I had a few minutes to kill before an appointment this morning and, as is my way, I immediately pulled up Facebook and started scanning my home page for election news. I realized when I did this that I’ve been doing this same thing, or something similar, quite a lot lately. Like all the time. In fact, during this election cycle, I have been what one might call a Facebook/CNN junkie.
It’s not a bad thing to be informed, right? It’s my civic duty, in fact. And yours.
But here’s the problem. As I scrolled through the various posts on my home page this morning – almost all of them election related – I realized I was clinching my teeth.
I stopped scrolling for a second to check in to myself, and realized that my shoulders and neck were also pretty tight. And that I had the beginning of a headache. Then, after investigating further, I discovered just the teensiest little quiver of a panicky feeling in the center of my chest.
You too? Holey Moley. This has got to stop.
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The Clinton and Trump campaigns might disagree with me, but I very much doubt that anything any of us post over the course of the next six days will affect the outcome of the election.
And our obsession with the constant influx of election news and social media debates is clearly not good for either our physical or mental health.
So how about we take a break.
I’ll go first.
I hereby pledge that, whenever I have five minutes to kill and am tempted to head for an election fix on Facebook, Twitter, CNN, etc., I will instead do one (or several!) of the following life-affirming, anxiety-reducing activities.
- Call a friend
- Wipe down the refrigerator (surprisingly satisfying)
- Walk my dog
- Water my plants
- Go outside and take one two three deep breaths
- Do a Sudoku puzzle
- Walk around the block
- Pull some weeds (VERY satisfying)
- Do some yoga stretches
- Research an upcoming vacation
- Kiss my husband
- Figure out how my new kale leaf stripping thingy works
- Add to my Christmas list
- Make and eat some avocado toast
- Check to see if the tomatoes on my window ledge are ripe
- Revisit the Husker’s win/loss record (GBR!)
- Put on a Black Eyed Peas song and dance my $%* off (I did this one right after I wrote it!)
- Finish a page in my scrapbook
- Write a blog post (okay, it took longer than five minutes but it was super cathartic)
There you have it. I took the time to make this list because I (clearly) need it. I’m sharing it because I wonder if maybe you do too. Who knows? We might even need it after the election.
What about it? Can you take the pledge? If so, leave a comment below to share what’s on your list.
love it! I wish you were closer and we could eat Avocado toast, stripped kale and dance until the election is over!
Me too!!! Maybe we could get a virtual thing going . . .
This is great. Thank you for the ideas.
You bet, Cynthia! Maybe you have some for us as well?
Thank you so much. I went to a prayer group at noon and still was stressed. I like what you have to say. I, too, have been a news junkie. Never, ever been this stressed during an election.
Yes, Susan, I think this election is different for many of us. All the more reason to practice excellent self care, right? For me, I have to balance out my need to know (and respond!) with my need to remain centered and in my heart. Hard to do when I feel so strongly that I’m supposed to be a part of a solution, if there is one. Yikes! Turning to my list often today, and expect I will be for another week or so!