Let’s take a step back.
With so much chatter on the hot debates of today, it’s easy to take to social media to read, reflect, and respond to all that is happening. The social and political conversations in our nation and at the international level are at a high with differing opinions coming at us from all angles.
Head to Twitter and trending conversations range from the Paris attacks to Paris climate talks; #BlackLivesMatter and law enforcement to #WarOnChristmas and religion’s influence on consumerism; mass shootings and gun laws to terrorism and immigration; and women’s rights and feminism to raising the minimum wage for all workers.
These are all important conversations that our nation needs to continue. We need more present citizens active in their thoughts and ideas on evolving together and growing into a better country for the majority. Yet when you’re someone who cares so deeply on an issue, it’s easy to tumble down the threshold of social media banter. You start taking negative, aggressive and opposing opinions too personally. You can’t see the whole picture, only noticing the trolls of Twitter and their mean comments instead of everyone still making a difference. You feel worse, mentally and emotionally, because the more you read about a topic, the less you feel like we’ve made any significant progress in the right direction.
Okay. Take a breath. Step back. Practice self-care.
In one of their earlier episodes, the lovely women of Another Round chat about this topic, and continue throughout other episode conversations. In “Living in America,” Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton discuss the importance of self-care. They speak about their own self-care practices and needing it in light of the constant news stories of black deaths.
“It used to be that you had to be by a television to get news…It’s kinda worse now because you can just turn on your phone and you have like, a litany of black bodies in your palm. Which sounds awful, but it’s still so true,” says Clayton.
Nigatu and Clayton talk about disengaging once in a while as a way to take care of oneself. There are ways to stay involved and engaged while also taking the right amount of debrief time as well – whether it’s through hobbies or more therapeutic practices (warm bubble baths or spa treatment, yoga or mediation).
Self-care comes in many forms and should benefit you, whether that’s guilty pleasure television shows or painting your nails. Expressing oneself through writing, art, or performance can be another way to take some of these heavy thoughts outside of yourself.
During this winter season, take a cuddly couch break with some loved ones and hot chocolate. Read a book instead of watching the news. Enjoy music and cold night walks or spend an entire day with yourself. Do anything that can help you disengage from technology and social media and the constant chatter. It will be there when you return.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.