Taking Time Out from Work | Hasmate health and safety
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Taking time out

Taking time out

The last twelve months has been, and still are, a challenging time for all countries with the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Zealand has not escaped the heartache, fear, stress, and anguish that has been associated with this horrible event.

From a business viewpoint, the pandemic resulted in lockdowns, business closure or downsizing, and loss of employment – which has placed a huge pressure and stress on all of us all in different ways.

Through the media, we are now constantly hearing about how this is resulting in mental health concerns, e.g. workplace stress, burnout, breakdowns, and yes, the topic of suicide – all due to the pandemic.

All these ailments can and do impact on our mental and physical health, and can impact on our ability to think clearly, rationally, and logically. Having suffered from burnout many years ago from working in the corporate sector, I (Gordon) can certainly empathise with business owners, others in management positions, and the many employees who are impacted by these issues and are struggling to survive this, and just want to walk away – many can’t.

One thing I learnt after the fog of my burnout had cleared (with the help of my family and good friends) was that one needs to have a work/life balance. I appreciate that not all of us can afford to take time out, but believe me, you must if you want to get clarity, or to put it another way, to see the woods for the trees.

We are all different, but my solution was to go bush, tramping, hunting, fishing and to get back to nature. All of this could not have been achieved without my wife, my soulmate, who knew what I had to do. In fact, she even helped me by putting my pack at the door and saying “GO”, which I did for five days.  Wow, what a difference that made!

My wife and I now have a special place that we share when we go caravanning in our twilight years. While keeping in mind the struggle of others in this challenging time, I built a seat for others to sit and reflect with the words of a poem I wrote.

Take Time

Friend, take time to rest upon this seat, to smell the air and savour the moment, while you feel Mother Earth beneath your feet.

Take time to close your eyes and feel the silence, to hear the birds that fly free, listen to the river, flowing to the sea.

Take time to think of your partner, your children, and others whom you hold dear, also for others close, you must care.

Take time to reflect on your life, the past and your future, yet to unfold, for today is a present, tomorrow is a gift, to behold.

So, friend, take a moment longer to rest on this seat, to savour this special place, and feel Mother Earth beneath your feet.

If you’re feeling down and do get inspiration from this, I suggest you do take time in your special place and reflect as the best has yet to come – all you must do is to believe it!

(Written by Gordon Anderson)

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