We all want this pandemic to be over, but here’s the bad news: the pandemic may well be over in 2022, but disruption is not over. We may not face another pandemic soon, but we are facing climate change, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, destabilising global inequality and massive geopolitical challenges. These disruptive forces are causing change at a more rapid, exponential pace than ever before.
Change can be exciting and can produce progress, but change is tiring. We are struggling to deal with the scale and speed of change. We need to find ways and means to manage the impact of the stress of change on our bodies, minds, spirits, and our relationships. Our nervous systems need regular breaks. It starts with giving our brains time to process less information. We need to unplug. To disconnect from outside sources of stimulation. Time away from screens, noise or even people. Alone time.
Taking a good break over December could be just what we need to prepare for the challenges of the new year. Sadly, it’s not what many of us plan for our holidays.
We fear being unplugged from our work. We fear being inaccessible. We fear being disposable. We fear being bored. We fear being alone.
We continue to check in with work. Our e-mails don’t stop. We don’t disengage from the toxicity of social media and news. And if we’re not busy with work, we’re busier with socialising. And although socialising is a way of relaxing, it may also leave us exhausted. Especially for those introverts among us - it drains us instead of reviving us. And the festive season also asks a lot from us – all that planning, gift buying and food preparation. A friend always says, “Someone is making the magic!” Making magic can be tiring too.
It may be what we are used to and what our culture has taught us or what our workplace demands. It may have been sufficient in the past, but it is not what we need now. We desperately need real rest. By definition, it means to relax, sleep or recover strength. Time to sit still, be quiet or be alone. That is rest!
If we want to be adaptive to change, we must become serious about rest. Perversely, to become more productive, we first have to rest. To prepare for 2022, we owe it to ourselves, our people and to our work to rest. I hope you choose to rest well.
I am taking a break from blogging for a few weeks. Thank you for your support this year. I have loved hearing from you too. Now it is time to rest!
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//17 December 2021