Has Everyone Lost Their Minds?!

If I got paid every time I heard someone say, “people have all lost their minds” in the past 6 months, I would be rich and retired! Well maybe not, but I have heard this so often. It feels like the world has been turned upside down. There is so much divisiveness, fighting, political agendas and the media is having a field day exploiting all of this and helping us to be more and more anxious, frustrated and angry. Stress is so bad for us both physically and mentally and yet how can we possibly not be stressed with everything going on?

The answer is, there is no way it’s impossible to not feel the emotions. What is important, is how we deal with these emotions. Internalizing them and allowing them to take over is where it gets to be a problem. This is where people devour a pint of Ben and Jerrys or get rid of their long-time friends over a difference of opinion. Before we go to the place of making rash decisions that impact us both mentally and physically, we need to take a step back and really understand what is triggering us and how we are dealing with it. We also need to take stock of what is important in our lives and make sure that all of the craziness and stress is not causing us to lose precious time with those that we love.

When the pandemic started, I found myself glued to the television to watch the latest numbers of those getting sick and dying. This caused me so much anxiety. I thought I was being smart and informed. Instead, I would watch the 10pm news and be up all night worrying. The lost sleep and anxiety made life very challenging. So, I decided I needed to stop this, and stopped watching the nightly news. I also stopped looking at the numbers each day on the local state health website. I cannot tell you what a huge difference this made in my anxiety level, stress level and sleep. This was a big step for a control freak like me, that always needs to know what is going on! I would still see things online, but no longer was I obsessed with watching it.

Sometimes we have to eliminate unhealthy habits that do not benefit us. Some may consider this running away, but it is not running away at all, it is letting go of an unhealthy habit and taking care of ourselves.  Eliminating my constant need to watch the news will not stop me from getting Covid or anything else I am afraid of. It will however, let me live my life with less worry and obsession over something that may or may not happen to me. Now when I get nervous, these are the things that help me, I will talk about it with my husband, meditate or do some exercise. And while getting motivated to do these things isn’t easy, once I do, they really help.

Don’t run away, face your obstacles and struggles, but make sure you are doing it in a healthy way. Talk to a counselor, meditate, journal, but do not sit with your stress and do nothing about it. Do not let it interrupt all of the things in life that are important to you. You can not control other people or the things that are going on in the world, but you can control your happiness!