Don’t get caught up! Leisure time is also a priority Don’t get caught up! Leisure time is also a priority

Being able to detect the signs of busy life syndrome is key to preventing your productivity and mental health from being affected.

Medical Advisor Helda Hoyos Montoya – Psychologist

Modernity came to fill people’s lives with new things to do that occupy much of the time that used to be for resting. In the world of work, for example, it has become much more common to be a multitasker: a person able to do everything at the same time. The problem with this pace of life, is that it comes the risk of busy life syndrome.

“Those who suffer from it are people who take on too many obligations because they have several different jobs, in addition to their personal affairs, and think about work all the time. This overloads your brain and the things that you are used to doing, do not turn out well,” explains psychologist Helda Hoyos Montoya.

To determine whether this syndrome is taking over a person’s time, employees should be aware of several symptoms such as complaining of forgetfulness that was not normal before; difficulties concentrating on activities during the day; thinking about work all the time, even when resting; or abandoning social circles and activities altogether.

“Some patients may get to the point where they forget where they parked their car, or, even more concerning, they may forget about a work obligation or shift,” our specialist explains.

A balanced life

When become aware of the threat you may be taking on too many tasks, you can put a stop to it and reorganize the activities that are taking up your time. This will help you to question whether you are able to handle the agenda that you have imposed upon yourself.

“The amount of work that each person can handle depends on the type of person they are and the lifestyle they lead. Someone who lives as a couple and with children cannot have the same responsibilities as someone who is single. “Couples, of course, in addition to the demands of their jobs, will have to consider other household responsibilities that demand more time of them than if they were single,” explains Hoyos.

But if someone who suffers from busy life syndrome is unable to stop, it is best for this person to see a specialist in order to prevent a more serious disorder that could affect their mental health. A psychologist will recommend techniques that allow them to improve their well-being, depending on the case.

In order to prevent work from overloading your mental capacity and stealing valuable time from you that can allow you to be happy and lead a balanced routine, “the first thing we ask patients is to give structure to their lives and decide what is good for them and what is not. In other words, we ask them to prioritize. This can be done with cognitive behavioral therapy,” Hoyos explains.

It is also important for multitaskers to not isolate themselves. For their own wellbeing, they must find a way to get back that leisure time that other activities have taken from them.  In the end, one day has 24 hours to it, why try to make it last longer?

Practical advice

  • Redistribute your tasks: Therapy for this condition includes planning and reorganization techniques such as eliminating things and making a to-do list so the patient can focus on what is most important.
  • Disconnect from the world of work: After you get home, it may even be necessary to turn off your cell phone as you receive messages or things to do for work. Also, avoid using your computer or other technological devices.
  • Search for opportunities to relax: At least once during your work day, spend a few minutes to connect with your mind. Some ideas include reading a book that you like, listening to music or going for a short nature walk.
  • Bring healthy food with you: The fast pace of work often does not allow for a healthy diet, which can end up getting your mental and physical health out of balance. Keeping homemade healthy snacks with you is a good strategy.
  • Do exercise: Either before or after you go to work, a little exercise will help clear your mind. Relaxation and meditation techniques, like yoga or mindfulness are perfect for managing stress.
  • Proper sleep hygiene: Going to bed early is key to counteracting an overwhelming work day. If you manage to plan your time and activities well, you will be able to sleep the seven hours you need to get replenishing sleep.