A National Day of Unplugging: What It Is & Why Every Traveling Healthcare Professional Should Celebrate
The second Friday in March is recognized as the “National Day of Unplugging,” and with those typically hectic schedules and demanding tasks required of traveling healthcare professionals, this is one day those who are on a travel job should really celebrate. All it entails is unplugging, winding, relaxing, and doing anything other than using high-tech gadgets, electronics, social media and so on.
Let’s face it, everyone who works in a healthcare profession knows that the job can be stressful, from life-and-death situations to long or odd hours and heavy workloads all contributing to stress. When the stress that comes with working in a travel job, such as having to adapt to a new environment, is added to the mix, those stress levels rise even higher. While it can be very rewarding, allowing you to experience many different places you may not have otherwise, there’s no doubt that at least some added stress is involved.
Disconnecting from the chaos of the modern world and all the technology that comes with it can be the ultimate antidote to the stress of day-to-day life. Between phone calls, texts, emails, countless notifications from multiple social media sites, etc., keeping up with it may feel like you have a second full-time job. When’s the last time you went even just 12 hours without checking your smartphone or logging on to your laptop?
What a National Day of Unplugging is All About
As the National Day of Unplugging website explains, “We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our phones, chronicling our every move through social media and shielding ourselves from the outside world with the bubble of ‘silence’ that our earphones create.”
The day involves signing a pledge and posting a declaration of what you’re unplugging for to social media. Then, the getting-back-to-the-basics begins by disconnecting. In 2018, it will take place from sunset on Friday, March 9th, to sunset on Saturday, March 10th. If you’re a healthcare traveler who is scheduled to work, you can always honor your own special day of unplugging during a 24-hour period in your off time.
What To Do When You’re Disconnected
After you power down your smartphone and hide it away, turn off your iPad, laptop and all of those electronics, you can look forward to reconnecting once again. That might mean reconnecting with yourself, your loved ones, the people who live on your street, with nature. Reflect, relax, get outdoors – all of those things that are often replaced by spending time staring at a screen.
Disconnecting relieves stress instead of adding to it, and it may even help improve your relationships too. For example, spending time in nature among the tranquil scenery without those electronic gadgets offers the opportunity to cultivate better relationships by encouraging face-to-face communication. At the same time, you’ll gain a better appreciation of nature too, whether you take a stroll at the edge of an ocean, or a walk in the woods alongside a winding stream – all without staring down at that phone. In fact, reconnecting to nature by taking a walk in the woods (or similar outdoor pursuits) has even been shown in studies to relieve stress by significantly reducing cortisol levels. Research published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, demonstrated that volunteers who did so experienced significantly lower cortisol levels and blood pressure levels afterwards.
After 24 hours without using modern technology, you’re likely to come back to work feeling much more calm, relaxed and better able to take on all of those responsibilities a traveling healthcare professional has to tackle.