We live in a world where technological innovations continue to simplify our lives and save countless hours, yet we find ourselves constantly strapped for time. Most of us share this sentiment and feel burnt out trying to accomplish everyday things. Are we filling up our time with more work or are we whiling away time on social media platforms only to later regret the time we've lost? Are we squandering the concept of "healthy use of time?"
“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
~ Dr. Seuss
For a brief period during the 2020 pandemic our world had come to a complete stand still. Aside from overworked healthcare workers, most of us had been forced to hit the pause button. There seemed to be one elusive companion now by our side. Time!
Back then, I was teaching 15 yoga classes/week, was traveling to far off studios and taking care of my family and aging dad. Every minute was planned and accounted for and if any unexpected event derailed my plan, chaos followed! Being a yoga teacher helped me keep my calm and poise, however, I craved for more personal time. Suddenly, the unthinkable happened! Our world shut down. There were no school drop off or pick up duties, lunches to pack and kid's extracurricular activities to drive to. All yoga studios had to temporarily close their doors, including my own. My calendar had freed up! Time seemed suspended and so were our routines!
I had extra time on my hands and I could use it in imaginative ways! Many days doing nothing much appeared to be a luxurious option or when creativity struck, artistic projects like creating and posting fun story-telling videos with morals on Facebook, seemed like a perfect activity! I was able to offer free yoga classes/workshops to the community via Zoom and read voraciously. I was the captain of my ship, in perfect control. My family was also learning to slow down. Family time became meaningful as we experimented with various cuisines in the kitchen, watched movies together and explored nature trails, near and far.
Fast forward, 2022. Everything has returned to its usual pace, along with an added sense of wariness for Covid19. I hear plentiful complains about the lack of time in most lives, of being pushed around for time and having no time to breathe! Lessons learned during the pandemic are rapidly withering. We seem to be over compensating for the apparent time lost during the pandemic, by rushing to achieve goals and filling up our time with too many things, all in haste. We are again on the fast track, unwilling to slow down, pause and reflect.
Time can get slippery and has to be managed. Having little control over time can lead to undue anxiety and stress. Likewise, having excess time can lead to loneliness, boredom and destructive behavior. Is there an optimal way to utilize time? Here are a few practical approaches to handling time that can improve your overall wellness.
As we enter 2023, I have set a few reminders for myself. Slowing down and being present is one of them. Slowing down doesn't mean that you have to give up on your life goals. Slowing down allows you to appreciate the process of growing, observing things as they unfold and teaches you to be in charge of your decisions. Surrounding yourself with positive people is the next important one. Happy and upward looking people are generally more forgiving, have had experiences that can enrich you and add value to your life!
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Author : Deepti Gupta
All of us have a story to tell. Turning life's experiences into stories is empowering and fulfilling. I feel fortunate to have a platform where meaningful discussions can materialize. Thanks for joining me! Here we wander not to get lost but to self-explore!