Slipped My Mind
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Action Tuesday: Surviving the Crush

Oh, my.  It is so hard these days - mentally and emotionally - to keep up with all the Really Bad News out there.  (Just scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed is enough to do me in most days.)  (And it has.  Many days.)

So.  As we buckle up for the long haul, it's important to figure out ways to . . . BALANCE . . . (there's my word again) our need-to-know with our need-for-rest.  So we can keep up our strength.  So we can move forward.  

So we don't burn out.  


We need to figure out how to survive the crush of Really Bad News . . . while maintaining the strength and passion we need to continue taking action.

Here's what I'm doing:

  • I'm recognizing that Being Informed is not the same as Being Immersed.  I'm trying to limit my news-reading to just a few good articles each day (I begin my day with the New York Times daily briefing that shows up in my email inbox), and listen to the latest stories on NPR.  If I start reading all the other . . . stuff . . . well, I might as well just dig a hole for myself in the backyard and crawl in.  I am also limiting my time on social media (especially Facebook).
  • I'm trying to stick to my usual routines.  While it is easy to feel overwhelmed right now, it is best to just keep plugging along with familiar activities that keep us healthy and well-balanced.  So I keep heading to the gym and getting to bed at a reasonable time.
  • I'm looking for opportunties to take action.  I find that if I can do . . . something . . . I feel much better.  I'm glad that there are so many options out there to help me figure out what to DO -- but even that can be overwhelming.  The things I like best: Daily Action (because very focused and concrete), Wall of Us (because good, do-able options each week), my local League of Women Voters chapter (because local).
  • I'm sticking with my daily meditation practice -- because it helps me feel all the feelings.  I think it's really important to allow myself to feel the range of emotions that are surfacing these days, rather than ignoring them or dwelling on them.  Meditation helps me do this; for others it might be prayer or contemplation.  Feelings come and feelings go -- and this is good.  I am not my feelings.
  • I'm working hard to maintain my sense of optimism.  Positive emotions leave the door open -- while negative emotions slam the door shut.  I'm trying to keep things on the positive side by looking for the good and filling my life with people and things that bring me hope and joy.
  • I'm taking care of myself.  Yeah, I know that self-care-is-the-new-black ... but I think it's important to engage in some personal pampering right now, whether it's an afternoon nap, scented hand-cream, or an art class.  It's all about finding some bright spots!
  • I'm finding my people.  It helps me to connect with others who share my concern about what's happening in our country and our world.  Good venting sessions are balm for the soul right now.  Talking with like-minded friends helps process our feelings -- and, we can also talk each other down from the ledge when our feelings overwhelm.
  • I'm working hard at being kind -- to everyone all the time.  We really are in this together, y'know?  So I have decided to be intentionally kind and patient with everyone I encounter -- friends and strangers alike.  It makes me feel better, and I'm hoping it makes the people I interact with feel better, too.

Bottom line?  Take action --- but take care of yourself, too.

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”      --- Noam Chomsky 


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As much as I see crap on Facebook it also helps me because (despite the liberal-ness of MA) I live in a Republican area and it's good to see the liberal stuff on Facebook when I'm faced with real conservatives at the grocery store! Working in a library also helps because valid news sources. I'm meditating daily and taking action when I feel strongly about something and I'm trying to stay positive and hopeful because I am, at heart, a hopeful person. It's a struggle, though, that's for sure.


It is a struggle for sure and your ideas are all good. I have never been much on social media and am staying away from it now (mostly). Yoga is helping, as well as remaining optimistic and practicing kindness every day.


The Noam Chomsky quote is something to live by--so inspiring. Your balanced approach to the challenges in front of us is also something to live by. This is a post I will reread...often!


I was initially surprised at seeing self care stuff on the action lists I subscribe to, but after two weeks of phone calls, I get it now. We are in for the long haul, not a sprint. I've narrowed my weekly actions to two or three issues that matter the most to me, reading NYT and The Atlantic, and limiting Facebook. I honestly wish there was some sort of venue where I could have an intelligent discussion with his supporters to better understand where they are coming from, but fb is not it. Thanks for the actions and hope; without a like-minded group of friends I think I would surely go crazy.


I'm struggling. Not really informed enough to argue points, informed enough to know what I see is crazy. Every day something new crazy. Trying to take in the NYT daily briefing as well and ignoring FB all together when it comes to that...scroll right on by. I've got a photography class coming in March and have also been working really hard on being nice. We're going to make it. And Melissa McCarthy doesn't hurt!


Yes, to all that you say here, Kym. You have a way of putting into words the path to a better way to live.


I love that Banksy image! Great ideas, Kym, and all so do-able.


First, I read your "Meditate daily" as Medicate daily". What????? Although it seems tempting.
Also today's Non Sequitur cartoon made me smile this morning., perhaps you needed to read Feb 6ths also.
Balance is a great word for this year.


Being kind sounds easy, but it take work and is so important right now. Last Friday when I was finished with my workout, a couple of women asked my plans for the day and I mentioned I was going from the gym to meet a couple of friends for an early breakfast at Starbucks. They verbally attacked me in an angry and unbelievable manner, I was called a traitor, un-American, & accused of wanting to steal American jobs to give them to illegal immigrants. I wished them a good weekend and left mid-rant. I couldn't believe that where I get my coffee could be political. Later that morning, I saw one of the women at the grocery store, she smiled & greeted me like nothing had happened. She wasn't even aware of how inappropriately she treated me! We have to make an effort not to objectify people, to be kind, attentive, & respectful to everyone we meet. Thanks for sharing your inspiring ideas!


I think your list of ways to keep balanced is such a good one. It's not easy these days, but I think we all need to realize that WE take care of ourselves, the world isn't going to do it. I check in on social media a few times every day, but my new rule is that I never look at it after 8:00 p.m. That keeps me from spending the evening in emotional turmoil and not being able to sleep as a result. So far, so good!

Katie Johnson

Wow, was this post timely! I love it and plan to share it with friends. Thank you!


What a great post, Kym! timely and full of great ideas. I'm working to dig myself out of that news-immersion hole and so glad I'm back to daily yoga. yarn therapy has helped me, too.


I have been avoiding reading FB posts and I am only going there for fibery related things these days. I am thankful for emails that give me good direction for the week - and my daily text of who to call about! lol

And, yes, self-care is crucial! XO


The Times Daily Briefing has been a Godsend these last few months. I do have a small simple action planned for this week based on something I heard this afternoon on NPR. Mr. Trump has evidently gotten very annoyed with Nordstrom's for making a business decision against carrying his daughter's line. Therefore I'm going to go and buy something from Nordstrom's. I hadn't been planning on department shopping this week, but in this instance I'm certain I can find something that we could use.

Thank you for the Chomsky quote it's important to remember.


I have read your blog for a very long time and never commented. I am one of those you think are the evil ones who come from a red state and voted for (in our minds) the lesser of two evils. I know you are down and depressed about the result of he election, but you should find some news sources that are middle of the road at least. We aren't idiots here in my state. We at not rapists or bigots and we really don't care who uses which restroom-- we just don't need to shout it from the mountains. Our health insurance went up more than 65% last year. We are the middle, just ignored and marginalized. We don't have the millions of tax dollars some of the blue states appear to have to support the programs that seem so dear. Our oil companies are failing while causing nonstop earthquakes. We have no new industry and no hope of any. By protesting against us, you proclaim your superiority in a way that is no better than that of which you accuse us.


Hi Bev. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and concerns. I tried to respond to you directly via email, but the email you provided in your comment bounced back. I'd really like to get in touch with you. If you happen to see this reply, please send me an email (there is a link in my sidebar) with your real email address. Thanks, Kym

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