News flash—the 24-hour news cycle and nonstop Breaking News can be poison to the soul. Seriously, don’t you grrrls have mini panic attacks when you turn on the news, and BREAKING NEWS is plastered at the bottom of the screen, repeatedly pulsating like the flashing Crispy Crème donut sign that signals a sugar high? Except this BREAKING NEWS signage likely foreshadows something less sweet—like the proposed destruction of birthright citizenship (an American right) or the end of Roe v. Wade. Just sayin’. It could happen. It has happened. And it is making us all a little unwell.
However, you feel about President Trump, there is no debating that his pointed and confrontational communication style has made for combustible political discourse that can feel like an endless migraine. And now with midterms behind us and a divided Congress, there is no end in sight for the bombast that has characterized this political season. Buckle up MAGs, this ride is about to get even bumpier.
The world may be flat, but the political landscape is full of curves and pot holes. We must keep our mental and physical house in order if we are to remain strong. It can be done.
While sometimes it seems there is no hiding from political banter and partisan peeves, making daily discourse with friends, co-workers and others feel like an emotional beat down, there are things we can do to stay sane. Here are a few tips to stay MAGnificent during political fire:
Sure, this edict is overused. But there’s good reason to just shut up, shut down and breath. Turns out it works.
For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality. Allegedly Buddha advocated breath-meditation to reach enlightenment. Sounds like good advice to me. I encourage you to use controlled breathing to MAGnify your joy and energize yourself.
“Breathing is massively practical,” says Belisa Vranich, a psychologist and author of the book Breathe. Dr. Vranich, who has consulted at the National Mental Health Association in Washington, DC, credits breathing techniques for helping you to “let go” of anger and sadness, letting you feel “unstuck” mentally. If you challenge yourself to “let go” and ask yourself hard personal questions during the practice, you’ll be rewarded with clarity and strength. Who doesn’t want that?
Silence your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for a few hours EVERY day.
Don’t be the twit that tweets. And tweets. And tweets. We get it. Cruising the internet is like having access to an endless media and attention drip. Its our 15 minutes of fame—but it comes at a cost. It makes us tense, angry and even a little scared. Find the strength to unplug your device and practice some stillness. Do this after you have completed your breathing exercises and I guarantee you will bask in a Zen like state for several hours.
As far as I can tell we still are part of a democracy that, while flawed, continues to give us freedom to vote, protest and use our voices as change agents. While this year has been full of bluster, this voting season has also ushered in some of the most diverse and empowered women to ever hold a political office. There is much work to be done, but also much to make us proud and hopefully help us feel less anxious about our changing democracy and our role in it.