Mind & Meaning

Why It’s So Hard For Women To Slow Down 

April 4, 2023

Serenity Here
I devour health and wellness information, and love to share everything that works in my life, so you can use the same self care and lessons in yours!
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Our addiction to busyness, and how to manage it. 

It’s early Spring of 2016 in Nebraska. The air is crisp and cool, and as I finish dropping off the boys at school, I breathe in the air outside as I make my way back from the building to my car. 

I mean, really breathe it in. 

I have tears in my eyes, as I’m starting to question if all of this is worth it. The climb to the top. 

I’m working upward of 80 hours a week, and that’s just at my full time job. I also have two side hustles. I’m exhausted. 

I day dream of walking the kids to school this morning, and feeling no stress in my body. To have time freedom, and financial freedom. I know I’m on the brink of burn out. 

Somewhere towards the end of the work day, it all explodes. I can’t handle it anymore, I can’t juggle it and pretend I’m a super woman anymore. I’m asked a question from my boss, and I break down in tears. 

I run to the restroom and sob. I go back and grab my stuff and leave the building. I break down outside. I can’t even walk and I collapse. 

I’m having a nervous breakdown. 

I have a mound of student loan debt, a house, and three children under the age of 7. I am the main financial contributor in the house, with big beautiful dreams I’m slowly killing myself over. 

I’m not showing up for anyone, including myself. My son is starting to have significant behavioral issues, and I’m never present. I go to work, come home, and work from home. I keep myself up and going sometime past 11, often with a glass of wine just to make it bearable. 

That was the breaking moment. The moment that started the wake up. It took me another five years to make lasting change, and I’m still working towards a different vision, but I’m so much closer now. 

It takes time to unwind the winding. 

Through the journey, there were other horns, I’ll call them. Wake up calls, calls to me telling me it’s too much, slow down, move in a different direction. 

My hormones started screaming after that. 

I’m here, though. I’ve arrived at a pace that is slower. Much slower, and it hurts like hell. It’s ridiculously uncomfortable for me. I’d love to say it’s worth it, and everyone must get on the slow train. But, it’s hard. 

The slow train means a different kind of sacrifice. It means giving up the dream of climbing the ladder at the pace I was. It’s not the ladder that’s the dream, it’s the top. But what do we sacrifice on the way up?

Slow means less convenience because there’s simply less money. There’s a trade off. I gained time, and gave up money. 

When you hang up the busyness towel, it gets quieter. And quieter means louder in the mind. 

There’s a surface and rising of all the things that busyness pushes down. Because of that, I know that I have to make room to let them rise. 

It meant getting back into therapy, and doing the work. 

Changing career direction last year allowed me to slow down, and even though I welcomed the change, and knew it was right, it was hard. 

It was hard to let go of a dream I created and worked to make come true. It meant changing my beliefs, my values. It meant an overhaul of my life. 

I worked in an industry where success was measured by title and your bank account. My success now is  measured by how many people I’m helping and supporting. And so my values changed. 

I have time to see my kids, to talk to them, to taxi them around without complaint. 

I have time to do the work, and figure out what I want the next chapter of my life to look like.  

Most importantly, I have time for self care. To actually check in with myself every day. To take the best care of myself, to give myself what I need. To rest and truly nourish myself. 

Recently I realized that I bury myself in business books. So my reading time was less about pleasure, and more about financial planning. So I flipped that and I’m allowing myself time to read for pleasure. 

It’s a journey, and one that keeps evolving. My values turned from financial success and material things, to family, friends, and self. 

It became so easy for me to get wrapped up in hustle culture, and materialism. Constantly trying to live up to what it seemed like everyone else was getting or striving for. 

And then I had to ask myself if I actually wanted any of that shit. If I truly did, was I willing to do what I’d have to do to get it? 

The answer to both is no. I really don’t care about all the things, and I certainly wouldn’t trade what I have now to go back to what I had then. 

The taste of what feels like a road to freedom. 

It’s so easy now, with social media and media in general, to believe and build value system’s around what we’re seeing in our culture, without asking ourselves the important questions. 

Questions like, is that what I want. And what actually makes us happy. 

When I sat down last year and made a list of all the things that bring me joy and happiness, not one of them cost money. 

Taking a walk in the sun. Reading a good book. Taking a long, relaxing bubble bath. Laughing with my kids, connecting with them, truly listening to them and being with them. 

Women are inherantly caregivers, and we often take on the role of caring for what seems like the world.

So how do we let go of the addiction of busyness?


Getting crystal clear on what you actually want and what’s important to you. Getting quiet and allowing yourSELF to rise. 

Growth is painful. We love to stay comfortable. It’s predictable, and safe. We have found safety in busyness. It’s tried to protect us, but it’s time we let it know, we’re taking a different road now. 

Take a day, and don’t work. No dishes, no laundry – nothing. Make is a true self care day. It will be hard. You will feel awkward, and maybe even guilty. 

Feel those emotions rise, allow them to come in, acknowledge them. And then, let them know you’re good. Keep watching your movie, or reading your book. 

If you can’t commit to an entire day, take half a day. But commit to it, and know that the more you do it, the easier it will be and the better you’ll feel.

What’s one free thing that brings you joy?

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  1. […] all too real for most of us, and as I described in my recent post about busyness, and why it’s so hard for women to slow down, I had a nervous breakdown at the peak of what used […]