By Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Accounting Services & Retirement Plan Services
Amid the hustle and bustle of our professional lives, many of us rely too heavily on social media to catch up on personal matters. Scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed and reading loved ones’ statuses just isn’t the same as connecting with them in person.
In many ways, COVID forced us to hit the pause button on life. Now that we’re moving forward, it’s time to live it to the fullest!
Prioritize what’s really important. If you can afford to duck out of the office early for an anniversary dinner with your significant other, you should do so! If your grandmother is celebrating her 100th birthday, you shouldn’t miss that! She has decades of life experience from which you could learn a lot. Sure, you could text or call her, but you’ll gain so much more from visiting. Sit by the fireplace and let her tell you what it was like watching the moon landing on TV.
Living in the moment and truly appreciating your time with loved ones outside of work will boost your spirits and productivity when you’re at your place of business. If you work on a computer and take breaks only to check on friends and family through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you’re just moving from one screen to another. You need to unplug and recharge.
One major reason to unplug is that living vicariously through people on social media can be frustrating. You may see pictures of them on the beach and think, “I wish I were there.” Well, put your phone away then and pack your bags! In fact, studies suggest that spending less time on social media can reduce risk of depression. An article from The Jakarta Post states: “Researchers suggest that spending too much time on social media might displace time that could be spent forming more important in-person relationships, achieving personal or professional goals, or just having valuable moments of personal reflection. They also highlight the fact that social media is skewed towards showing the positive aspects of people’s lives, and that this kind of social comparison can affect self-esteem.”
So, once you finish reading this article on your phone or laptop, go grab coffee with a colleague or family member. Celebrate a professional or personal milestone. Plan a vacation. Whatever you do outside of work, be sure to cherish it!
The personal connection will not only bring joy to a friend or family member, but you will again appreciate the importance of that human connection and how “random acts of kindness” can embellish life’s purpose!