The News Cycle Sucks

I lost an entire day because I got caught up in the proclamations declaring the world to be a huge dumpster fire. I clicked and scrolled, and clicked and scrolled some more through the news and news analysis websites. It completely drained me, and in terms of facts and information, I could have gotten those in five minutes. I didn’t get a single thing done for myself all day, and then to add to that, I ate a completely unhealthy dinner and went to bed way too late. This was followed by immense guilt the following day, and it took extreme effort to find my momentum again. Since then I’ve spoken to friends about this and I know I’m not the only one struggling to not get caught up and emotionally drained by the news cycle. So I’ve been thinking about this.

Was it Useful?

Not even a bit. Wasting a day being sad about the news didn’t add a single drop of value to the world. I wasn’t great with the people around me, and even more broadly, stewing in the news cycle made me less inclined towards political action because I didn’t really feel like getting off the couch. I tend to donate or send emails when I’m feeling more powerful as opposed to defeated by the news. If everyone who doesn’t like what’s going on in politics on this continent (by that I mean anyone with a soul… did I just say that?) let their emotions lead them to anger, sadness, and lethargy, the bad guys win. And that’s not okay.

NOT Advocating Ignorance or Denial

Just to be clear – I’m not going to start pointing out all of the ways in which our world is wonderful (although, if you are practicing gratitude as I discussed last week, hopefully you are aware of some), and I’m not okay with choosing to ignore what’s going on in the world because it’s too depressing, but I do think that many of us need to manage ourselves better to keep our strength and energy for the long game.

So Now What?

I’ve made a decision that I don’t want to partake in the idea that the world is turning into a huge dumpster fire, and I’m not going to let the news steal my days. Sometimes I joke that my business is really about the destruction of patriarchy, because it’s all about helping really cool women be their best and strongest selves, but it actually isn’t a joke. The woman I work with are all amazing, and the world is more likely to change for the better with them out there doing things. When I think it through, being energized and doing my best is both my strongest defence, and is how I will offer the greater service.

How to NOT Let the News Win?

Everyone I discussed this with agrees that there is a clear visceral feeling when they slide into the bad news vortex. The trick is to avoid the vortex, or catch it before you slide too far. For me, I’m not allowing myself to look at the news during the day, or right before bed (Pro Tip: I have website blocker software on my computer, and I use a feed blocker for Facebook). If I feel myself about to slide into a clicking spiral, I might have a dance party with the dog, or go for a walk and listen to a podcast. I remind myself that the better I do in my life, the more I can impact the world in a positive way. I’m not perfect, but I try to hold on to that. *For an example of someone who has taken this to the next level, check our Plaid Paddle Woman of the Week. Roma is the best. ** I realize that a dumpster fire may not be the best place to roast marshmallows