I recently took a trip to Europe (fully vaccinated and masked) with my husband, who had some work there. I contemplated doing what I typically do – taking my computer so I could check email and do necessary work. I made a more transformative choice and chose not to take my computer, and I am now happy that I left it behind.

Okay, I did not leave my mobile phone, so I certainly did not unplug fully (maybe not such a transformative¬†choice). And yet, with limited access to the internet, I found myself relaxing more fully, engaging with the world around me, and slowing down. Think that you can’t really leave work for 10 days? I thought so, too. And I’m very glad I did. Some of the benefits I enjoyed:

  • Less stress. I breathed more deeply, walked more and enjoyed the scenery. In the process, I felt my body relaxing and my heart rate slowing.
  • More creative thinking. I really wasn’t trying to do this, but I found that I was able to get perspective on some complex ideas I’d been wrestling with.
  • More awe. As I woke up each day thinking, “What do I feel like doing?” I found simple joys in sunrises, flowers, sunshine and even rain. I was doing what Bill Bryson talks about in his book, I’m a Stranger Here Myself. “Take a moment from time to time to remember that you are alive.” I really connected with the wonder of just being, with all that comes with it – the sights, smells, sensations and sounds.

When have you make a conscious decision to step away? What benefits have you experienced? Comment below or send us a message.


Photo by Christi Barrett