Archive for stress

Choosing to Leave The Madness

Posted in anxiety, awakening, resolutions, Social media, stress with tags , , , , on June 14, 2016 by sexandthesinglesoccermom

Yesterday I deleted the Facebook App from my phone and decided to take a nice, long break from it.

For weeks now I’ve been reading post after post filled with vitriol over any number of subjects: The current political climate, the tragic shooting of a beloved gorilla in the zoo, the sentencing of a convicted rapist. News stories posted and shared repeatedly, personal opinions from friends and acquaintances, speculation about the world and future we’re creating for ourselves and our children. All mixed in with selfies, memes and videos.

Usually I enjoy Facebook, because who doesn’t like a tiny peek into someone else’s life?(Even if it’s been proven time and again that the “peek” doesn’t really portray reality). I enjoy seeing pictures and posts about my nieces and nephews and reading the often insightful thoughts of my friends.

Lately, however, everything feels like it’s rubbing my emotional skin raw. The more I read, the more I started to feel like most of humanity just plain sucked. Comments on news stories left me wondering if most people were really as cruel, petty and shallow as they appeared on social media. Coverage of the Stanford rape case filled me with uneasiness about the world in which I’m trying to raise two daughters. Seeing news clips about an actress, and speculation over whether her unusual appearance was due to plastic surgery, the day after the largest mass shooting in the history of the U.S.? I felt sick.

I’ve felt myself on the verge of tears just from feeling overwhelmed by data, much of it negative and heartbreaking; Suddenly, I had the realization this was something I was inviting into my life multiple times a day. I was constantly feeding on negativity, getting sick from it, then convincing myself the world is a really horrible place. How crazy is that?

The last week with my kids has been better. The arguments (a future post on that!) with my nearly fifteen year old have been less frequent and I’ve had an easier time staying calm in the face of frustration. We’ve cuddled and talked, enjoying each others company. One day we decided to go out and dance and splash in a sudden rain storm, getting completely drenched and laughing hysterically. We made hot chocolate afterwards and spent the evening between reading and watching a favorite show. Another day we pulled out an old Wii game, all three of us giggling over how bad we were at it. My daughters drew, they helped more in the house and I felt more relaxed than I have in weeks.

I was reminded that so much of the world is what I choose to create for myself: Beauty or ugliness, depth or pettiness, it’s within my grasp to choose what to focus on. I believe sometimes we need to see what’s wrong in the world so we can choose a response to it, so we can take a stand to effect change. But most of what’s wrong with the world can only be changed from one place: Within ourselves.

I can’t say I’ll be done with Facebook forever, but it feels good to have made the decision to take a break and focus on the beautiful things in my life: Family, friends and the wonderful community I’ve chosen. More dancing in the rain and less ranting about Trump and Clinton. More giggling hysterically with my kids and less focus on the terrible injustices in the world. Lots more doing my part to be love and compassion, in the face of horrific and almost incomprehensible tragedy.

So long for now, Facebook!

 

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