What a time to be alive! Technology has got to the point where your fridge can order your groceries for you.  I can’t decide if I love it or hate it…  Irrespective of my feelings, all this technology means that we are near constantly ‘connected’.  While that has some wonderful upsides – such as a fridge that can order a block of chocolate for you – one of the downsides is that it is much harder to ‘unplug’, to escape the constant barrage of communication, emails, social media messages and DM’s.  All of this ‘connectedness’ takes its toll and if anything, the last few years have only exacerbated this problem.

To be clear, it is a problem.  Research suggests that owning a small business leads to people exercising less, having a worse diet, spending less time with friends and family and the big one, having health issues.  Owning a small business has even been linked to cardiovascular disease – you know; heart attacks, strokes, the sort of stuff you’d probably sooner avoid.  A contributor to these stress induced conditions is always being ‘on’, and never unplugging from work.

So, if work is always on your mind, how can you unplug?  Here are some simple things that you can prioritise to do:

  • Book yourself some ‘no screen time’ – phone off, TV off and laptop put away, maybe pick up a book instead?
  • Remember that hobby or passion you have?  Book in a date with yourself to do that thing that you like doing!
  • Exercise.  NZ has the third highest rate of obesity in the OECD, do your bit to help lower that ranking by getting yourself moving.
  • Trade up your diet for healthier options – see the above bullet point for the rationale.
  • Get some outside perspective, someone from outside work (preferably not friends or family) that you can talk through any issues that are taking up mental space
  • Challenge your own perspectives – if something is causing you stress, ask yourself, will this still be relevant in an hour, a day, a month or a year?
  • Get a good night’s sleep – not always easy to do but the benefits are massive.

Chances are, no one else is going to make looking after you their number 1 priority.  If you’re not looking after yourself, you’re not operating at your best so this can become areal downward cycle.

The runup to the end of the year is a stressful time.  So, what are three things you can commit to in order to unplug and take better care of yourself?  If you’re not sure where to start get in contact.

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