Are you, like me, finding your head stuffed full of worry, and feel there's simply no room for more? "Please stop now, I need some serious time out", laments your mind. But no, it seems like all we see and read is doom and gloom, with Brexit leading the way, and now with the General Election thrown into the mix; oh, and we can't forget Trump, North Korea, the Middle East, Russia... and a whole host of other news headlines, both domestic and foreign, which are causing many of us so much concern and fear for the future. Recently I've found myself losing sleep over it. This is not healthy! So, if it's not going to stop, we need to come up with a different strategy.
The thing is, I'm interested in politics, and as a human being and member of society, I have a vested interest in all domestic, European and global changes that will affect my future and those close to me, as well as this amazing planet we all share. I don't want to close my eyes and ears completely, but I do need to control the sheer volume of information I'm currently consuming, sometimes voraciously, sometimes reluctantly, but mostly worriedly, and I need to do this before I implode.
Regardless of which side of the Brexit fence you sit, or your personal stance on any of the other issues at hand, the uncertainty, aided in no small way by sensationalist reporting and constant bombardment of social media is causing anxiety, fear and helplessness in many.
I do want to keep abreast of what's happening but I don't want it to take over my every spare moment when I'm not otherwise occupied. So how do I hold onto my sanity during such precarious times? Well, to maintain a moderately healthy equilibrium I've decided on the following:
Keeping myself informed but limiting my exposure to the papers, news channels and social media. Absorbing this information 24/7 will drive me crazy, and from now on I'm not going to go back and re-read or dwell on what I perceive to be 'bad' news.
I shall read and listen to a cross-section of viewpoints. This will help prevent me automatically backing up my predisposed beliefs, both good and bad. Understanding both side of an argument will underpin any decisions I eventually need to make.
Ensuring I process the information and question it logically. There is so much 'rhetoric' it can be hard to find the truth hidden within all the bluster and sensationalist headlines.
If something is troubling me I'll seek clarification but I'm going to promise myself not to overdo it. There's a risk of falling down the rabbit hole and chasing it on and on ad infinitum and getting nowhere.
I've decided I'm not prepared to agonise over every tiny detail as it serves no purpose and will only drive me crazy.
It's important to make my own mind up. To be confident in my decision and to own it.
I'm able to rationalise how much influence, or lack thereof, I have over potential outcomes. Letting go of what I can't change, or am unable to get to the bottom of. I shan't dwell. After all, any eventual outcomes do not rest solely on my shoulders.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed, but by bringing my thoughts into the present and realising that right now, in this moment, I'm OK, and there is nothing I can do to alter the situation, will help give me a sense of peace. Relinquishing control, even when it's over something that would be impossible for me to control anyway, is a huge for me. I've fought against it most of my life and it's taken a long time for me to be comfortable with the idea. I can't say I've nailed it yet but I'm working on it.
There's a very long time to go, so in the meantime, I shall appreciate all the good things I have, and feel gratitude. Have faith. History repeats itself, life is cyclical. We have been here before, and we've gotten though it before. We will get though it again. This is not the end of times. And of course, in the meantime we still get to live our lives, so don't forget to live it large and to the full!