Keynote Speaker Michael Levin on Stress Management: Disconnecting

May 24, 2018

I was having dinner with a client of mine and his wife.  We were talking about two things we don’t always do enough of for ourselves. One was making the time to exercise and take care of ourselves.  The other was taking the time to think or just appreciate the beauty around us.

We talked about how we’re so busy doing and always feeling the need to be connected we fail to disconnect.  The nice thing is we can take the time to be able to take care of ourselves and disconnect at the same time. Unplug Graphic

For me, one of my ways to exercise, think or just reflect is walking my neighborhood.  It’s quite hilly and is a pretty strenuous workout.  When I’d walk my neighborhood, I’d bring my phone with me.  I’d look at it as a good time to multi-task and either catch up on business or personal calls (although if business I’d have to make sure they didn’t hear me huffing and puffing as I got near the top of a hill).

I realized I was missing out on a great opportunity.  I began leaving my phone at home.  I’d take the time to notice the beauty of my neighborhood.  Or I’d take the time to just think and reflect.

I might think about personal things.  I might think about business as well.  I’d find my mind would be clearer and I could strategize, brainstorm and reflect on my businesses or workshops or speaking engagements.  It was thinking time that I wouldn’t take when I was in my office or couldn’t during an engagement.

I have found that making the time to take care of myself and my body while at the same time giving myself time to think or appreciate the beauty around me has been both an opportunity to reflect and very cathartic.   I’m grateful that I decided to leave my phone behind. I realized I didn’t have to always be connected or maximize my productivity every moment of the day.

My client decided during our dinner conversation that he would ask his team, either once or twice per week, to take time for themselves both to exercise and to think or just be.  He wanted them to schedule, what might normally be work time, to take that hour for exercise and reflection.

I’m also learning to stop and smell the roses more in general.  I have been very fortunate to have already had engagements in Ireland and Australia this year.

In the past I may have rushed back because I felt I was too busy.  On these trips, I made sure to schedule extra time to get a chance to see sites and enjoy the culture.  My fiancé even joined me on my trip to Australia.  And I’m certainly not regretting at all taking advantage of these incredible opportunities.