Anyone else having a hard time focusing these days?
Whew–I thought I was the only one!
If you’re living in America and not hiding under a rock, you’re likely experiencing some stress and anxiety with the current political climate.
I have to be honest.
This weekend I fell into a deep rabbit hole.
It wasn’t pretty…
And I teach about mindfulness and self-care! If I’m struggling, I can only assume that some of you might be as well.
Instead of sharing the career advice I had prepared to send today, I thought I’d keep it real and share my struggles and outline some steps we can all take to reclaim more inner peace.
Here are some things you can do RIGHT NOW:
1. Limit your time on social media.
We all enjoy keeping connected and having an outlet to share our lives (and opinions) with friends and family. But for many of us, we literally can’t stop scrolling or reading every dang comment.
Choose a set time (or a few times) each day to review your social media feed and put bookends on it. For example, consider only checking social media at 8am, noon, and 4pm with a time limit of 15 minutes. Literally set a timer if you can’t do this on your own.
Definitely try to avoid social media the first hour you’re awake and the last hour before you go to bed. Otherwise, it will start you off on the wrong foot and keep you awake at night.
Better yet, walk away for an entire day. Don’t check it even once. I did this yesterday and already feel SO much better.
If you start to experience withdrawals, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re giving away your peace and power and need to get a handle on the situation.
Confession. This is a BIG one for me. We can do this together!
2. Limit your time reading/watching the news.
It’s important to be an informed citizen. But if you find yourself spending inordinate amounts of time reading every single article out there or keeping your television tuned to 24-7 media outlets, you’re likely being sucked in by the drama in order to stay outraged at others and further validate yourself.
Like social media, it can become compulsive. If you literally can’t walk away or wonder what’s being said that you’re missing, you need an intervention!
Try to limit when and for how long you will consume news (see step 1 above) or subscribe to a daily digest that delivers the top news stories.
There’s also nothing wrong with taking a break from news. If you need a day to bury your head in the sand for 24 hours, the world will still be turning and you can jump right back in the next day.
3. Stop talking, start doing.
When you feel strongly about a political issue, by all means use your voice and presence. Call your representatives, attend meetings, peacefully march, run for office, etc. But be careful not to get too caught up in social media debates and water cooler conversations – they’re not productive and only take away your peace of mind.
Go do something positive that makes you feel good and gives back.
Feel strongly about refugees? Find a local organization, call them, ask how to help, choose the way you’d like to help, and go do it. (Great places to start include World Relief and Catholic Charities.)
Want to support our troops? Find a local organization, call them, ask how to help, choose the way you’d like to help, and go do it. (Consider the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans).
Choose the cause you complain about the most when talking politics and go DO something positive in that area. (Hint: the process outlined above is always the same no matter the cause.)
Financial contributions are always needed, as is collecting clothes and food, but that won’t warm your heart like interacting with the very people that you say you want to help.
4. Practice self-care.
Last, but perhaps most importantly, what are you doing to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy?
Whether it’s exercising at the gym, getting out in nature, doing yoga, meditating, journaling, going to church, or just being mindful about eating a nourishing and healthy diet, daily self-care is critical.
Self-care will help you get centered and remain resilient in an otherwise noisy and chaotic world.
Without a daily practice, the likelihood of falling prey to unproductive and obsessive thoughts and discussions is much more likely.
Take care of yourself first or you can’t truly help anyone else!
I’d love to hear from you. What’s one thing that you can start doing TODAY to reclaim your inner peace?
Peace and love,