Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Many moons ago, a Johannesburg-based expert in business rescue, transformation, and turnaround for SMEs & corporates told me that once a month he disappears into the wilderness, on his own and out of reach. Oh yes, and preferably during peak business hours.
“This is how I keep things in perspective,” he explained. “Spending time in nature allows me to reflect on life and work, and to gain fresh insights.” I fully agree with him and am a firm believer in escaping the pot when it gets too hot inside, because it is precisely at that very moment – when you become completely overloaded, overwhelmed and overstressed – that you loose perspective and your ability to think clearly. Once you step out of it and spend some ‘me time’ in nature, everything suddenly becomes calm, and with it, crystal clear. What seemed critical and must-be-done-now-now, looses its sense of urgency. I step out of the boiling pot each and every time I notice I’m getting sucked in.
In fact, stepping out or unplugging reminds me of a old TV advert for a Belgian beer. The scene shows a busy New York avenue with people fast-walking in both directions. Then, suddenly, the image slows down and comes to a standstill. The camera zooms in on a man sitting at a small table in the middle of the pavement. He looks at the camera, takes a refreshing sip of his beer and smiles, "Stella Artois, stop the time."
By stopping the time and stepping out of the race during peak business hours versus taking time out during the weekend makes the move all the more purposeful and mindful. It not only becomes a deliberate action of allowing yourself to become more aware and tune in to yourself and the world around you; it also shows that the world does not fall apart because you unplugged for a few hours.
I found that using nature as a means to reconnect with myself not only reduces stress levels and allows me to keep the right perspective, it also helps me to stay true to myself in everything I do.
This is why I am now extending this opportunity to my team as well. As from August 2019 Kids of Nature employees receive one day of paid leave per month with the sole purpose of withdrawing mindfully in nature.
How do you unplug? I'd love to share your thoughts and experiences on the topic and learn more about how you deal with the daily pressures of life and responsibilities and all that comes with it.