Help me, Jesus. How are we going to make it through the next four weeks? Is any one else feeling like that? Working on a You: Sustainable means you may need to take special steps during particular times of life or certain events. A friend recently took her mother to the ER with a mild heart attack and when the doctor asked her what had her so upset she said through clenched teeth, "This election!"
When the craziness starts to take a toll on our health and well being, it's time to take action. Let's look at 10 ways to guard ourselves from the negative effects of current events. These methods work long and short term for a variety of stressful situations.
If you didn't have it to start with I can't help you.
1. Stop watching the 24 hour news networks. This is hard for me because I have been a lifelong news junkie. This comes from a powerful curiosity that serves me well in lots of ways.
Instead of watching a network that has 24 hour news cycles to fill go with the old fashioned 30 minute news cast of the networks or my favorite, BBC. I am avoiding like the plague any "news" where there is a panel of people yelling at each other. The "news" is often now nothing more than a bunch of annoying people's opinions about what happened. I can get that at the local bar. With wine.
4. Don't waste your time arguing with people on Twitter or Facebook. Studies show that practically no one changes their mind due to someone's Facebook posts. Stop spinning your wheels and keeping yourself wound up. It literally doesn't help at all. Go outside. Pet the dog. Read a book. Trying to be right is just a huge waste of time. It also isn't doing your body any good. That elevated blood pressure and clenched jaw? Why do we do this to ourselves?
Here's a sharable image for today:
5. Hide, at least temporarily, the social media feeds of those who make you feel irritated or annoyed, angry even. I was seeing posts, fact checking and proving them wrong, and writing long replies to correct people, then deleting them knowing I wouldn't change their minds. It's so much better just not to see them. Trust me.
Here's another pinnable reminder:
8. Laugh. Watch funny cat videos, get together with your most entertaining friends, or watch your favorite stand up comedian. It's not escapism if it's keeping you from being depressed. It's survival. Seinfeld is therapy. Read about destressing with laughter here.
I know that some people will think that following my advice means sticking your head in the sand, or someplace worse. Choosing not to internalize what's happening doesn't mean you are uninformed or unthinking. It means that you are thinking rationally about what you have control over (your thoughts, actions, and words) and what you don't (the current political environment).
There are tons of other things to do to feel better: volunteer someplace, help someone, put on upbeat music and dance. Anything that takes your mind off things.
Mind your focus and focus your mind. Please forward this post to anyone who you think would benefit from it. We are all in this together!