My husband and I recently came back from a vacation to Colorado where the air was fresh and clean and the outdoors was invigorating. Our location had no television, radio, or phone. For 5 days we were media free. I admit the first day was a bit unsettling, but after that was quite liberating. I found myself focusing on my health, actually paying attention to the world around me, and meeting and actually engaging in conversations with complete strangers. My husband and I found each other again. I felt relaxed for the first time in a very long time and very happy. That was then. Fast forward to today.
I don’t know about you, but I have been really cranked up about all the circus acts in Washington, DC. I am feeling anxious, angry, and I know my blood pressure is through the roof. What happened? The media has done an excellent job at keeping the public at a fever pitch of division. The problem is that I have absolutely no control over what happens in DC. Objective reporting is out the window on both sides of the political spectrum so one tends to gravitate to those stations that reinforce our particular views, therefore making the division even worse. The constant barrage of information, 24/7, doesn’t help either. There is no relief, either from television, radio, and now even smartphones. We just can’t get away from it if we are attached to all of our electronic devices.
So here is what I recommend if you want to stay healthy:
1. Detach yourself periodically from ALL of your electronic toys. It may be one day, two days, a week. Start slow because you may feel and additional rush of anxiety with the withdrawal of your devices.
2. Concentrate on limiting your news watching or attention to a specific program or news cycle. Avoid keeping the television on all day!
3. Make a concerted effort to avoid talking politics in a social setting with friends. Some may have different views which can lead to heated arguments and loss of friends.
4. Focus on your interests and your health. This is the one area that you can control.
I think it is time I take another media holiday. What about you?
Until next time,
Stay well; stay healthy; stay focused.