It’s 2:00 p.m., it’s been a long day of phone calls, answering emails, replying to social media messages and comments, meeting with clients, finishing that last report, answering text messages, and listening to a co-worker complain about…something. Is it Friday yet? No, it’ only Wednesday. Tired, stressed and irritable with no physical activity besides pecking away at the keyboard.
Does this sound like you? I know this is me at time. It used to be I’d feel like this ALL the time and when the weekend finally came I was so mentally drained a nap or slumping in my chair in front of the TV was the only thing I wanted to do. But that changed several years ago when I went back to my roots of hiking and the outdoors and answered the call to #getoutdoors.
The truth is, to #getoutdoors is the cure you need to overcome the mental fatigue of digital overload. It’s been proven, a thirty minute walk outside or even sitting in a park relieves stress and anxiety.
“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves,” wrote John Muir in Our National Parks. Clearly, John Muir understood the intrinsic value of spending time in nature.
But here is the key, you first have to get up, get moving, and #getoutdoors.
Step two, disconnect from the digital world. Sure, take your phone along in case you need to make a call in an emergency and want to take pictures, but put it in airplane mode. “But what if someone needs to contact me?” Here is my answer, no one needs to contact you unless it’s an emergency.
Here is what I do when I go hiking. I take my phone for pictures to share later, I put it in airplane mode and I start hiking without the distractions of every bing, ding, bleep or vibration. Before I leave the house for my hike I let my wife or someone else know where I am going, what trail/s and direction I’m taking, and when I plan to be back. Once at the trailhead I switch my phone to airplane mode and bingo, instant disconnect.
Sometimes we need to disconnect from people.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife more than anything in this world, but at times I need to disconnect from her, co-workers, my boss, etc. Finding solitude in the woods away from people recharges my spirit, clears my head and improves my mood. Being alone in the woods gives me time to connect with God on a very personal level and allows me time to really listen to what He has to tell me.
#getdoors and disconnect, and discover the difference it makes in your life.
Well, if you’ll excuse me for a moment there is a trail and mountain calling my name asking me to disconnect.