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I Like To Keep Busy

And no, it’s not for productivity’s sake


created by author using Midjourney

Originally published here on Medium

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Today at the dog park, my friend noted how I like to keep busy.

Babysitting, tutoring, school, my dog, my partner, writing, and more tutoring.

And the last few weeks, when I was feeling more depressed than usual? I was the opposite of busy (see here for my stats on how much time I spent on Medium last week, for example).

So I keep myself busy so I have less time to think about my depression.

My therapist and my psychiatrist told me this was a good strategy. Keeps my mind from ruminating.

Ankit S.Maharishi in this article begins by saying that being bored can lead to overthinking, which is an energy drain and a stressor, and can lead to depression.

Paul Falcone notes in this article that his depression hit him as soon as his busy life slowed down after graduation.

This article states that entrepreneurs are 4X more likely to suffer from depression than the general public. They’re some of the busiest people around (they later quote Elon Musk, who I’m not a huge fan of, but I digress).

So is it busyness that keeps depression away, or is it busyness that brings depression on?

The number one subtle sign of depression from this article is “you keep yourself crazy busy.”

Jose at Riviera Recovery points out that Behavioral Activation is a specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy technique that focuses on the ability of our actions to influence how we feel and is the process of assisting individuals in creating routines to fill their life with positive practices. It means that keeping busy can actually help our brain deal with depression. It adjusts our thinking to what can we be doing from what we feel like we cannot do.

All I can say is, when I run out of things to do, I no longer want to sleep. I want to be doing something, and when I don’t have anything to do, I turn on myself.

And then things get harder to do, I do less, and I feel more depressed.

It makes me wonder if it has anything to do with our culture. Being busy equals success, right? So when I’m not busy, I’m not a success.

I think I need to talk to my therapist.

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