For the past month or so, I’ve been down…deep, deep down. It’s really nothing new for me to feel melancholy as the days get shorter in the fall, but this year has been different. In addition to my “normal” seasonal blues, I’ve been deeply affected by the recent election and the Pandora’s box of ugliness it released. I’m finding that I fret too much. I worry. I regret. I feel helpless and hopeless. I forget to eat. I cry too much and I scream too much.
I find I cannot stop myself from reading the news and my reactions run between intense sadness and an unhealthy rage and everything in between. With every new item I read I pick up a few more pounds of burden…please understand that for me emotional burden is just as heavy as physical burden (such are the perils of chronic depression and anxiety). I literally feel like I am being crushed to the ground by the weight of the world.
In addition to the weighty burden of bad news, I find myself more and more at my computer, researching, reading, posting, reacting. I’ve begun to feel like the I might be a little addicted to the newsfeed…compulsively checking my Facebook page a zillion times a day…scrolliing, scrolling, scrolling…too much bad news, too many things I can’t ignore. It's a little paralyzing. And while I don’t want to ignore what is going on, I feel like I need to isolate myself for awhile to heal, to think, to process.
I need some time to find balance again…I need some emotions other than sad and angry. I need my time back too.
So, I’ve decided to begin a News Fast….just for a month…from today December 13th until January 17th. I’ve made some rules for myself, but really the goal is to free myself for a bit from all the negativity so I can come back stronger, better, smarter, kinder in the new year.
As I’ve been thinking of this News Fast for the past few days I can feel the time opening up for me…I see time for yoga, and walks, and books, and paints, and fabrics, and recipes, and experiments that I will have time for when I close my computer.
Don’t get me wrong…I’ll still have to use the internet…we don’t have TV service, so I get my weather online…and you are out of your head if you think I’m giving up Netflix!, but I just want to shut off the bad news for a bit. I’m thinking I can limit myself to Pinterest, ADDS (weather) and Netflix for the month, necessary research (ie. addresses or business hours), and of course, shopping.
I’ve been making a list for myself for this month and I’m generally excited for the first time in a long time:
- go outside, walk
- be creative,
- work hard,
- finish projects,
- make things,
- collect leaves,
- watch birds,
- hand gin the cotton
- make a rag doll
- make oak gall ink
- write on the blog
- take photos
- try dying fabric with food
- get the garden ready for spring
My goal is to write about the experience here and we will see how that goes because I don’t want to “over-schedule” myself…