Recharging and Disconnecting
How important is recharging to you? No, I’m not talking about the importance of keeping your gadgets charged. We already know that we should always be charging all of our digital leashes. What I’m talking about is taking downtime away from the constantly connected worlds that we live in and allowing yourself to mentally and physically recharge. Many of us work long hours, often times deep into nights and over weekends. Even when we do get some downtime from the office, such as on the weekends, that time is usually filled with everything else in our lives that demand our attention whether they be household projects, cleaning, errand running, or a number of other to-dos. All of this slowly wears us down, especially if you’re adding a lack of solid sleep, high stress environments, business travel, a lack of exercise or a sound diet to the mix.
Even when we do get an opportunity to take a vacation, we’re usually still very much plugged in and connected though albeit on a slower schedule. When I take weekend getaways or domestic vacations I know I’m guilty of this. I might not spend all day on email, Twitter, Facebook and RSS as I do during a regular workday but I’ll still check in a few times throughout the day. Even if I don’t take action on the emails coming in, I still know what’s going on and therefore may be adding stress into the getaway because of knowing what’s awaiting me when I get home or feeling an urge to deal with the situation while away.
That is why I’ve become an increasing fan of taking sailing vacations over the past few years. Two years ago I went on my first sailing trip down to the British Virgin Islands. Not only was it an amazing vacation but I was completely disconnected from the world for 10 days. Not just from my connected world but from everything. And guess what? Everything was just fine. It took about a week to get back into the saddle and caught up but it was well worth it. When I came back I was incredibly productivie because I felt clear-headed and organized. I had just come back from over a week of spending nights laying under the stars letting my mind wonder about anything and everything.
In between leaving New Marketing Labs and before starting at Citrix Online my family took another sailing trip, this time to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with a couple days on the way back in Barbados. It was the perfect opportunity to disconnect from everything and spend quality time with my family. It was one of the first times, if not the only time, so far in my career where I went away on a vacation without a corporate email account. Granted, I do have my personal email accounts and my Caminito email account, all of which receive a lot of emails on a daily basis but still not anywhere on the level of NML or now, Citrix Online. It was an absolutely incredible trip filled with laughter, swimming with turtles, hiking expeditions, exploration and everything that involved not being connected.
Since returning from vacation I have been thinking more about recharging and how important it needs to be in all of our lives. Sure, recharging won’t always be taking a sailing trip around remote islands, but it doesn’t have to be. Recharging could be taking a date night once per week with your spouse where you’re completely disconnected and ban the talk of bills, honey-do projects or any of the other stresses in your personal and professional lives. No matter how you do it, we all need to take time to recharge.
How are you finding ways to recharge?
Oh and if you wanted to see photos from my sailing trip, check out the below slideshow:
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Photo Credit: killermonkeys