Fasting From the News

I don’t enjoy this time of year. I’ll likely elaborate on my holiday melancholy next week, with a Christmas-themed post. Lack of December daylight doesn’t help, and neither does 50 degree, Seattle-type weather.  Sometimes it takes effort to ward off the gloom.

Compounding the holiday humbug I’m feeling, the news—especially the binary back-and-forth among people of good cheer this political cycle—it seems downright maniacal. In fact, if I believed in evil in the “principalities and powers” sense outlined in scripture, I might assign it to the work of the dark one.

Despite decorations, demonic spirits masquerading as politicians, and winter darkness, nothing can stop the JBE from cranking out content—whether writing for hire, or remaining true to his Tuesday/Friday blogging routine.

Sometimes when things aren’t working, it’s important to change it up. Nothing worse than maintaining routines that deliver negative results.

Beginning last Friday, I decided to limit my news consumption. Other than 5 minutes with the morning news team at WMTW-8, mainly for my daily weather fix, I’ve been in the midst of a news blackout. Dr. Andrew Weil deems these self-imposed withdrawals, “news fasts.”

The news today can't be trusted.

The news today can’t be trusted.

In the same way that studies tell us that occasional abstaining from food for a time delivers health benefits, there is bound to be value in abstaining from the constant carnage and white noise of the news cycle, as well as the fear and outrage it engenders in many.

Weil and others advise taking a few days—even up to a week—and tuning out news entirely. Weil especially, advises that you’ll experience a change when you do this, such as noting “a difference in your state of mind and body.” He also states that you’re probably going to be “less anxious, less stressed, less angry, and less fearful.”

I admit that listening to music instead of talk radio has been a nice change. Not reading the usual news sites has also offered respite from the usual agitation that crisis-mongering tends to produce in me. I’ve also been working at padding my yearly reading list with a book or two before New Years Eve.

Wondering what other things I could change up?

2 thoughts on “Fasting From the News

  1. Well, Jim I highly suspect you are not alone. Here is what I try to do and think about and do my best to work on…..

    Diet, exercise, sleep and surrounding oneself with people who love you and are your cheerleaders no matter what can be very helpful. Now I must admit I could exercise more and am starting finally after a hard three years to take a closer look at my diet and being an insomniac, the sleep department needs some work. However, I do have a few people around me who do really love me I know for sure so I am doing pretty well in that dept.

    Try not to think of past instances when people hurt you with unkindness. As a collective, people don’t realize many times that pain to another has resulted with their actions. At the same time, avoid negative things and negative people that you know can bring you down.

    Look at pretty things.

    Go out into the sunlight when it occurs.

    Reminisce and tell funny stories about the past. Recently I have told my husband the same story at least three times and he thinks it is so funny he laughs his “big laugh” every time. And that is really nice. Every night when I come home….and I often get home later than my husband, I ask him the same question,” Are you glad I am home?” He always says,”I sure am.” That means a lot.

    Say kind things to people as often as possible and ask them about themselves. Even the stranger beside us at the grocery store. Look at someone’s face and into their eyes. Look for a way to connect….more than ever people need that.

    Always be looking for that little buried gem that can pull you out of the funk.

    Feeling low hits at the core and can be so soul exhausting. It is hard when that cloud beats down on us when the sun should be doing so but it is only the individual and the individual that can haul themselves out and it can be a real battle.

    So maybe think about each minute as that is what we are living and delve deep into that minute….what will make you feel better…a cup of coffee, hgtv or a peek at QVC, a phone call from a friend, a nap….whatever it is….try to be good to yourself. That helps me and I can be the queen of funk.

  2. I started my news fast yesterday. Great idea! I want to be alert for the Christmas Eve Bingo Tournament. What am I talking about? Read my blog tomorrow to find out.

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