Disconnecting,
When All We Want To Do Is Be Connected

No matter where you live, you have no doubt been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that we find ourselves living through. We are all struggling through a lack of social engagement and seclusion, leading us to a host of virtual platforms and seeking connection with others.

Breaking News

You can't watch a news report, visit a social media site, perform a Google search or see a text message without being inundated with virus-related news, or without seeing the effects of the pandemic on those you know and love. People across the globe are pushing out information through these digital tools, keeping everyone up to date and well informed.

This is vitally important for our health and survival.

During this challenging time, people have begun increasing communication and enlarging their digital footprints. The result has been an increase in engagement, connectedness and sharing of information between people. Information designed to keep us safe and informed is being communicated by the minute. This readily accessible information is also vital to our success during this time. But, with all of this digital connection, it’s also easy to feel you have to be connected all of the time – lest you miss something important.

mental health

Some advice we are receiving to keep our mental health strong, leadership vibrant and energy levels at peak performance look like this:

  1. Exercise your body and mind.
  2. Stay informed of the current situation and events in your community.
  3. Communicate regularly with your family, friends, work, clients and spiritual influences.
  4. Find ways to communicate through video so you can see and interact with those around you.

Related Content: How 13 SEH Employees are Prioritizing Their Mental and Physical Health While Working Remotely

We’ve all heard these sentiments and are doing our best to take advantage of every opportunity to interact through these activities. However, there is one point that I’m not hearing and want to make sure isn't missed during all of this. Don't forget to disconnect!

QUIET

There is so much mental, emotional and creative engagement going on that there is a real danger it will quickly invade every minute of our lives, causing us to lose the one thing we vitally need during this time – QUIET.

The noise around us is at an all-time high (as it should be in this time), but the risk of constant stimulation with no down time for our minds and bodies to relax, recharge and reinvigorate is real. This down time is vital for our ability to effectively lead our lives, families, work teams, businesses, spiritual events and otherwise interact with those around us.

Here are a few quick hints to help manage your work and personal life during this time of constant connection:

Set a work schedule and stick to it as best as you can – Give enough time to account for the delays these events are causing, but put an end to your work day at some point.

Set a family schedule – With kids at home (no matter the age) and most of us working from home, schedules are going to conflict. We’re all competing for internet bandwidth. But, if we take time to set family schedules we can manage around everyone’s routines.

Set time for you – Be sure you have time to do the things you need to do to feel engaged and part of the world.

SET A TIME IN YOUR SCHEDULE TO UNPLUG – This is absolutely vital to our success and mental health. Put the devices down; get alone with your thoughts, dreams, spiritual side and aspirations. This is critical to our leadership, positive attitudes and mental toughness. Recharge to be invigorated and fight another day. It's okay to put it down.

Tell others about your schedule – If we are serious about how to successfully negotiate this time in our lives, then we will need to communicate our schedules to those around us. Everyone needs to know the boundaries we set so they can help us stick to those boundaries.

With all that's going on, I’ve found myself getting inundated with invitations to virtually connect, attend meetings and engage those around me in virtual connection. While I love to see technology in full effect, I had to stop and realize this is quickly invading every space in my life. I had to go back to the basics of time management and set barriers so I can be successful during this time. You may need to do the same. In order to operate at a high level and be the influence we are called to be, we must take time to step back, making sure we focus on disconnecting as much as connecting.

These are trying times, but also exciting times as we stretch technology and humanity to new levels. Let's do this together and be healthy in the process.

About the Author

Gary Randle

Gary Randle leads the planning and landscape architecture practices in Wisconsin and Indiana and is dedicated to fostering genuine relationships with his employees and clients while maintaining a focus on preserving their mental health amid challenging working conditions. Contact Gary

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