Every weekend can't be a "let's completely power down" weekend. As an entrepreneur, I need to remain connected. You all know my passion for powering down, however, I can't go completely off the grid whenever I feel like it, much to my chagrin.
This weekend I knew, a few key projects required my attention. We're in the midst of starting several new partnerships, so shutting off my phone wasn't an option. I decided to unplug in my own way, by hiking Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, NH.
The 2 hour drive was beautiful. As cityscapes turned to sprawling fields, I felt the tension start to melt away. My soundtrack of choice was Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album, full of timeless classics. When I arrived at the mountain, I immediately felt a release. A total immersion in nature, with my phone (on silent) hidden in my backpack was exactly what I needed. The friendly "eye smiles" of fellow masked hikers, lush green trees, and rushing waterfalls were a welcomed interruption to my daily dose of screen time.
Every once and a while, I stopped to marvel at one of nature's surprises - a baby garter snake, mushrooms growing on a log, or the texture of a giant, sprawling tree. Nature truly is our best mindfulness teacher. There's so much to notice.
During the hike, there was one point where I thought I might quit. I saw the "1 mile to the top" sign and know all too well that the last mile of this particular hike is the most grueling part. I paused, took a deep breath, and continued on, much like I do on a normal work day. Pausing when we need it helps us manage our mental health.
When I finally made it to the top, windy and crowded with fellow hikers, I embraced the beautiful landscapes. The "I made it" feeling washed over me like a cool sip of water on a hot summer day. Multiple times at the top on and on the way down, I said to myself "this is exactly what I needed." A day in nature was exactly what I needed to unplug.
While unplugging can't be completely powering down every single time, a scenic and challenging hike can slide in place as a wonderful alternative. Although I worked each day this weekend, I feel completely recharged from the hike, a couple of walks, and time spent sitting outside. It's been a journey to get to this place where I can give myself what I need to feel ready to tackle the work week, and I can promise you that your journey won't be easy - especially if you have children or other life responsibilities.
Share your take on unplugging below - I'd love to hear from you!