I made a teeny tiny decision last week that immediately improved my life. Sound too dramatic? Well try this on for size:
I didn’t give up anything,
I didn’t add anything,
all I did was create a shift.
Let me describe my morning routine:
- Get up
- Take the dog out
- Make coffee
- Read the news
- Walk the dog
- The day starts…
I shifted ONE thing..didn’t get rid of it, just shifted it to the end of the day. Want to guess what it is?
No news, no clicking on what folks send me, no back-door social media stuff of ANY kind until after 5pm..and you want to know something? In two short days it REVOLUTIONIZED my life.
More focused (!!)
(OK, so I’m totally lying about the skin..)
Day One.. It was tough..”what are those Covid daily numbers????”
New cases- new deaths, what is the rate? I kept torturing myself..as if me knowing would have any impact-
of any kind-
on any thing.
Day Two..I didn’t even THINK about the “C” word until about 3pm..just a wisp of a thought drifted past my pre-frontal cortex like a gnat in the wind and then it was gone.
Day Three.. Let’s just say I haven’t been that productive, that energized, that mentally liberated in months.
Want to know when I finally checked in on riots and Covid and the school dilemma (not that I have school aged kids) on day three?
Yup, I didn’t even remember to look until 8pm!
Here’s the deal: Consuming news in the morning is like volunteering for an early morning beating. Who wants to start their day like that?
“Why yes, I’ll take a nice whipping on top of my fresh strawberries, thank-you so much!”
Not only is consuming morning news the mental equivalent of choking down a stack of 78 whole wheat pancakes (no syrup), worrisome news primes you in an addictive way…it makes you feel like you have to come back and come back and come back again to “check in” as the day unfolds. I mean if an ICU fills up in some state that is a three day drive away from where we live..WE GOTTA KNOW- LIKE NOW!
There are two new words to describe the phenomenon of feeling compelled to keep checking for bad news..”Doomscrolling” and “Doomsurfing.”
Studies show that we are drawn to bad news. If there are ten articles about good stuff and one about a murder, like rats in a science experiment, we will press the lever on murder every time.
Bad news sells! Heck some of us have become active participants, peddling pure misery and fear to family, friends and anyone interested (or not) on facebook- it is a compulsion we can scarcely control and it can paralyze us for the day.
Holding off until the end of the day to read the news gives you a safe space (ha, sorry) to be creative and free of burdensome thoughts so you can pursue that which impacts your life directly. The ability to say “no-not now” gives you a sense of power OVER uncontrollable circumstances. We can’t change today’s Covid numbers, but we can CHOOSE when and if we care to give them our valuable attention. And while I wouldn’t recommend reading the news right before going to bed, pushing it back to the end of the day leaves you less time to stew on negativity..especially if you follow up with a great movie on Prime or Netflix! (We watched a fabulous one the other day- So good I took notes! Will share later this week..)
You can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world, just don’t let it bleed all over your day.
I asked my husband if he would join me in this news management effort by charging his phone in the den instead of leaving it next to his bed where it sits overnight until he grabs it first thing in the morning for a one eyed doomscroll through the day’s headlines.
Surprisingly, he agreed. 👍