What a world we live in! No matter where you go in life social media is everywhere. People are using their cell phones to record videos that show up on the local news, and phone calls are being made until you lay your head down on your pillow (sometimes even after).

Technology surrounds us everywhere we go and it draws us in like a girl named Dorothy in a tornado! We don’t know where we will end up but we are there for the ride. If that isn’t bad enough, most people have a company cell phone on top of their personal cell phone. There are messages, emails, alarms, calendars, etc. giving you notifications all throughout the day and you can’t get away. Between your personal phone, company phone, multiple tablets, and laptops, it is no wonder there is a struggle to step away from technology and have a real conversation- you know those things our parents used to tell us about! Now, do not mistake what I am saying, we need these instruments of communication in today’s world if we are going to succeed but we cannot let it consume our lives.

In one of my past positions I found myself carrying three different phones. One was my personal phone, one was my work phone, and the other was our company phone that rotated between our leadership team for “on call” purposes. I felt like even though I was not in the office, I was in a constant loop of always working and having to answer multiple notifications because my job and life were dependent upon this. I couldn’t get away from always being connected.

After doing this for a while I decided that for about a half of a day, on a Sunday, I was going to stop this insanity and take a ride to a local park. I left my cell phones behind and grabbed a loaf of bread to take with me. When I arrived I sat on a park bench and fed the ducks that frequented the pond. I had a chance to look around me and see the beauty of our world. I wasn’t checking my pocket to see if I missed a call and my pocket wasn’t vibrating or dinging. It was just me and mother nature.

I sat there for about two hours and watched people use the walking path, had a conversation (yes a real person to person conversation), and just cleared my head. It felt great to just exist for a small moment of time and reconnect with the world before technology took over. But, here is the kicker: when I left the park I felt a little more refreshed and was ready to tackle the week ahead of me – what a great strategy to reduce stress!

The world we live in is a fast paced technological world where you are burning yourself out in order to stay ahead of the game. It has become a world in which we are always available and married to the internet. Although we must stay “connected” on multiple levels, I offer this suggestion: step away! Even if only for an hour stop what you are doing and enjoy your surroundings. Find one simple strategy to reduce stress for yourself. Take time for yourself. Go to a park and observe nature; listen to the sound of children laughing. If nothing else, just put the phones, tablets, and distractions away for a bit and clear your mind. I believe you will be refreshed and surprised at how good it can feel to step away for a bit. Further, I would not be surprised if your work efficiency and productivity actually increased. If you have a sales staff, encourage them to do this exercise and you will be amazed at the results.  Your staff will feel better; they will be more efficient; and your facility will be more profitable!

Read our “Key to Increasing Your Facility Census” blog to further reduce your stress!

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