If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I typically post a new article every weekend, with the occasional bonus guest post or interview in the middle of the week. Last weekend, I decided not to post. In fact, last weekend I decided to check out of several of my usual activities, including watching or reading the news and checking in on my social media feeds.
It was all part of my election week selfcare plan.
I had mailed in my ballot weeks ago, so at this point, all I had left to do was wait. Waiting could take different forms, such as being glued to the news as every vote was counted, doom scrolling on social media, or avoiding everything altogether. I opted for the last option. I figured the outcome would be the same whether I watched the whole process or not. So why expose myself to unnecessary drama and stress?
Despite this plan, Tuesday was still a day of high anxiety for me. Even though I wasn’t checking any news or social media, I knew what was happening and I knew what the stakes were this year. I drank a lot of wine Tuesday night.
As part of my “escape reality” plan, I pulled out some of my favorite movies. Each night sent me into a different world of adventure, laughter and music. Through the week, I danced with Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh, and Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
As the week continued, my plan proved effective! Each day, I woke up feeling better than the day before. The anxiety dissipated, I slept better, and I was able to focus better for work. Thursday’s dance lesson was a fun exercise in Foxtrot musicality, and I was totally channeling “Pop” from the Chicago musical during the group showcase rehearsal on Saturday.
I do believe it’s important to stay informed. Ignorance can only be bliss temporarily. However, this particular week was going to happen whether I stayed informed or not. The truth of the matter was I only needed to know the end result. Like I said to a friend, I didn’t need to know how the sausage was made.
Of course, even though an initial victor has been declared for the 2020 presidential election, I’m sure there will be plenty more drama in the upcoming weeks. I plan on continuing to focus on my own mental health, which means more movies and dancing, and less news and social media.
Less than two months left of 2020! Can you believe it? This year has taught us that anything is possible, and not necessarily in a good way. Please remember that you don’t need to watch every train wreck as it happens. Ask yourself if you’re actually staying informed or just morbidly curious and getting drawn into the drama. Above all, take care of your mental health!