I want to tell you a story this morning. So imagine that you are a therapist, right? And a client comes into your office and they say, “I’m feeling really depressed and really anxious. And you say, “Really, what’s what’s going on?” And they say, “Well, every day before I get out of bed, people are screaming at me, calling me the worst names possible, berating me. And if it’s not me, then it’s somebody I love. Then I get out of bed and I look out the window and and people are dying. They are rioting and those who survive the violence and the riots are dying from disease and wildfires and death. Murder Hornets.
All right. You probably see where I’m going with this, right?
But every day we as people are subjected to so much negativity. And you know what? There’s a lot of bad things going on in our world right now. I’m not denying that. But as human beings, we are not designed to carry a solely negative load most of the time. Because you know what? Even with all the bad stuff going on in our world, there’s a lot of good stuff. There’s babies being born even in the midst of COVID-19, There’s weddings happening. You know, there are little beautiful things happening in our lives every day.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m inundated with all the bad news from the from the news and from the media and from social media, I get overwhelmed. Right? I start to feel down. (I always tell people, you know, you don’t want your therapist to be depressed.) So here’s what I do. Unplug. We’ve got to unplug sometimes.
And I know there are things that we’re passionate about. There are causes that we have to fight for. Do what you can do. Absolutely.
But don’t get stuck in the constant, repetitive nature of social media and negativity that we all get pulled in to sometimes unplug.
Okay, practical ideas:
- take social media off your phone and just have it on like a computer or a secondary device, a tablet or something.
- Don’t read the news. Find other things to occupy your time.
- If you feel like you have to read the news or you have to get it somehow, then do it once a day. But this constant, checking my posts and responding to the haters and all this stuff, it’s having an effect on all of us.
If we don’t start doing what we need to do for our own mental health, it’s going to drag all of us down. So just a quick reminder this morning to unplug and ironically, I’m doing this on social media, but hopefully you’re here and I can remind you I’m going to unplug for the rest of the day. I hope you will, too.
Andy Brown is a professional counselor who specializes in marriage, sexuality and young adult issues. He and his wife, Caitlin, have been married since 2004 and have three lovely children. Andy enjoys swimming, coffee, kayaking, snowboarding and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.