As of late, newscasts have been filled with all sorts of worrisome stories with words such as war, invasion, bombing, fatalities, bereavement, downfall, refugees, collapse, crisis, overthrow, ruin… This barrage of negative information from around the globe, with reactions, replay and analysis here in America, have triggered a certain disquiet in my life, spilling over into other areas: a restless sleep, a lower ability to handle little stresses like a bill I forgot to pay or a public speaking event or doing my taxes. I wish it were different, but truth be told, I end up worrying about things I really don’t have much control over.
So, this week, when I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep because images of a recent broadcast kept popping in my head, an elderly couple crying over the loss of everything they owned, a child missing her father, or worse, I decided it was time for a News Fast.
In the same way I fast from food to cleanse my body from time to time, I sometimes go on what I call a ‘News Fast’ –abstaining from viewing or listening to all news reports, news flashes, bulletins, and updates. Usually for a few days. Sometimes less. Sometimes longer.
This time, I fasted from all news for three days, and today when I woke up, I felt refreshed and energized, ready to get back to my writing, to tackle a full laundry basket, and even bake a batch of cookies (yeah, I know, about that food fast so I’ll try to stick to something healthy like oatmeal raisin cookies or a light breakfast bread.)
I don’t want to “put my head in the sand” as the old cliché goes. Being informed and educated about the world most certainly has value. But too much is, well, too much; that constant accounting of conflict and gloom eating away at my well-being and joy. Maybe it is just me, but there seems to be a growing shortage of happiness these days, which really is something every human being should have, even just a little bit. So, I think I’ll hang on to mine and read or listen to the news in small doses.
How did you find solace this week?
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