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A Cure for Busyness

June Department of Mental Health Services Blog

As a result of the quick and fast-paced world we live in, we tend to equate busyness with productivity. While these two words may appear as siblings in our achievement and success-driven world, the unfortunate reality is that busyness oftentimes impairs productivity and may lead to increased emotional distress. Many business articles highlight the unique relationship between busyness and productivity and almost all agree that busyness is the by-product of our pursuit of success. As a society, we have grown to associate being busy with being successful and as a result, have inadvertently allowed it to become a status symbol that we need, must, and have to obtain. In short, we have adopted a mindset of ‘if you’re not busy then you’re wasting time and delaying your success’. While the urge to fill our schedules and maximize our available time is normal, we should also take careful consideration of the impact this way of living may be having on us. Are you more tired than usual? Are you more irritable with others? Are you finding time to rest and recover? These are just a few questions you might want to ask yourself to get a quick gauge of your current emotional resource availability.

As the summer months approach, we at DMHS encourage you to utilize this time to find ways in which
you might consciously unplug, mindfully engage, and purposefully reconnect. How different might our
lives and the outcome of our work be if we shifted our perspective from trying to ‘do everything, well’ to
‘intentionally doing fewer things, better”? Unsure of where to start? Check out the helpful tips below!

A Cure for Busyness

  • Consciously Unplug
    • Create space to slow down and evaluate your current pursuits. Don’t be afraid to pull
      back and say “no” to the things that are asking more out of you then what you are
      reasonably able to give.
    • Journaling can be a helpful tool to explore your current demands.
  • Mindfully Engage
    • Seek opportunities to experience rest and rejuvenation. Many people know which
      self-care activities bring them rest (i.e., peace of mind) but that is only half of the
      equation. You also want to find opportunities where you can experience rejuvenation
      (i.e., restoration of energy or vigor).
    • Mindfulness strategies like breathing and meditation are ways to tap into both rest and
  • Purposefully Reconnect
    • When the time comes to reengage do so with a mindset of “quality over quantity”. Be
      willing to pursue purposeful tasks that are aligned with your values as opposed to giving
      into the urge to do everything for the sake of being able to do everything.
    • Engage with yourself flexibly and make attempts to manage personal expectations as

Need to talk?

For trainees

The Department of Mental Health Services is available to provide mental health and personal counseling services to all students, residents, and fellows. There are a few ways to access services:

  • To request an appointment with the Department of Mental Health Services, send a secure
    message via the online portal at or call 317-278-2383 during
    normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm).
  • For urgent matters, call 317-278-HELP (4357), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A licensed clinical
    health specialist will provide an assessment and help direct you to appropriate treatment
    options based on the situation. You may also call on behalf of a trainee if you are a family
    member, friend or colleague concerned about their well-being. You may call anonymously, if

For IU Health employees:

  • Indiana University Health Physicians Employee Assistance Program
  • IU Health Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services; call 317-962-8611
  • National Crisis Hotline; call or text 988 (available 24/7)

For IU Employees:

  • The IU Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides 24/7/365 access to licensed mental health
    counselors via SupportLinc or 888-881- LINC (5462) for IU School of Medicine team members
    and their households.
  • Access to Anthem LiveHealth Online is included with your IU-sponsored medical coverage. This service allows you to engage with a mental health provider via telehealth using your IU insurance provider.