The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of the editors or editors of Rolling Stone.
Zoom has changed the landscape of the way we interact with customers, businesses and others. The physical office has been replaced by a digital environment, which in many ways can be a blessing, but at the same time, “zoom fatigue” is a very real phenomenon.
As a digital entrepreneur, I’m grateful that I can work anywhere in the world from the comfort of my laptop (and good Wi-Fi). As a very creative person, I often feel like spending time on my own, especially after long meetings and stressful writing deadlines, as my battery needs recharging so that I can create art, write (to write) and also fill my metaphorical cup. Admittedly, I have found myself in long periods of isolation due to the exhaustion of productivity and the detrimental effects this has on mental, emotional and even physical health.
It’s not uncommon for high-performing entrepreneurs to experience the dreaded burnout, and when we feel like our threads are frayed, we can find ourselves at a dead end on how to rekindle that inner spark of inspiration.
Once a year I normally teach a workshop on meditation and (an intuition-based approach) at Rythmia, a licensed herbal medicine retreat center in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I had not returned for about two years due to the pandemic and travel restrictions.
Microdosing has grown in popularity among entrepreneurs in recent years. The mainstream media has heated up to psychedelic therapy in recent media coverage, and many pop culture figures are openly talking about their experiences with herbal medicines like ayahuasca or entheogens. Ayahuasca came into my life in 2013 and in the many trips I have had with it, I have always left with a refreshed outlook on life. However, after many trips I decided to take a long and prolonged break from all herbal “medicine”.
I was a little afraid to come back to teach after two years behind a screen, and without “the drug” (as it is called), but I look forward to the opportunity to meet new travelers on the way and to share time together. A week turned into two and two weeks in Costa Rica turned into almost a whole month. Why might you ask?
Being able to disconnect from the outside world and regenerate feelings of inner peace has been invaluable to me. Devoting time to connect with others and rejuvenate is essential in reducing isolation, stress, and burnout. When you give yourself the space to hit the reset button, you can focus less on the latest financial disaster or stalled creative project and focus more on what you can actually control at the moment – which can be created and imagined for the future.
Peak experiences are not always found in chasing the ineffable up a mountain. They can also be found in the simplicity of self-care and the slowing down to see, appreciate and connect with the beauty of life as it is. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there are five critical factors in feeling satisfied and whole. These needs are: “physiological (food and clothing), security (job security), needs for love and belonging (friendship), self-esteem and self-realization.
Job security and a sense of overall security was (and still is) a challenge for many of us due to the pandemic affecting businesses in so many ways. Author S. Kelley Harrell has been credited with saying, “We do not heal in isolation, but in community. Social distancing and polarizing political perspectives have also been something that has cost many of us dearly. As social creatures, human beings often thrive when given the opportunity to form new relationships and connect with others. The fear of socializing and the residual anxieties of the past few years can be difficult to overcome.
Yet being in a safe environment with a like-minded community can have its own healing quality. To feel loved and to feel a sense of belonging through conversation and human relationships is absolutely precious. The connections you make and nurture can often prove to be long lasting and have an overall restorative quality to your quality of life.
You don’t need to have the budget to retire to overcome feelings of exhaustion and isolation. Everyone has this immediate circle of connections to interact with and to build on. A simple wisdom that I can offer from my own experience is that healthy eating, friendship, equanimity (cultivating a sense of mental calm even in uncertainty), lifelong education (through books or even online workshops) and gratitude for the present moment can allow life to be its own “psychedelic” experience.
Focusing on your life with intention and purpose reverses the burnout scenario and puts you on the path to inspiration. For example, make room to cultivate a deeper sense of connection by intentionally working with the time you have available. Enjoying a sunrise or sunset, making a weekly date with a dear friend, cultivating a daily meditation practice, or devoting a day a week to disconnecting is a great way to start.
If you ‘microdose’ the present tense, you may just be able to find new meaning, and the little things will add to the big things over time.