with Deepak Chopra and Oprah. I love Oprah. I love Deepak Chopra, but this is probably not the best way for me to learn how to meditate. For one, the meditations were 20 minutes long. And for me to sit there from go to zero to 20 minutes was so painful. Like, so painful. It was a really long time before I got into a meditation habit because I hated sitting there for that long.

[00:15:47] In fact, I remember sitting there and Oprah would give the intro and then Deepak would start talking, and these meditations came with a little countdown timer. So you’d start at 20 minutes and then the countdown timer would go down to zero, [00:16:00] and I remember. Kind of meditating with one eye, kind of peeking open at my timer, and I’m like, are you for real?

[00:16:06] we still have 17 and a half minutes left of this 20 minute meditation. I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m ready to poke my eyes out. It was so painful. But what I want you to do is I want you to just try being still. I want you to try sitting down and I don’t roll your eyes. I want you to stay with me with this.

[00:16:25] If you need a little bit of background noise, if you need a meditation, I have a perfect app for you. It’s called Insight Timer. It’s free. There’s a lot of free content on there. Of course, there’s a lot of paid stuff too, but if you need a little bit of nature noises or if you need a guided meditation or something on there, you’ll be able to find what you need on that app.

[00:16:41] It’s called Insight Timer. Again, I’m gonna put that as a link in the show notes. Right under where you’re listening to the podcast, but I want you to practice being with yourself. I want you to practice noticing what your brain is doing. So whatever’s coming up, even if that voice in your head by default [00:17:00] is very negative, you might be beating yourself up or judging yourself or whatever.

[00:17:03] I want you to start watching that. Not that you’re condoning it. I want you to just practice watching. Okay? Just practice sitting quietly and see what comes up. Okay.

[00:17:13] The next piece of this is, while you’re sitting quietly, I want you to practice breathing. One of the reasons why when we meditate we focus on the breath. I think there’s two reasons for this. It gives our mind something very simple to do, and like I said, if you’ve got a brain like I do where you feel like you’ve got a two-year-old in there and that’s running around with knives sometimes you need to give it something very, very easy and simple to do. And that’s just pausing and just watching yourself breathe. And there’s different aspects of the breath that you can focus on. You can focus on the air moving in and out of your lungs or in and out of your nose. Like there’s different things that you can focus on. You can practice maybe deepening the inhale and exhale a little bit because typically we breathe very shallow, [00:18:00] but you wanna just practice softening your nervous system by gently expanding the breath a little bit, and it can be done in several ways.

[00:18:07] But just focus on your breath and see what is going on there. Okay, so if you’re tight, if you’re clenching your breath, I want you to practice just softening, allowing the breath to ease in and out of your body in a more gentle and easy manner.

[00:18:23] Okay? Instead of just, like I said, clenching, squeezing, holding your breath, all the things that we do with the breath. The easiest way to access the nervous system is through the breath. So just by deepening the breath and kind of just softening into the breath, it will help you to relax. So one of the best ways actually, if you’re having trouble sleeping to kind of get yourself more in a sleepy state, is just to focus on the breath and allow the breath to be a soothing experience for you.

[00:18:50] If you think about just, you know, listening to a heartbeat, the breath in its own way kind of has a similar rhythm to it. It’s much slower, of course, than your heart. But, [00:19:00] it has the same effect. And you can even give yourself a little timer.

[00:19:03] Just focus on the breath for maybe 30 seconds and see if you can do that. Or maybe 20 seconds if you’re like me. Okay. The next thing that helps you Untangle busy and to be less addicted to busy is to develop a writing practice. And I know all of these things take time, but this is what we need to do in order to change some of these neural patterns that we have in our bodies.

[00:19:28] So, By developing a writing practice, you start to get to know yourself, and you might be thinking to yourself, I don’t wanna get to know yourself, because the voice that you’re used to listening to is the harsh, judgmental voice. Well, that’s not really you. Hopefully it’s not you. But one of the things I want you to hear me say, And this might come as a surprise to some of you.

[00:19:48] I probably mentioned this before in the podcast, but you are not your thoughts. Your brain draws conclusions about the world around you. And I mean, all of our brains do this, right? It [00:20:00] tries to make sense of what it is that we experience. In some ways it’s like a super powerful computer where it’s getting data input and it’s trying to sort out all of it, and it’s drawing these conclusions based off of what it is that we are, like I said, what our experiences are, what we’re seeing, and what we’re hearing, and what we’re reading, and all of those things.

[00:20:19] And the brain tries to be super efficient. It tries to keep us alive. What it’s not good at is really trying to decipher, okay. How is this an alignment with who we are? Your prefrontal cortex is who you are, it’s your conscious brain, it’s your conscious mind, and that’s where we do our intentional thinking.

[00:20:39] So much of what we are experiencing, what it is that we are doing, is coming from the primitive brain where these unintentional thoughts are coming from. And I’m not trying to make excuses for, for myself or any of you, but what this gives us the opportunity to do when we’re developing a writing practice is we’re writing down all of our thoughts.

[00:20:59] We’re [00:21:00] not censoring ourselves, we’re just unloading our brain on the paper. And then we can go back and we can intentionally say, I believe this. And I don’t believe that. And by making that conscious choice, you can kind of scratch that thought off of the page if that’s not one that is in alignment with you.

[00:21:19] So that you can know yourself. You can know who you are, you can know what your ideas are, but so often we’re not even paying attention to those because this primitive mind is just kind of regurgitating a bunch of stuff and we wanna sort through that and kind of wade through that.

[00:21:36] don’t censor what it is that you’re writing. I think sometimes, um, I know for me, in my writing practice when I started out, I’m like almost a little bit embarrassed by the things that I would write. Now. I just write and I don’t really judge anything cuz I, I detach myself from my thoughts. I know that my thoughts are not who I am. So often I would be embarrassed about what was coming up and I’m like, I’m not writing that. I am not writing that down on the paper.[00:22:00] But the way that I’ve learned how to see my journal is, my journal is not for anyone else to read.

[00:22:04] Like I’m not saving my journals for my posterity or for my kids or anyone else to read. As soon as I’m finished with one of my thought journals, I just throw the journal away. So. That is one thing that I highly recommend that you do in order to kind of untangle this relationship that we have with time and with being busy and being addicted to being busy for sure, is developing a writing practice. You will develop a habit of being aware of what it is that you’re thinking and feeling when you write.

[00:22:35] So that is what I have for you guys today. I hope that these little tips and pointers were helpful to you. I know sometimes we’re just like, oh, but it’s gonna take time. Well, if you don’t get to it, and if you don’t become unaddicted to busy, what is your life going to look like a year from now, three years from now, five years down the road?

[00:22:55] If you’re still doing all these things, and you might say, but yeah, but my life will look [00:23:00] different then. If you have created these neural patterns in your body and in your brain, you won’t feel any different, even if the circumstances of your life have changed, even if your kids are a little bit older, you might even have some kids in college at that time, you’re not gonna feel any less busy because this is a pattern.

[00:23:18] If you remember you create thoughts around your circumstances, which create emotions and drive actions and give you results. So it really is something that you can, can change on a thought level for sure.

[00:23:32] All right, my friends have a beautiful rest of your week, and if you’re interested in going to the retreat with me, which I hope you are, or joining me for the workshop next week, please see all the details inside of the show notes for this episode on whatever podcast app that you are listening to. All right, we’ll catch you guys next week. We’ll see ya. Bye.