How curious! Many people, when they are working in their offices or at home, they dream about the beach, the mountains, or their ideal place to rest, however, when the holiday period arrives they can not stop thinking about working. Can you do it or do you find it difficult? A fact of our time is that it is very difficult for us to find that state of mind that allows us to rest and disconnect, which is just the goal of the holidays. What if we try? It seems ridiculous, and maybe it is, that we are the ones who push away the possibility of resting by connecting all the time. What if we tried?
For some time now, human beings find it difficult to reach a state of full presence. That is, it consciously surrenders to everyday actions and experiences, leading the mind, focusing it, emptying it of anxious contents, expectations, apprehensions, prejudices, anticipations, and hooks with the past or possible future. It is about appeasing the mind to leave it in the present, instead of letting it jump from one side to the other aimlessly and without direction. But, we tend to get distracted under the guise of being connected.
The impossibility to disconnect is not a triviality, it is an issue that overwhelms us and has long-spectrum effects. To measure the level of this situation, it is necessary to give it a measure: according to Dr. Eduardo Portas, at least seven out of ten workers have had to work during their vacation period, either for urgent issues or to review pending issues.
The impossibility to separate ourselves from work, social networks, our devices, our emails is linked to an organizational and individual culture that prevents us from taking a break, which has been accentuated as a result of the pandemic and its impact on the availability of workers by connecting to electronic media.
Today, it is difficult to declare yourself unavailable and it is easy, just turn off our devices. We have reached absurdity. I have seen people who are using the bathroom and instead of being focused on their physiological needs, they are talking on the phone and I do not doubt that many are sending messages or even consulting their social networks. Of course, that leads us to have the brain trying to do two things at once, on the one hand, and on the other, to be permanently distracted. We have lost the ability to be in full presence and to devote ourselves thoroughly to what concerns us, including rest.
Currently, we are watching television and checking social networks. It was impressive to see, during the games of the World Cup, how most people turned on the television and at the same time were aware of their cell phones to see the reactions of the game on social networks. The production capacity of memes in real time was creepy and so was the number of times they were forwarded, almost without having seen them. The enjoyment of the goal was no longer celebrated with hugs and emotion but by pressing a button to share with an anonymous mass of eyes that will see a reaction that was surely prefabricated.
People must have a space to rest, to pause the slopes, and emotions and to restore our minds and body. That cleanses us of the vices of everyday life and allows us to refresh our vision and broaden our sights. It helps us to repair forces and straighten out thoughts. Of course, vacations are that moment in which we open energy to move forward, sweeten our character and recover what daily life takes from us. Why don't we seize that opportunity?
We don't manage to do it, either because of our own fantasies of being necessary or that if we don't do things personally they won't look good—pure and banal ego—or because work circumstances don't give us that space. We do not manage to disconnect because we have a boss too intrusive and does not know how to respect the limits of our rest or a super dependent work group that is used to moving on shoulders and not acquiring responsibility.
In addition, suddenly we are not used to taking or taking vacations. There is the impression that people are irreplaceable and that the tasks they carry out are insurmountable by other people. So, asking for a vacation period is not part of personal planning or giving them was not contemplated in the annual operating plans. It's as if rest isn't part of it, as if it's a blind spot that no one wants to see.
So, the solution starts where the problem originates: I'm talking about a leadership issue. Areas of talent must require people to take their vacations and disconnect. There is also the factor that sometimes people think they cannot rest because something can happen in their absence. In this sense, there are challenges both for companies and among the employees themselves so that the vacation days are so and really translate into a break.
Eduardo Portas argues that almost sixty percent of people who manage to go on vacation do not achieve a disconnection from work during their days off. Among the reasons why employees work on vacation is the direct contact of the company to request tasks, but also the desire of employees to be aware of what happens during the period of absence.
The myth of the ever-available worker being a good employee is just that: a myth. Sometimes we think that good performance has to do with being there and we don't realize the wear and tear of people. Were the results of always being present and stressed (the more time we spend connected and they see us more worried, the better) and if the days off mean that we are not trying hard enough, there is a concern of the collaborators to look bad if they disengage. There is also a pending work of the companies in making employees aware that the disconnection is valid and it is okay not to be available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week is not only healthy but desirable.
There will not be enough days or words to enter our heads and hearts if they are not deeply rooted in the great key of the one who wants to be present. The more exercises I do to supervise students or assistants to my mentorships, the more I become aware of the great need to disconnect and be in full presence: listening, I understood the world of feelings to be seen with the eye of the spirit. See and listen to ourselves and our environment, rest, recharge energy and expand the vision. It is not possible to listen without what today, increasingly, is called full presence. Do you dare to disconnect on vacation and focus on yourself?