Are You Too Busy Making A Living To Make A Life?

woman multitasking

Words by Griselda Togobo; Image: Canva

I had the pleasure of joining Leeds Community Foundation Trust for their mental health awareness event last week. It was great to see Prince Harry championing the course of mental health, as it creates the awareness that mental health is truly no respecter of persons. His involvement will help reduce, and hopefully remove, the stigma currently associated with mental health.

Anyone of us can experience a deterioration in mental health if we don’t give it the same level of care and thought as we give our physical bodies.

My encounter with mental health was encountered early in my life at secondary school, when one of my friends struggled to cope with the pressures of studying as we prepared for our final exams. She was always an A student but the pressure of maintaining that level of performance finally took its toll. The experience has stayed with me over the years reminding me of the fragility of our minds.

Our lives today are now incredibly busy with a million and one things to be done and the every present technology and mobile gadgets means that we are all not switching off as much as we should. Our relationships with our phones, work and social media is far from healthy.

The art of maintaining a healthy mind is not always a top priority as our mental and psychological wounds, unlike the physical ones, are unseen and never seem pressing enough for us to take the time to attend to them and start the healing process.

To find out how to cope with stress, sign up for the upcoming webinar – “3 R’s to Stress Free Success: Rejuvenate, Reassess, Reward” by Hayley Gillard.

With life being what it is, full of everyday disappointments and anxiety, when our negative emotions are not managed properly, they can rapidly escalate into more debilitating conditions.

That is why we should all embrace the practice of mindfulness in whatever shape or form that will help us to slow down, and to be able to maintain our mental health and wellbeing. It’s great that mindfulness is now widely accepted as beneficial to today’s busy professional and although I am one of those super busy people, I constantly have more on my to-do list than I physically have time to ever complete.

As a busy mother of two – I have a seven year old boy and a one year old daughter – a business and team that requires my full undivided attention, and a husband who is quite frankly not keen on being at the end of the to-do lists. I’ve had to develop many practices to help me cope with the pressures of all these roles.

I’ve had to develop many practices to help me cope with the pressures of all these roles.

It’s common to hear a lot of working mothers, carers and parents and over worked professionals talk about feeling guilty and inadequate because they feel they are not doing anything well enough. These are some of the ways I’ve managed to keep sane:

1.  I read a lot and I find reading offers me an escapism that allows my mind time to focus on other things and people and not be too self-absorbed. You can get some ideas from my summer reading list here

2. Going for long walks – This is my absolute favourite but I don’t always manage this. It makes a huge difference and can be very effective in clearing the mental cobwebs.

3. Create time to just be – yes just sit in the garden and play with the children. If not, then just carve out time to just be by yourself. 

4. Reflect and meditate – Let’s create the time and space to reflect and meditate on our busy lives. I tried yoga briefly and found it very relaxing but I’ve a preference for more physically engaging activities.  

5. I took up 5k Park Runs – take up activities that engage you mentally and physically and force you to be in the moment. Even better if it’s a social event where you can share and spend time with others with shared interests.

6. Holidays – a new environment and routine can do wonders for the spirit. A bit of sunshine, fun and relaxation will just re-energise you and get you ready to deal with the challenges ahead. Take a break – especially we you feel you can’t. 

7. Get a coach – when you get yourself in a rut and can’t find a way out then a coach is very effective in helping you to step back and challenge you to see things from a different perspective.

8. You can’t do it all so get help; try and get or ask for extra support at home and at work. Learn to delegate and delegate some more – push yourself and empower those around you to take responsibility.

9. Feed your mind with positivity and inspiration. There is no shortage or motivational videos, podcasts and blogs these days. Choose one you like and allow them to nourish you. A great morning routine with a few minutes dedicated to listening to or reading inspirational words can make all the difference between a good day and a bad day.

10. Be part of a supportive community – isolating yourself and feeling you don’t need anyone is not a healthy frame of mind. When the bad days come, as they surely will, being isolated and not having anyone to turn to either professionally or personally will make everything much worse than it should be.

Last but not least – you are doing your absolute best and that will have to be good enough for you and everyone else around you. 

If you feel you are already experiencing mental health challenges then seek help. Don’t delay.

My mantra for this year is:

Griselda, don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to create a life.


Tweet: “Don’t get too busy making a living that you forget to create a life.” @Forwardladies @gktogobo

How are you coping with the pressures of modern professional like?

What strategies have you found the most effective?

What examples of support have you seen in the workplace?

To find out how to cope with stress, sign up for the upcoming webinar – “3 R’s to Stress Free Success: Rejuvenate, Reassess, Reward” by Hayley Gillard.

Are you looking for a supporting community of forward thinking women in business?

Become a Premium Member before 15th July and get one month FREE using the promo code JULY30 (Terms & Conditions apply). Connect with women across the UK who are supporting and inspiring each other. Benefits include discounts on events, free Power Business Breakfast Clubs, free webinars and much more. SIGN UP HERE