February 1, 2017

Maintaining emotional sanity when it all comes crumbling down

sanity

On Mondays I write about love, on Tuesdays dating, and on Wednesdays I write about sex. But, you’re not going to get sex tips today.

Actually, that’s not true. You’ll get ONE sex tip.

Here, you can have it right now.

Today’s Wednesday Sex Tip of the Day

Have sex today.

That’s your sex tip. Do you have someone in your life you could be having sex with today?

Great, have sex with them. It’s gonna feel awesome.

For the rest of us (me very much included)

We’ll have to resort to other forms of self care to maintain whatever sanity we have left in what surely is, an insane fucking time.

My Facebook feed (and probably yours too) is stuck in a loop of regurgitating the same shit over and over again, stirring everyone into a fucking frenzy.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be in a frenzy. There’s a lot to be frenzied about.

[fren-zee]

1. extreme mental agitation; wild excitement or derangement.
2. a fit or spell of violent mental excitement; a paroxysm characteristic of or resulting from a mania.

I found myself in extreme mental agitation on Monday night, as I read article after article (after article after article) about Trump and his administration using the immigration ban as a distraction to do a bunch of nasty shit. Namely consolidating power by reconfiguring the National Security Council, gutting the State Department, and firing anyone who doesn’t fall in with his plans. Also, a whole bunch of other nasty shit I don’t understand.

I was understandably excited and a bit deranged and I don’t even know what the National Security Council does or what the State Department is.

I’m politically ignorant

Like I said on Monday, I’m not very politically informed. I’m working on it. Writing about it has forced me to at least confront the fact that I don’t really know what’s going on most of the time.

I’m embarrassed to say it. But there you go. If I can tell you about blowing a dude in a bathroom when I was 16 I can admit that I’m not very well read when it comes to politics. That’s changing. Slowly but surely.

One of the silver linings of this whole mess is that it has forced me to give a shit when I didn’t really give a shit before.

The rabbit hole of my ‘newsfeed’

Just doing some basic research for this blog has led me down a deep dark rabbit hole of sensationalist click baity journalism. And it feels gooooooooood.

But it also feels bad.

It’s sort of what I imagine smoking crack feels like. Really good, but then really really bad. Drugs are bad, mmkay? And so is spending too much time reading bullshit on the internet.

When I check Facebook to share this blog, I have a hard time not getting sucked in. And when I get sucked into scrolling my feed, it’s hard to break the cycle.

Social media consumption is addictive

I don’t need to cite sources. We all know it. How many times a day do you check your smartphone? Right. Me too.

But reading articles makes me feel like I’m doing something. And for the most part it’s true. I’m absolutely getting informed. But there needs to be balance. I can’t spend all day checking feeds and re-reading the same types of articles with the same viewpoints. I need to feed the rest of my life as well.

Have you been neglecting parts of your life because you’re consumed with what’s happening politically? Can’t put your phone down for fear of missing out on breaking news? Don’t worry, it’ll still be there when you pick it back up.

We all need a break, and we need balance in our lives. Here’s what you can do to maintain your what little sanity you have left.

Tips on maintaining your emotional sanity when shit hits the fan

1. Put your phone down

We don’t need to be connected 100% of the time. Text messages can wait. Refreshing your feed can wait. Replying to emails can wait. Leave your phone at your desk when you go to lunch. When you go for a walk or a run, do it without bringing your phone with you. It’ll be OK. You won’t miss a thing, I promise.

Another tip: turn off notifications. I’ve removed all notifications on my phone except for the icon badge (the little red number next to an app icon). My phone doesn’t buzz, beep, or chime every 5 minutes anymore. It’s divine. Here’s how to do it….

sanity

2. Take a break from social media

I can’t do this on my own. I use the Freedom.to app on my phone and my computer to restrict access to certain media at certain parts of the day.

Pornography is restricted 24 hours a day. Social media is restricted except for 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour in the afternoon (when I post) and 1 hour in the evening. This doesn’t mean I spend 3 hours on social media a day but it does mean that during the time it’s restricted, I’m prevented from checking in.

Everything is blocked from 10PM to 7AM Sunday to Friday. Everything. That’s sleepy time. Not internet time.

Weekends are unrestricted but I’m usually less tethered to my computer on the weekends.

3. Exercise, every day

Dog owners live longer, healthier lives because they spend more time outside being active. Pretend you’re a dog owner and spend more time outside being active. I always feel better after a run.

Hate running? So do I. Do this instead: Walk, swim, bike, hike, yoga, pilates, skiing, crossfit, dance, skate, basketball, badminton, tennis, unicycle, and the list goes on ad nauseam.

Too busy to exercise?

4. Stop watching TV

I’m reading Stephen King’s book On Writing. He says that to be a better writer you have to read. Reading takes time, and “the glass teat takes too much of it”.

He’s right. Last month I stopped watching TV during the week and gained 1-2 hours of my evenings back. There are no negative side effects.

(I still watch movies on the weekends. I’m not a monster.)

What do I do to relax?

5. Read

It’s a healthier alternative to watching TV. Still an escape but requires you to engage with the content. It’s active relaxation as opposed to TV, which is just plain zoning out.

I read at least 1 page of something every night before bed. It calms my brain and takes the hamster off the hamster wheel so I can sleep.

6. Eat well

I know, my advice is so basic. But I’m a basic bitch sometimes and I need help doing the easiest things. Like not eating sugar. In January I also purged sugar from my diet. No more added sugar but fruit is OK.

I wasn’t able to do this without putting $100 on the line. If I eat sugar I owe my friend $100. Every donut I look at now turns into a $100 donut.

I started eating more croissants and bagels because replacement therapy is a real issue but we’ll tackle bagels and croissants in February. Oh. That’s today.

7. Choose love

Spend time with loved ones. I can’t stress this enough. Spend time with friends, family, and people that make you smile. Focus on relationships that nurture you.

Give what support you have to give and take what support you need. Do not be afraid to ask for help. There is tremendous strength in being able to ask for help. Give it and take it freely.

I need you healthy

I’m selfish. Most people who read this blog I know personally.

I need you healthy so you can continue to shine bright, do your thing, and have a positive impact on those around you. That’s how this is going to work.

We’re going to spread love in every way we can. We’ll protest, we’ll get involved, we’ll join the fight, but none of it works if you’re slowly unraveling. Take care of #1 so that you can help the rest.


Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He lives and writes in Montreal.

Related Posts

Get rid of your job, your house, and your girlfriend to make room for something new

Choose love in the face of fear and hate. Getting involved when protest isn’t an option.

Share It If You're Bold Enough

Shaun Galanos

Shaun Galanos is The Love Drive. He lives, writes, and makes videos in Montreal.