Friday Round Up! Feeling Okay Despite the Headlines Edition

Some things to keep you sane while the world burns.

Photo by Eli Francis on Unsplash

Today I’m sending y’all some ideas on how to stay sane! There’s a pandemic, the stock market is playing double dutch, there’s an election happening somewhere behind all that, and we just observed the byzantine rite of Daylight Saving Time, which if you’re like me, ruins everything for at least a week.

So here are some things I’m doing so that I don’t lose my mind!

1) Limiting my news exposure. This is a HUGE one. I was reading an article last night that had a pandemic expert advise, to paraphrase, that it’s better to read ten minutes of good news once a day than ten hours of ratings-grabbing coverage throughout the day. So I’m really, really trying to limit my exposure to dirty germ hands AND to news. I don’t usually achieve once a day status, but I do try to refresh my NYTimes page only a few times.

2) On that note, I love getting Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter once a day. She’s a history professor who does a wrap up of all the news from the day before and delivers it right to your inbox…for free! Here’s the link. She also, very helpfully, explains terms that I pretend I know but don’t really have a clue about (like bull and bear market, which I know vaguely what they mean but not really, and she explained very handily).

3) Walking! It’s nice out again, although here in PGH “nice” is a relative term. It’s less cold, only semi-dark, and not too rainy. Which means I’m hitting the skreets. Walking really does raise those good hormones and, if paired with a good podcast or audiobook, takes you right away from it all. Don’t feel you have to go on marathon walks. A half hour will do, especially because I’m not talking about walking as exercise. It can be your exercise, obviously, but you can also walk anytime, at any pace, whether you’ve already worked out or not. This is a constitutional, not a workout. Think of it as physically walking away from the world and enjoy your time alone.

4) Escapist reading! I’ve read like 14 YA fantasies this week. Don’t be afraid to escape into whatever you escape into, whether that’s TV or books or film or whatever. Maybe not drugs, for your liver’s sake. But srsly, in between your occasionally checking the news, feel free to pretend you live in a more interesting, less insane world where there are dragons, or whatever.

5) Spring cleaning. I attacked my house yesterday and I feel so much better for it. Spring cleaning is an optimistic enterprise that reminds me that—even in times when there are random “is this the endtimes?” articles popping up on my Medium feed—time soldiers on and there will be a future. I listened to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast “Happier” and wiped everything down and I felt so, so, so, so, so much better.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps! What are you doing to stay sane?

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