I’ve said this before amongst friends and it’s something I stand behind: as humans, we are currently being confronted with too many external stimuli that send our emotions on rollercoaster rides! Picture your typical morning:
- Wake up and check phone: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc – you see something happy, sad or thought-provoking in a matter of seconds!
- On your commute to work, people on the road or on public transport make you feel all kinds of (mostly annoyed) emotions!
This all before you even get to work! Our minds are constantly busy – FULL of noise. Let me ask you a question – Can you watch something on TV without also browsing something on your phone?
What if we simplified things?
Made this quiet?
Would you cope?
Disconnect to reconnect:
I recently helped my folks move home to a much quieter, more ‘out the way’ estate and it’s beautiful. Perfect for them as they slowly creep towards retirement. I’m staying with them until my big move to South Korea and it’s worked out perfectly because their dog and my cat are taking some time to adjust. So, basically I’ve been a pet sitter for the last week and it’s been… trying.
They don’t have WiFi or a TV and my phone signal is non-existent out on the estate. SO, what have I been doing? Reading, doing some yoga, some puzzles, writing in my journal. They seem like easy enough tasks BUT they took some getting used to.
The QUIET is unbelievable. When you’re only faced with simple tasks and zero distractions your mind has all this free space to come up with…. EVERYTHING. We’ve totally lost touch with being happy inside our own minds; we fill it up with EVERYTHING we could possibly think of besides what we should actually be focusing our brainpower on.
- You work out what you actually enjoy doing. I’ve realized that I don’t like sitting on Social Media. When I’ve spent these last two weeks having minimal exposure to Social Media, I’ve been at my happiest. I’ve read four books in the last week and in the beginning, I struggled with finding the quiet to do this. I kept thinking I should rather be doing something! Contrary to popular belief, I do work, but in my ‘after work time’ I realized how much of it I have filled up doing nothing constructive! Checking Social Media, getting back to people on the various platforms can WAIT – it does not need to be instantaneous.
- You start to look in the mirror more. OK, not physically (unless you want to) but when it’s just you and your thoughts – you start to have some deep conversations with yourself. I found myself having out loud conversations with myself. In the beginning, I was so uncomfortable with the newfound silence but soon… the peace became the most delicious feeling in the world. I started to ask myself how I was really feeling about a particular topic: the move out of my childhood home, my thoughts on a particular guy, clients I discovered I no longer wanted to work with, friends I no longer wanted to see… After a few minutes (sometimes longer) of thinking – I take out my journal and write down my thoughts. Who needs therapy?
- Your stresses disappear. Or at least… minimize. Being constantly fed crap confuses your emotions and you find yourself feeling a particular way based on other peoples news. You see your friend put up an emotional post that hits home and your good mood disappears as you are now brought down to their darker emotional level. When you’re on your own, taking walks outside, writing in your journal, you learn that without a constant update of the outside world – you enjoy the time that is the present a whole lot more.
- When it’s time to work – you work. You’ve learnt what it means to be quiet and ‘without work’, so when it’s time to work – you focus so much faster than usual. If your work is online, like mine, it often feels like you’re at work as long as you’re awake. Being separated from it all makes you feel like people before email happened, where you went home and you couldn’t check in with work until the next day.
- You’re happier. Instead of being glued to your phone stressing about work, you can actually find the headspace to dedicate emotion and energy to things that actually make you happy. Finishing your book, writing in your journal, scrapbooking, sketching, exercising, simply walking around your neighbourhood – the list is yours for the taking.
This post may seem silly to some, but if you’ve felt the clarity that I’ve felt in the last few weeks – you’ll know what I’m talking about. People often look down on online work as if it’s lesser than other jobs – they simply have no idea the amount of work that goes into creating an online presence.
We need that separation – in all lines of work – so, listen to your body and give yourself space.