With the pervasive lies, hyped and often misquoted media coverage and torrential downpour of bad news, it is easy to feel angry and sad. Everywhere you look, politicians and leaders are caught lying, manipulating the public, and reports of rape, murder and loss of life are omnipresent. So if you can’t really read the news for too long or try to follow current affairs with a feeling of dread and impending doom, how do you continue to keep your head down and chug along?
These are the tricks that work for me:
1. Go offline – Yes, the motivation to turn off and go outside is highest when the news online is all depressing. I’m currently enjoying walking outside with my dog, appreciating the dark grey skies and the misty clouds that top the coniferous forests of the pacific north west. I have picked up the reading habit once again and have immersed myself in graphic novels or illustrated novels. Persepolis pushed me to find more of that genre and I cannot thank Amazon, reading clubs and my dear library enough for giving me a treasure trove of all these wonderful novels.
2. Hit the gym and find new music – This one is a no brainer. For all the good endorphins and chemicals that exercising releases, it also is a wonderful way to listen to new music (or really old songs but new to me) and slow down mentally. Off late, it has always been about looking forward or backward and not really in the present and the act of running on a treadmill and feeling all your muscles burn really bring you to the present.
3. Find new genres to read – I have discovered cookbooks! A large part of the credit goes to Anthony Bourdain (RIP) who ignited a love of travel, food and interesting conversations. His unassuming style, willingness to keep an open mind and his truly exploratory series is one of a kind and it personally hurt when he succumbed to his demons. Samin Nosrat reignited the love of watching travel+food shows and her smile and easy style of cooking combined with her authenticity and joie de vivre inject happiness into the most mundane tasks like roasting vegetables. Love her show and her book!
4. Do nothing – They always say boredom is underrated. It gives you a chance to space out and think more clearly. After years running behind goals and pushing productivity and motivating oneself to accomplish more and more and more, having nothing to do sometimes feels like a blessing. This is very hard for me personally, being a fidgety person who seeks constant mental stimulation, but have recently begun to just exist for a few minutes and I must admit it feels nice.
I must thank the current socio-economic-political climate for forcing me to take a step back and look at the other joys in life. Hope these good habits continue once sanity in society and politics is restored.
What do you do? What have you picked up recently in the wake of all the depressing news and aggressive social climate?