I was recently reflecting on the year that was with my husband and in that reflection, we both noted that many of the people that we had come across in our respective roles had mentioned that this year, more than ever they were tired, really tired. More so than they were usually feeling and the general consensus was that teams appeared to be switching off much sooner in the “wind down” to Christmas.
Now, we both work in very different industries, however it seems that 2016 has been a little harder on many. With turbulent events worldwide including instability and changes politically, environmentally and economically and the increase of globalisation playing major factors in the general health and mental wellbeing of people, there was one common element that we could agree on and pinpoint as being a possible contributing factor; and that is that we are always switched on.
Technology, while a beautiful tool has assisted us with becoming connected to the rest of the world at a much faster rate and the news cycle does not stop. While we are connected through news sites, social media and whatever cool and fun new toy or app is being thrown our way, (I’m looking at you Neko Atsume!) it also means that we are constantly at the mercy of those little devices that we carry around in our hands.
It has also been found that the rate of burnout and stress related illnesses is increasing and it is fast being realised the need for us to switch off. So much so, that Arianna Huffington has created the Thrive Global movement encouraging people to find balance and has even gone as far as creating the “Phone bed”, a place where the whole family can lock their phones away to charge for the night away from the bedroom.
My challenge for you during this festive season is to put those devices down. Power down your phones, ipads, laptops, desktops, apple watches and any other piece of gadgetry that has you classically conditioned like subjects of one of Pavlov’s experiments to respond to the sound of *ding*. Unplug for just a little while from the virtual world and give your brain the space to rest, recuperate and restore from the constant barrage of tech that is in front of you.
Take a break, reconnect on a real human level and enjoy the season to eat, drink, be merry and maybe play a little backyard cricket. Unplug and restore those batteries, ready to charge headlong into the challenges of 2017. See you on the other side!