We are living hyper-tethered lives. Constantly connected, either ourselves streaming or being streamed to, with the world at our fingertips, and in our beds at night.
The last sight we see is the blue glare from the screen before clamping our eyes tightly shut, a silent prayer that we fall asleep swiftly enough, and for long enough, so that we can function from dawn to dusk the next day...
How are we getting by Beauties? Really and truly it’s a wonder we function. And for some of us we may very nearly be at the end of this tether…
How can we continually brace ourselves from the online onslaught? Can we really read about another violent crime, injustice, or oppression? What is the toll?
I used to be very, very committed to being up-to-date with news and current affairs. Many who know me and may be those more recently acquainted might say I’m ‘enthusiastically opinionated’…
And has anything drastically changed? No.
What has changed is my method and I invite you to consider some of the following for yourself. It’s a vital part of my self-care protocol. It’s a way to manage the overwhelm of what very nearly feels like a modern dystopia.
It’s a responsible and proactive way for me to protect myself from a sympathetic tendency for anxiety and emotional distress that ultimately serves no one, changes nothing and only really leaves me incapacitated to act, resist and move in the direction of changing the very things I feel so passionately about.
So what is my self-care prescription to support resilience against online catastro-news?
Stop consuming the news cycle.
I’ve unsubscribed from ‘newsy’ social media channels with the exception of a few I have strong degree of confidence in. I don’t watch broadcast news at all and I haven’t in several years. I don’t listen to radio news.
Instead I curate my current affairs audio content by selecting podcasts with some of my passions at their centre (ie. Women’s Hour; On Being; The Yoga Podcast; Bitchmedia Popaganda; The Luna Lab among a whole bunch).
Does this mean I live under a rock? No. It means I’m consciously and discerningly curating that which I truly *need* to know. I’m not in government and I’m not a online news journalist. I know what my ‘beat’ (area of expertise and interest is) and am committed to staying in my lane.
I have had to be quite strict about this self-policing and it’s taken me a few years to build a habit and discipline but it’s the best thing I’ve done for my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
But won’t I be embarrassing ill informed? Not. Even. Possible. Shockingly I still stay abreast of major global news. It’s unavoidable. I see stuff when I’m in the gym, as I scroll social media and often friends have published something, or hear is in casual conversation.
Should I be worried about living in an echo chamber? Nope. On those issues I really care about (women; mental health and wellbeing, yoga; social justice etc.) and that are actually worth me getting my hands (mind) dirty (stressed), I seek out diverse voices and those different to my own. I am committed to hearing the spectrum.
At the end of the day, we are all doing our very best.
Being a ‘good citizen’ isn’t a competition and it’s OK not to be an expert in absolutely everything (unless that’s your job, obvs.) especially if it’s taking a toll on your heart, body and mind.
So be kind to yourself Beauty. Do what you can, and do it well.
I’d love to know if this resonates with you.