Almost every day, I hear a conversation like this:

Hi. How are you?
I'm good — just busy.
Oh, that's awesome.
Okay, see you around sometime when you are less busy ...

I hate and loathe this conversation so much. Nothing shuts down connecting with others more than saying you are too busy. It signals you are too busy for people. Since when did "busy" become some badge of honour.

Life is about people and authentic connections. If you don't have that, you won't have your mental health in too long. Or many friends ...


I write about life balance and being too busy in my book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness, which just launched in New Zealand (it is available in Whitcoulls and PaperPlus stores).

The book boasts 30 global wellness experts who can uplift your body, mind and soul to the next level. It also has 30 mostly nutrient-dense and delicious recipes, but also some cakes — because I believe strongly in all things in life can be enjoyed in balance.

Experts in my book explain how you can better connect with your friends, kids, loved ones and colleagues with more emotional intelligence.

The lessons in the book are things I'm strongly working on myself too. I'm not perfect at these life skills, but I know I need to try harder with this area of my life. Ask yourself:

Could you do with some help to connect better with others too? Could you spend more time with more presence with people you give a stuff about?

I spoke in front of a roomful of businesswomen this week, sharing tools on how to get more life balance. The event had every seat accounted for. There was a wait list to get in if anyone couldn't make it. So, obviously the topic resonated.

A key message was to stop, pause and make time for people who matter in your life. They lift you up — and they deserve to be uplifted too in return.

I also begged every woman in that room to remove their super hero cape if they were wearing one.


"We are all doing a super job as women. But no one in this room is Superwoman. That title is too tough to live up to! So, burn that superhero cape in a bonfire."

Tips to live life in balance
1 Learn to say no when you need to. This frees your energy up for things that actually matter.
2 Spend time with people and on projects that actually matter.
3 Unplug sometimes. We know how to recharge our phones, but not ourselves.
4 Quit being Superwoman. Just let some things go.
5 Where energy goes, energy flows. So make sure you spend your energy on positive stuff that matters — not on stuff that's out of your control.

Rachel Grunwell is a wellness expert and author of Balance: Food, Health + Happiness. Follow Rachel's website,, Instagram, rachelgrunwell, and Facebook, InspiredHealthNZ