“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” – Anne Lamott
It is a VERY busy time of the year for most of us. Personally, I logged 70+ hours last week. As Report deadlines approach, we may find our stress levels at an all-time high as we strive to check every box off our to-do list. It has been scientifically proven that overwhelming amounts of stress make you stupid, sick, and slow. Doctors are calling stress the Black Plague of our century. Harvard researchers estimate that 90% of doctor’s visits are related to stress. Let me be clear – getting stressed is not bad for you, but staying stressed is toxic.
As work hours increase and expectations elevate, it is absolutely necessary that we make the time to rest, reenergize, and refuel in an attempt to decrease our stress levels and increase our relaxation response. We can significantly decrease our cortisol (stress) levels by taking as little as 15 minutes each day for ourselves (schedule the time in your Outlook Calendar!). During these 15 minutes, I encourage you to completely unplug. Leave your phone at the office, in your car, or turn it on airplane mode. Go outside. Walk around. Take deep breaths. These short moments of solitude help to create a sense of well-being and calm. In addition, you might come back to your desk feeling more focused, more energized, and more creative!
When I went to Bali a few months ago, I unplugged and went silent for an entire day. I didn’t speak, listen to music, journal or read. I simply hung out with my thoughts for an entire day. What followed was nothing short of mind-blowing. The next day, I felt a surge of creativity, focus, and gratitude for everything in my life!
Let me be clear, you don’t need to unplug and sit in silence for an entire day to experience the profoundly positive effects of entering solitude. 10-15 minutes per day will do the trick! The human brain and body was not designed to be ON all of the time. Our bodies and minds are like IPhones in that they need to be recharged on the daily so that they can operate at the highest level. At the end of the day, how can you expect to fill somebody else’s cup up if yours runneth empty? Taking 10-15 minutes per day for yourself fills your energetic cup up so that you can operate at the highest level both at and away from the office! As Pablo Picasso was quoted saying, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”
Enjoy what comes of today!