Ok, let’s just say the last few weeks have often left me longing for the good ole days of toddler temper tantrums… my own, not my daughter’s.
I’ve felt the need to lay in the middle of the floor, flail my arms and legs, and shout unintelligible sounds.
Have you been feeling that way too?
I actually tried it one day, when I just didn’t know what to do with all the energy in my body.
It was surprisingly cathartic.
I recommend you try it, but make sure you’re either alone, or you warn those who are in ear-shot.
Have you tried it yet?
I was “text-connecting” with a close friend today and told her I had a blog post to write.
I shared that all I could think to say right now was
Much to my surprise she said, “That’s actually a good idea! Why don’t you try it? I’m sure I’d read that post and knowing I’m not the only one feeling this way could really help.”
So, here goes!
Information is coming into our body/mind/spirit at unprecedented rates, but our ways to manage all of this information haven’t changed much at all.
Certainly it hasn’t changed at a rate commensurate to the increase of information flow.
We need to create more mindful connection.
Now, more than ever, I feel the need to stay informed, so completely ditching social media and news sites is not an option for me. I also feel the need to be mindful and responsible about articles and information I share and more carefully vetting sources and information, all while the flow increases minute to minute.
We need new tools, or to reconfigure our relationship to old ones, to help us manage information overload.
Something to help us when we feel over-stimulated to the point of exhaustion or overwhelm. (See paragraph above about me needing to go “all-toddler” to manage the stress.)
Here are a few tools I’ve found helpful.
- Clear my mind – This is almost always my #1. You can exercise, meditate, practice yoga, walk, take a forest bath, pray… whatever gets you closer to your center. Some daily activity that helps you remember your life-priorities apart from the ongoing drama outside you. Connect yourself to what really matters, regularly.
- Freedom – This app helps you manage access social media and websites. In past weeks I’ve found the extra support of restricting my access to social media for periods of time during the day soothes my nervous system, and helps me get things done. If you want to take a break from social media, but are feeling like you don’t have the will-power to do it on your own, this might be the tool for you. They’ve got a free trial period, if you want to check it out.
- Discernment and Direct information – In my efforts to avoid “fake news”, my own personal filter bubble, the emotional swirl that can happen on my FB feed, and the ugly impact of these on my mental health, I’ve been developing a list of news sources that I want to consistently engage with. I now send them all to an online tool called Feedly which collects new articles into folders that I can read when I feel ready. With Feedly, you can decide when you want to delve into news, who you want to hear from, and when. Also, I don’t have to memorize my list or type in multiple websites because Feedly gathers it all for me. I choose channels with points of view I agree with, and some I generally do not. This helps me avoid being lost in my “filter bubble”. For fun, I also have folders full of websites that I help me feel current with certain fields of interest, provide helpful work content, and some that just make me smile.
- More supportive human connection – I’m really building my resources in this area, and I feel my friends doing the same thing. Though we still feel busy, these days we’re making time for a few extra rounds of texting, a random phone call, or a fly-by hug, so we can plug into love and support. This new emphasis on connecting with friends has made my life rich in a time that could feel isolating.
If the idea of adding apps sends you into overwhelm, start with a daily practice and/or making time for supportive, human connection. Once those are set, and working, you might find additional bandwidth to help manage information flow.
And now I’ll head back into the world of the interwebs, having completed my “temper tantrum managing” blog post.
I’ve shifted from Aaaagh! to ahhhhh.
Hope you can find a way to make that shift too.
Wishing you all well.
Grateful we’re connecting,