I’m in a bit of a blogging funk. The blank white screen does not beckon me to fill it up with words to inspire, to dream, to love, to fight but instead taunts me with its vast emptiness. And I succumb to the despair of writer’s block. The real truth is I do have things to say but feel primal screaming in every blog post gets a bit exhausting — for both you and me.
This is not to be confused with blogger burnout. I know when I need a break and take one. This is more exhaustion about the state of the world. My sleep is restless, I pace around my apartment and my hair is falling out.
Okay, to be completely fair, all those things were happening before January 20 because I am an old coot. But certain things and certain individuals named Emperor Baby Fists and his white minions are making it worse.
I firmly believe sticking your head in the sand and being oblivious to what’s happening in the world is the wrong choice too, but I need to find a balance where I stay informed without yanking handfuls of my hair out constantly.
This is me finding that balance.
5 Things to Do When Life Makes You Scream
Life truly is a roller coaster and it is easy to enjoy in the up times. The real trick is figuring out how to survive (perhaps, even thrive) during those upside down times.
1. Read Your Favorite Books/Watch Your Favorite Movie
I love reading new books, whether by favorite authors or new-to-me authors, but in this instance I suggest grabbing your absolute favorite books and spending some quality time with them. I typically reread my favorite sections, although occasionally I get sucked in and read the entire book. A book where the good guy stomps all over the bad guy hits all the right spots for me because I need to the good guy to win.
Another great option is watching a favorite movie. Again, a good action movie works best for me. Funny movies or comedies work when I’m sad but not when I’m angry, then I find them annoying. You may be the exact opposite or discover that horror or romance works best for you. Just find what keeps your mind occupied — books and/or movies — and in a good place.
And if books and movies aren’t your jam — what’s wrong with you? Kidding! Just do whatever you love from listening to music to snuggling with your pet or enjoying your favorite hobby.
2. Detox on Social Media
It is important to stay informed but social media can be an ugly and vile place to hang out. It is also a source of misinformation and propaganda as Facebook, Twitter and Google can attest. I have reduced my consumption of all things social (with the exception of Pinterest because it’s pretty non-political) because it’s too easy to go down the rabbit hole of Twitter and need a hot shower afterwards to scald off all the hate and ugliness I encounter.
Also manage how often you watch/read the news too. Again, it’s important to stay informed but you don’t need to check news sites every minute or every hour. It’s okay to take a break from the news.
3. Get Together with Friends
This is so important. You need to be with others to get out of your own head, especially if you find yourself getting lost in there. And this can happen to anyone, whether you live alone or are constantly surrounded by others. We retreat into our head and get trapped there. So get out. Meet up with friends and do something fun. Table politics as a discussion topic and let the weight of the world slip off your shoulders for a few hours.
4. Work Up a Sweat
Old Tanya would have never included this and meant it, but new Tanya does recommend exercise as another option to help restore your happy balance. Now that I regularly exercise and experience those lovely endorphins firsthand, I understand the power of exercise goes beyond just my shrinking waistline and helping form new muscles. And honestly, if you’re in a real pissed-off, upset place where you want to lash out, then it’s probably one of your best options because getting that aggression outside of you is so important. Don’t keep it locked up and buried within because it will poison you. Exercise allows you to release it without harming yourself and or anyone else.
5. Do Something
Often times when I feel the most hopeless is when I also feel the most helpless. I think: How can I help? What can I do to make a difference? The answer is simple: Do something, anything. Give back in whatever manner feels comfortable to you, whether marching in a protest, donating money or volunteering for a cause you care about deeply. Just do something. Buy meals at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving. Adopt a family for Christmas. It doesn’t even have to be things directly tied to whatever is upsetting you either, just do something because it makes a difference to the recipient. They know someone cares about them; someone sees them. They are not alone. And neither are you.
Aim for Happiness Every Day
One of my mentors always told me the best comeback to anyone who wants to see you weak or scared or sad is to be happy because nothing angers them more than to see you enjoying life versus crushed or cowed. So that’s what I aim to do: to find happiness every day, even if it’s just for a moment or two and stop giving away my happiness to others. This doesn’t mean I won’t stand tall or push back or call out wrongs I see, but it also means that I won’t let anyone or anything rob me of my happiness either. I hope you’ll do the same because our happiness is what will light the darkness and guide us through it.
How do you find balance in tough times? Or what gets you out of a funk?