We are overwhelmed with bad news every second of every day; making it hard to know what to focus on. As well as the whole world fighting a global pandemic and rapidly increasing issues with global warming, there are constantly humans rights issues – India’s farmers have been protesting at Delhi’s borders since the 26th of November 2020. It can quickly start feeling like you are a handmaid trapped in the Republic of Gilead. And with the constant change of new, bigger, bleaker issues, it becomes difficult to know what to do and how to help.
Poor 2021 had a lot of weight on it’s shoulders from the unrealistically high expectations 2020 had put on it to be a better year. And, like with any expectations, it was never going to play out that we woke up the first morning of 2021 and all our problems would be solved. No, this year has already had a bleaker start than it’s predecessor. Just one week in and it’s already getting too much. Two days after England went into a third lockdown, white supremacist, pro Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol. Whilst no one could say they were surprised by the events that played out in the United States, we were outraged at the way they were handled by Trump and the police, compared with the violence they instilled on Black Lives Matter protesters back in June 2020.
Whatsapp chats were going mad with notifications and you could feel the horror rising on Instagram. It quickly became overwhelming. So I threw my phone across the room and called it a night.
The trouble is that when I switch off, I instantly feel racked with guilt. Aware of what a privilege it is to be able to walk away and play ignorant for a while.
But if it is making you feel overwhelmed, then it is OK to disengage for a while. To switch off your phone, or disable certain apps. Your mental health is more important than always being present and engaged with current affairs. And, constantly consuming information isn’t doing anything good for us.
Everything feels really scary and out of control right now. So I’m going to practice what I preach and take a break from social media. Reminding myself that it’s good to be informed but when it starts to feel like I am suffocating under the weight of the world, it’s time to look after my mental health. I’ll still be on the blog because in blogging I have found my own kind of therapy. For now though, Instagram is getting a holiday and I’m going to use the time to read more, get outside and binge The US Office.