The barista asked me today, “Are you busy today or are you taking care of yourself?” Her question caught me off guard and I mumbled a bit confused, “Well… both.”

Have you noticed that “Busy” is the new “fine”?

How are you? Busy?

How’s it going? Busy.

Are you busy? Yep.

Busy is the new default mode that most of us to drop into when we aren’t paying attention. If you’re busy, you must be doing something important, right? Well, no.

As I said to the barista, I’m both busy and taking care of myself. In my quest for balance and self-care, the busier I get, the more rest I need.

But what is busy, anyway? It’s important to develop a discerning practice of how I’m using my time. Do I need to be busy at this moment? Sometimes there are moments available for deep breathing, for stretching, moments to look out the window or into the eyes of my children. Do I really need to fill up those moments with Facebook and checking my phone? Or rushing around tidying up?

My practice is to resist busy-ness; resist being sucked into unconscious time wasters. I want to stay present enough in each moment to recognize when I can slow down and when I need to be focused and productive.

When you can discern in a moment what’s the best use of your time, you develop the capacity to hold more. Yes, life gets busy sometimes but don’t assume that means you have to neglect yourself, sleep less, get stressed out and suffer. If you can create the capacity to hold what life is offering you, you become more mindful and selective. You have more patience for what matters and less busy-ness.

My point is, stay present, my friend. Don’t default into a stressed out state because it’s what’s expected when life is full. Have you ever known people that get things done? What makes them different? Their life is full. They seem to manage. They can handle it.

So, with my practice of presence and self-care, I’m learning to handle it. I can be busy and rested. I can hold more in my life when necessary. You can seize moments of relaxation, too, because you’re tuned in. You can find it sleeping late on a Saturday or in the vacation you’re planning for April.

Seize it. Take rest and relaxation as seriously as you do work. Then when it’s time to get things done, you can handle it.

Abby Bordner is a PK DIrector and teaches the Advanced Prenatal Teacher Training. Learn more about her here.