Blue Sky Dreaming in the Workplace
This week I was on the business road for a full week in three different cities across two states. It was a long-winding road. I was in non-stop meeting sessions where I had to put on a happy face at 8am and keep it on until about 8pm. Twelve hours of wearing a happy face persona is very tiring. Furthermore, oftentimes we were in meeting rooms where there were no windows. I got no vitamin D last week and my face was barely touched by the sun. My happy face was a cold, sun-hungry one.
I missed the sun. I missed the blue skies. I missed the beauty of greenery. Our bodies need to be able to soak in these natural colors. It is interesting that many individuals use the phrase “blue-sky” to refer to things and ideas not grounded in the realities of the present. Blue skies are indeed something that many of us, who are wedded to our desks and work in general, do get to experience much of. How many times have you gone into work at the crack of dawn and left after the sun has set? Such an avoidance of the outdoors and natural light are obviously not good for our bodies and mind. It has gotten to bad that people now use sun lamps to lift their spirits. Of course, there is such a thing as seasonal affective disorders. However, it seems to me that our own work schedules and work/life balance create a situation where we no longer bask in the proverbial sun.
There is Mastercard television ad out there that features kids chastising their parents for letting their vacation days go unused. Apparently, Americans let over 8 vacation days expire each year. I understand that when we go on vacation the work piles up and we tend to return to an amount of work that can be overwhelming and makes one wish for not having taking that vacation time to begin with. It is moment like those that I wonder why it must be that so few of the people do a big bulk of the work.
Did you know that when you ask people what is their favorite color, the top answer is “blue”? It symbolizes beauty, peace and strength. While red can rev up a person, blue can help a person settle down. When we are constantly running to and from work, blue can help provide a moment of zen. Also, as my mom was fond of reminding me blue can help keep away the evil eye. Blue can be protective.
So there I was in what was ostensibly a basement all week. I had no access to the blue skies thus making me susceptible to the evil eye. The evil eye of the overworked world, that is. I am now craving the sun and its body-cheering effects. All week, I have been deprived of nature’s color. There is nothing like a blue sky to lift one up. Take that second each day to find that blue color. Today I must seek and find that zen.
Categories: Psychology, The Seasons, Travel, work
I’m a manager and have a lot of desk and computer time at work. I’m fortunate that I have a field crew that work for me and I do many field visits. It’s a time that I love. But, I’m guilty of letting vacation days expire. I lost 2 last year. It won’t happen again. Even if I stand outside and admire those beautiful blue skies. 🙂
I do wake up before dawn and get home long after the sun sets down. I go out during lunch time though, just for a few minutes. Walk around the sun…it’s nice in spring and fall.. as if seasons matter when in LA!
Yeah, Mimi, it’s blue sky, smell the roses, watch the birds on the lake; whatever “floats your boat.” You are right. People should take the time coming to them. Everyone needs that refreshing time away from the workplace. Have a good week. 🙂
I just bought a blue sofa and it’s call Mimi – so I am right on track! 🙂 Also I refuse to give up any holidays and I try not to work or ask my staff to work more than their normal hours unless it is critical. It is hard to resist the fear of being judged for leaving work on time – but I am working hard to prioritise my family, my home and my health and I live in hope that people will learn to respect those things more than they respect people who maintain the status quo that leaves them stressed, exhausted and unhappy.
That is so awesome. Those are the norms we need to routinize!