Get Ready

If you watch television, read the papers, or receive news online or via social media, you might want to prepare. If you spend time with friends and/or family members who are involved in the world and who enjoy talking about what’s happening, you might want to prepare.

There’s an increasing cacophony that is only growing louder by the day around all things political. From now on, it’ll be noisier than in past seasons. Next year will be much louder than this year and might just shoot off the charts in terms of well-publicized bad behavior, lies, arguments, threats, finger-pointing, and life-like, yet totally false, accusations created with artificial intelligence, making the opposition look bad. There already is a growing surge of truly nasty antics from people who seek power above all else.

It’s getting louder and more unpleasant in the name of free speech with the promise to increase overwhelmingly in the coming months. Get ready and be prepared. If we don’t develop a game plan now, the weirdness of the political inundation might overtake our lives.

Let’s be completely clear: there is little to nothing you can do to change someone’s mind regarding political ideals during these times, and any attempts to do so will only suck you into the fray and leave you with a less-than-uplifting feeling afterward.

Being amid upsetting situations for which we have no control is darned unpleasant and a huge waste. Why let these unpleasantries rule the day and steal our joy? A little preparation ahead of time will help.

Here is my plan to prepare which will serve me as things get louder and more upsetting:

  • I’ll be spending some time alone to think about my comfort level around political news, whether it’s coming from the TV, social media, or friends and family. I’ll also identify past experiences that triggered unpleasantness from the news, even if I trusted the news source. Often the final result for me has been that being aware of the news even from my go-to newscasters still leaves me upset.
  • A small writing assignment will outline soft rules about what I will and will not tolerate in terms of exposure to bickering, crazy antics, and mistruths either from the news or from friends and family. I say ‘soft’ rules because this isn’t caste in stone, and if I succumb to the fray every once in a while, okay; I’ll let it go and retreat to the sanity and comfort of my making.
  • I’ve developed rules that can be tied to numbers. For instance, I allow myself a cursory pass through the headlines or watch the news at the top of the hour for ten minutes and then stop and move on to something else. I don’t want to give over hours of precious time to sensational news stories that repeat ad nauseum on a news cycle for days.
  • Once I’ve developed the ‘rules,’ I make the commitment to stay the course and not get sidetracked. If I do get sidetracked, there are lots of streaming comedy or rom/com shows to distract me enough to release any accumulated stress in my body.
  • I will also develop the longest list I can of things to do to either avoid getting sucked into the TV fray or anything online or in social situations in person. I refuse to give up my peace of mind and get upset over politics that I can’t control and that can easily trigger my anxiety.

I can get drawn in easily to the news when it’s being reported by my favorite TV anchor. When I particularly trust the source of information, I pay more attention. But, as I have said, does any of it, even when it’s from what I feel is a reputable source, serve my well-being and peace of mind? Some doses may be okay, but a constant diet of growing unrest reports just isn’t healthy … on any level. Consider what works for you. You are not a slouch or considered uninformed if you decide to pass on staying abreast of every poll, incident, commentary, report, or opinion.

Pay attention to how the ground swell is growing as we approach decision time, whether it be a court case or an election result. Is your health and well-being worth having the most up-to-date information? Is it worth it to give over so much of your precious time and energy to the non-stop political news cycle?

Prepare now for the tide of upset that is likely to land on your shore in the coming months. And, obviously, when the time comes, vote.