We all have that friend who is forever complaining about how “busy” they are. They turn their nose up at meditation, laugh at the idea of floating (don’t even get them started on sound baths) and the only type of yoga they will consider is the sweaty kind that feels like “a workout”. As for a massage, well perhaps as an “indulgent treat”, but when ever would they find the time, what with being so busy…
I read an essay in the New York Times recently that sums up this modern affliction to a T. Tim Kreider writes: “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day”.
Not to deflate any egos but as Stephen Hawking so eloquently put it: “We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” Not that our friend contemplates much about the universe, between back-to-back meetings and that exploding inbox. Apart from maybe her next HIIT class.
Slowing down and switching off seems to be the problem. This is a person who lives or dies by the speed of their wifi connection. But have you ever considered that they are, as Krieder says, “addicted to business and dread what they might have to face in its absence”? That is, the task of accepting nothingness, which practices like floating and meditation teach us to do? They might be surprised to find what taking a break from their laptop can do for their productivity. Idleness shouldn’t be see as a “vacation”, an “indulgence” or a “vice”; but as “indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets”.
The reality is, living in a permanent state of fight/flight might give you a “buzz” but it can spike your cortisol levels that, over time, can put you at a serious risk of burn out. Giving your adrenals a break is worth a few unanswered emails. Our advice? Book a massage. It’s exactly what your body needs if you want to keep on smashing workouts, back-to-back meetings and cocktails in true healthy hedonist fashion. And don’t tell me that you’re too busy… especially when you can order a therapist to your door at 10pm on a Sunday with Urban Massage. Nothing beats the blues quite like it.
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.