Why Now Is the Time to Switch off and Connect | Herbst BlueStar | Sanlam Financial Planners Pretoria

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Why now’s the time to switch off and connect

“Screen burnout.” “Digital fatigue.” “Tech tired.” Whatever you call it, it’s a phenomenon that many of us now face. We’re mentally exhausted from the excessive use of digital devices in addition to everything else. But there’s light (hopefully not a blue one) at the end of the tunnel. The holidays are near and it’s the perfect time to (really) switch off so you can return with your physical and mental batteries at 100%. So, how can you protect the time to pause, recharge and disconnect?

A quick masterclass on how to leave your office

Trust your colleagues that are holding the fort. It works both ways: the more they feel you trust them, the more they will take pride in running the show, and the less you will worry. Make sure to delegate everyone’s tasks properly, and be clear with your team about what really constitutes an emergency (the office goldfish dying is not an emergency) and how they can contact you if needed.

Create a list of things that need to be tackled before you go so you know that all loose ends have been tied. Inform your clients and employees of your departure in good time and be clear about the dates that you are away. This goes for not only an email out-of-office auto-response, but for WhatsApp too. Chat is a great facilitator of easy, realtime connection with clients and colleagues, but it also creates a space for work to seep into your downtime. Create a profile picture clearly displaying you are on leave, and who to contact until your return.

Now all that’s left to do is unplug – yourself and your computer.

Strengthen those connections

Think about your favourite holiday memories; they most likely involved the people that you cherish most in your life. Perhaps they involved singalongs and conversations while braaiing ­– with no one checking their phones. Human connection is vital to our overall wellbeing, so use this time away to bond with your loved ones.

Games are a great way to do this, and the first game you play should be Phone Stack. The game is to place your phones in the middle of the table, and whoever picks up their phone first loses. Going completely off the digital radar can, however, cause more worry than not for some, so if you have to, pencil in a specific hour a day when you check your email and WhatsApps ­– but no more!

Hiking, brewing coffee together on a fire or enjoying a lawn game… These seemingly simple activities create lasting memories and important bonding time that so many families lack these days.

Talk. Feeling understood by your loved ones can take a lot of pressure and stress off everyday life – your loved ones are there to motivate and support you. Don’t forget that.

Belly laughs

South African holiday food often means braaied marshmallows and boerie rolls, but don’t forget to fit in those wholesome meals, too. Your energy levels are significantly impacted by what you eat, and you don’t want to return to the grindstone feeling sluggish. It will just demotivate you. Try to eat your five fruit and veggies each day, and make it fun. Who remembers playing ‘bobbing for apples’? That’ll get some vitamins into you and the family, and a good belly laugh, too.

Less is more. But not when it comes to sleep

As tempting as it is to pack your holiday full of activities, it’ll only make you feel like you need a holiday to recover from your holiday. Don’t defeat the purpose of a break by jamming too much in, and rather purposefully make downtime for yourself every day. Afternoon naps are one of life’s greatest pleasures, so have a lot of them. Sleep is the best way to recharge your body.

Be still

The most successful people in the world spend at least 15 minutes a day thinking in isolation. Reflecting on your career, relationships and health is great for destressing; it’s like sorting out a cluttered drawer in a way. Clarity is something we all want and need. Process your thoughts and sort out the negative emotions that pop up – then leave them behind. A clear, positive mindset will have an amazing impact on your physical and mental health in the year ahead.

Just enjoy

Remember: although as humans we’ve developed in leaps and bounds, we also haven’t changed. We still thrive on the basics – exercise, healthy food, fresh air, love and human connections, so focus on all of these on your time away and just enjoy!

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