Are our priorities making us sick? I have devoted a great deal of my time thinking about this question. Sadly, I am of the opinion that, yes, our busy lives are indeed making us sick. Not only is our fast-paced world physically taking a toll, but it’s also wreaking havoc on our mental well-being.
Our culture has normalized and even convinced us that being on the go from the time our feet hit the floor in the morning right up until we go to bed and stare at the ceiling, full of angst over what we need to do in the morning. Like a slow-acting poison, it works its way through our entire being. What’s the result of this poison? For many, its burnout. Burnout is simply a low dosage of this poison. So what does it do at higher dosages? In my opinion, it produces mental illness. Many more individuals succumb to this culturally cooked up toxin; Sadly, leading them to the end of their journey.
The fundamental flaw with this narrative, constantly keeping busy is that it tends to say that we are all alike, drones that have no free will, it implies that we are void of dreams and it doesn’t account for the fact that we are different. Just as we are held at the mercy of our occupation and running non-stop for others, we are also beholden to our genes, our neurology and how our individual experiences impact us. For example, highly sensitive people have a raw psychological nerve that is always on high alert. Someone who is highly sensitive feels the vibe of negativity much stronger than people who are not.
For someone with this disposition, they may find themselves more susceptible to the venom of misplaced priorities. Never looking after oneself is never a good thing. Regardless of the above-mentioned factors. If one’s priorities aren’t balanced than one runs the risk of burnout at very least, mental illness or worse at the most.
Because our nature runs counter to the modern world, the only logical conclusion I can come up with is that our wants and desires take priority over what we actually need. I believe that this one size fits all approach is a myth that we all fell for.
The good news? We all have a multitude of options to choose from. We also have a choice where we put our energy; But first, we all need to learn our limits. Because we have to navigate our way through a world that’s customized for profit, it sees us as worker bees. I argue that self-care should be mandatory for everyone.
When one stops to think about it, Monday to Friday workers only get eight days off out of thirty-one. Sure, there’s after work but so many things require our attention that we spend our lives house cleaning, running kids everywhere, cutting the grass and making our houses look pretty. But for what? So we can be poisoned by the myth of being constantly busy makes you awesome? I can’t help but wonder how many people have lost everything by simply ploughing through their mental pain and doing “what they are supposed to”.
Knowing that our professional lives take up the most of our life’s air time, making us feel as though it ruins any prospect of realizing our passions can be stressful to think about. The perception of loss of control can spin one into mental chaos, that I am sure of. However, I believe that because there is so much beyond our control, we must adopt an outside of box mindset. Where is it written that you need to be paid for doing what you love? If your passion is photography, then do it! Half hour walks with your camera is better than no time doing what you love. Housework can wait once in a while, can’t it?
Point is, do what you love, no matter what you have to do to realize it, your mental health will thank you.
if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!
If you are struggling please go here: Crisis Services Canada