In this ever so chaotic world, I can feel in a state of overwhelm. Too much to do (do I even know all the things I have to do?) in so little time. My mind whirls, my blood pressure is elevated, and I wake up in the middle of the night bothered by the unknowns and the undone.
It is in that moment of overwhelm, you have a choice: Continue to wallow in the confusion OR to take a “tactical pause.”
I’ve talked about this in a previous post, encouraging you to take a deep breath, walk to a quiet spot (a metaphorical “park bench”) and take a few minutes to relax. Chill. Shake it off. Look at the sky. Notice how beautiful the world is.
Lately, I have embraced walking more than the park bench. “Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, an English professor at Belmont University in Tennessee, offers this Latin phrase: Solvitur ambulando. Loosely translated, this means, ‘It is solved by walking,’ and by ‘it’ Whitehouse means practically anything”, according to Ephrat Livni, Senior Reporter at Quartzy. Whitehouse argues that “walking is a way to be more present, ease anxiety, spark creativity, increase productivity, and detox from digital overload (that is, if you don’t walk with your face in your phone).”
Since I made a recent resolution to walk 10,000 steps per day, I can attest to greater clarity on days that I walk versus days that I don’t walk.
I have even taken a page from Steve Jobs and go on walks with my team members. Of course, they work virtually, so I encourage them to “walk with me” – and my phone is in my pocket and buds in my ears (versus my face in my phone!).
When in overwhelm, go take a walk. After all, in the words of the poet Simon Armitage,
“You never come back from a walk feeling worse.”
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.