So, I have realized that I am under an intense amount of stress and I am taking steps to address that and figure out how to bring my levels down because stress can make you sick in a lot of different ways and could eventually kill you.
Everybody is stressed. I get that. Some people are better at dealing with it, and unfortunately, I used to be one of those people but I’ve sort of backslid and now I’m trying to reclaim some zen for myself. The last 2 years have been years of major change in my life, and that brings stress. Also, watching the world slide into authoritarian horrible-ness is also keeping me up at night, especially as I watch it happen in this country. What passes for media in this country does nothing but doom-scroll, basically, and instill fear and horrible into every day.
Which is why I don’t watch news on major networks or cable news. Nor do I spread disinformation or misinformation, which has completely taken over most of social media.
I’m one of those people who takes on more than I should; I’m a “fixer,” which means I try to fix everything but myself. I have a long history of this, and it’s tied to dealing with chronic depression all of my life. When I’m in a healthier headspace, I have much better boundaries.
The last 5 years, especially, have made it hard to maintain those boundaries and left trauma among thousands of people in this country, given the proto-authoritarian who was in power here and the gutting of institutions that happened during that time and then the pandemic that continues to kill thousands — especially those who have been radicalized into extremist ideology.
There’s no talking to these people. And families and communities are suffering as people who have been radicalized deny the existence of covid, or deny that it’s anything worse than the flu, and continue to wallow in and spread conspiracy theories that endanger thousands more. This is also fueling authoritarianism and theocratic nationalism in this country, and it’s affecting every community, as the extreme right develops even more strategies to undermine democratic institutions. Those people across the country threatening public health officials and then showing up to school board meetings screaming about critical race theory? They’re probably the same people. And they’re dangerous to democracy and to the physical and emotional well-being of the people they’re attacking.
And then there’s the lack of resolve in this country to address climate change, which is exacerbating inequities just as covid has and will destroy a whole hell of a lot.
Everything is a shitshow and everything is uncertain, even as rights are being rolled back here as a result of Christian nationalist court rulings and legislatures.
So yeah. I’m stressed.
But I’m trying to get back into a healthier headspace. I went back into therapy last year and I do work out 5-6 times a week. I’m also trying to be more mindful about meditation (which I suck at, but I’m doing short guided meditations almost every day with the help of an app).
It’s hard, getting back into a better space. But if I don’t — well, let’s just say I had a bit of a wake-up call regarding managing stress better.
So, y’all, remember to do self-care. Try to find even a sliver of joy in every fucked-up day, and look beyond the media for stories of people surviving and thriving and working to build community rather than tear it down. Get involved in being one of those to feed your soul.
And please stay safe. This is a shitshow, but humans are remarkably resilient. I’m remembering that as I work on getting my shit better handled.
Cheers, all. Hope you have a good rest of the week.
Oh, and here’s an easy way to take a couple of minutes and do nothing. 🙂