Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Disconnect To Connect

Happy New Year !

I hope your holiday season has given you a respite from the everyday and a chance to recharge. This summer, for me, provided a great reminder of the power of disconnecting. In the midst of the Christmas and New Year break my mobile phone was stolen. Not a pleasant experience, but a learning opportunity. I had to find other ways of connecting with family and friends. I practiced being present, and noticed all the unintentional habits I have formed around having my phone glued to my side. 

In this modern world we are connected outward in a myriad of ways. Through the media we can know in real time what is happening all over the world. Social media connects us to friends, family and acquaintances along with celebrities and other people’s lives. We are able to be reached any time, anywhere, by almost anybody.

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new, and this blog is not just about our on-line time, rather more about our in-role time. While I waited for a new phone to be sent, among the slump of public holidays, I noticed also how by being disconnected (literally my phone was disconnected), I also disconnected from my work role. I could be fully in the role of Mum, wife, friend, daughter.

It struck me how constant our life juggle becomes with all the roles we hold. We are switched on and connected to so many people outside our immediate family and friends by nature of the work we do. We are constantly in the role of helping others – our clients and their families, employers, colleagues, equipment reps, case managers, specialist services, and the list goes on with variations depending on our workplace.

So What Can We Do?

So how do we manage this continuous swapping between roles – the donning and doffing of each and every one of our life hats? While I don’t advocate losing your phone in order to experience a complete disconnect, it is worth reflecting on how you can be proactive about disconnecting from work, both during holidays, and on a daily basis, after hours. Here are some ideas…

  • Book and use your holidays each year – no one benefits from you accumulating leave unless for a specific trip. Make sure you take regular breaks throughout the year.
  • Set clear habits and boundaries around your work time –  if you need more help with that join me for a supervision session, or check out my Healthy Work Boundaries e-course
  • Review your schedule for the new year. Are you fitting in regular disconnecting time? For example – exercise, yoga, meditation, hobbies,  being out in nature, massage or other self care practices?
  • Take another look at your commitments – are there any hats you could let go of this year? If not straight away then maybe set yourself a deadline to drop that committee role, or that friendship that doesn’t provide a mutual benefit.
  • Reflect on your social media use – is it serving you, or the other way around?
  • Check back in with your own personal values. These can provide a compass to check your direction against. For each commitment you hold, or each new opportunity that arises measure these against those values you hold true. Be clear that the choice is serving you well.

Finally, recognise the value of disconnecting from the world around you, in order to connect back in with yourself.

If you need new skills and tools to support you to disconnect this year contact me here…