Claramae’s here again today to share her insights about the holiday season. I know I needed a reminder to slow down and do one thing at a time. This time of year can be crazy busy! Thanks Claramae for reminding us to keep things in perspective. At the end of this post, we’ll invite you to sign up for the MindBody Sessions app — AHS employees get free memberships and the link we use goes to our internal intranet. If you’re not on campus, it won’t work. Reach out to me if you have any trouble setting up your account — and if you already have one, start using it again!
The holidays are upon us.
The rush has begun. Everything seems to be speeding up!
Distractions have increased. A distraction is something that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. This can create extreme agitation of the mind and emotions. We can get worked up into a frenzy. With constant stimulation from computers, cell phones, TV, iPads and city traffic, our minds are constantly bombarded with input. Messages have to be checked, emails returned, and we all know those little red notification numbers on our iPhones need to be cleared out! It’s a never-ending, sisyphean task to try to get it all done! And now comes holiday shopping, decorating, baking, traveling, PARTIES, Christmas cards, mailing gifts and more …
Multitasking: Friend or Foe?
Multitasking has become the most common way of attempting to deal with this overload, but it turns out that our brains aren’t really wired to do it all that well. We’re capable of doing a rote activity like walking while doing something else (like talking or chewing gum, or even reading for the very coordinated among us). But what’s really happening when we think we’re multitasking at work, juggling multiple important or complicated tasks at once, is constantly shifting focus — and losing time in the process. We aren’t actually doing two things at once, we’re just rapidly switching tasks over and over. And those switches can be taxing, not just mentally but also on the end result. You aren’t as efficient as you think you are with this style of work or task-mastering, in fact studies show that the more you do it, the worse you are at getting it all done.
Distracted Time is Lost Time
This is the time of year where we take an inventory of our lives and habits and decide how we want our next year of life to go. It’s also a time that we slow down and spend some quality time with our families. Those of us who travel, or have family traveling to us, know that we will be seeing people we don’t get to see that often. And the more time we spend with them with our faces in our phones or with the game on the TV, the less quality time we will have interacting with the people we care about most. Let’s stop and focus — and breathe! Breathe in the smells of the season and breathe out the stress and distractions.
‘Tis the Season to be joyful. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season without stopping to recognize the toll it sometimes takes. With the MindBody Sessions app in your pocket, you have the option at any time to do a short meditation, to listen to relaxing music, to do a few breathing exercises — all guided by seasoned professionals in the area of mind body medicine. Every AHS employee has access to this awesome app, and we really encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t already signed up. This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of this free offering through our wellness program.
As we share in activities to celebrate the season, we should be able to focus on them, to enjoy them, to feel fulfilled and satisfied. And there’s no way to do all of that with scattered minds and distracted energy. If you haven’t signed up for MindBody Sessions or logged in for a while, get going with it. AHS employees get a free account, so visit the Healthy Me page on the intranet and click on Tools and Resources to find a link to sign up.
And remember to breathe, have fun, walk slower and smell the roses!