[Public Domain Image from Pixabay]
Without question, this election season has affected our collective stress levels, hasn’t it? Along with the uncertainty of its conclusion, we continue to encounter rhetoric and incident reports of racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. It is troubling. I’ve had conversations with friends, and we all feel affected by this. We’re thoughtful and proactive about these harmful trends, but we’re also on edge.
This week, I started turning off social media a few hours before bed, and I’m stunned at how much better I’ve been sleeping. Sleep is deeper and more sound when I do this. I’m wondering, what has been working for you? How do you find ways to step away from the rhetoric in order to practice healthy self-care?
We all need to stay informed and active, not only toward the election, but toward each other. This rhetoric is challenging, but it’s more than words. It’s inciting violence and threats of violence. That’s serious. We have to counteract it with empathy, care, allyship, and advocacy toward our neighbors. This means that we have to continue to engage.
But we also have to take care of ourselves. This likely affects us in different ways and to varying degrees. These days, social media stories are often challenging in their content, but they’re also stressful in their energy. We need to replenish that energy toward self-care and social action.
So what’s working for you? What would you like to try?
I’m going to keep unplugging some in the evening hours. Of course, it’s ironic that I post this today because I’m going to make an exception this very evening. I’m going to live tweet tonight’s debate and tweet along with #presbyintersect. As for the second piece, every Wednesday night, a bunch of thoughtful Presbyterians have a Twitter conversation at #presbyintersect about intersectional needs for justice in the world and the life of faith. These conversations have been so fruitful.
So, my social media-free evenings are not a hard and fast rule, but I’m going to keep trying this. Sleep is simply so much better. What about you?