Nanny Confessions: Relaxing the Grip on Time
I confess, when working as a nanny I often feel like there isn't enough time in the day to do all I need do at my job. But, it isn't healthy for me, or the kids I care for, to be burdened by time pressure. Being around tense parents and nannies who feel they don't have any time to find joy in-the-moment stresses me out too.
We all have the same 24-hours in each day. But some people (like myself) often feel like they don't have enough time in a day, while others manage to get all their work done and still have a lot of time to relax and enjoy themselves.
Time pressure can cause great stress to the body. Rushing puts our bodies on perpetual combat alert. Our brains regard clocks, deadlines, and interrupted schedules as threats and creates our "flight and fight" response.
Time stress is toxic. This "hurry sickness" erodes the quality of lives and threatens their sense of well-being. The unending struggle to do more and more in less and less time increases our likelihood to respond with anger to anyone that slows us down.
For some, time pressure is like an addiction. Rushaholics are depenent on hectic acitivity from the moment they wake the same way some need nicotine or caffeine to get them jump-started in the morning.
Stress stimulates hormones and neuro-chemicals such as adrenaline that keeps the body on full alert. When rushaholics try to relax, uncomfortable feelings and emotions surface, so they get busy again and stuff the feelings back down.
Trying to control time by strict scheduling makes us so obessesed with it that it becomes more -- not less -- important in our lives. If we relax our grip on time, and not see it as the enemy that must be beaten into submission, it relaxes its grip on us.
Working long hours may be necessary for nannies to pay bills. But finding a balance of living in the moment and realizing we can't do everything will likely make us, the kids, and our employers happier. Slowing down allows nannies to savor the moment, enjoy their lives and jobs more, and get more done.
The Healthy Mind, Healthy Body Handbook