I have been relatively quiet in this space over the past couple of weeks, not wanting to allow what’s happening politically to dominate my website, as my overall goal here is to provide (hopefully) useful insights on how to live a healthier and more fulfilled life.
The truth is, however, that what’s happening politically in our country right now has really been at the forefront of my mind, especially since the inauguration. And regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree that it has been a bit overwhelming to process all of the things taking place in our country right now.
I have also not been shy about sharing my opinions on certain things during the recent election or about my feelings once the results were revealed. So I’m fairly certain that anyone working with me in my practice is pretty clear about where I stand and wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I’m not particularly thrilled about how things are going so far with the new administration in place.
It’s been a rough week, you guys. For a lot of us, I think.
Over the past several days, I have struggled to find a balance between staying informed about what’s happening in this country and staying sane in my own life. I have wanted to remain as aware as possible about the goings-on in Washington, but my efforts to be engaged with these things on a daily basis are starting to take their toll on my psyche.
By that I mean I have been feeling more anxious and afraid and pessimistic in general as a result of the onslaught of disappointing news constantly coming our way. And I have been afraid to disengage from the news because I have feared being ignorant or unaware or ill-equipped to properly resist the things with which I strongly disagree.
But here’s what I remembered this morning when I woke up:
It’s okay to temporarily disengage in order to preserve your sanity.
And this doesn’t mean you don’t care and it doesn’t mean you’re not going to continue fighting for what you believe in and it doesn’t make you an irresponsible citizen. Disengaging when things feel overwhelming — or when you sense that the consistency of the bad news is starting to make you numb to how bad it actually is — is absolutely the appropriate thing to do.
It’s okay to take a step back, to take a mental health day — or two.
To back away from the news and Facebook and Twitter and all of that in order to meditate and eat well and exercise and journal and go to therapy and take naps and snuggle with your pets.
I’m afraid this fight is going to be long and relatively brutal. We are going to have to protect so many different rights and people and important institutions. We are going to have to stand up for each other and the environment and healthcare and the arts and science.
There is a lot on the table right now and the next four years are likely going to be some of the most challenging any of us will face in our lives. If we don’t take turns carrying the heavy loads in this process, we are never going to make it.
So, yeah, let’s share the burden.
Take a step back sometimes and let someone else do the heavy lifting. And then, when you feel rejuvenated and refocused, step back up and carry more of the weight yourself.
Passing the burden around like this is the only way we’re ever going to make it. If we don’t approach this as a team, we don’t stand a chance.
If you’re reading this, thank you for being here. I appreciate you more than you know.
P.s. We’re all in this together.