News Diet

Do you need a news diet?

A news diet I say? Yes, I actually think it’s a good thing!

It was late this past summer that I found myself feeling overwhelmed to the point of not even being in my life — I mean I was in it, but somehow not really there. I was caught up in work, running around and more. I also thought about how much news I had been taking in — all of it going from bad to worse each day.

What I noticed even more was not even reading the article so much but scrolling through the comments to see what people were thinking and/or saying about the topic at hand. Comments made me feel all sorts of things — in good company, scared to death, and/or not knowing how I felt even though I was often more troubled than reassured. This was another level of reading the news that I hadn’t accounted for. All the opinions of the news was driving my news intake!

In an effort to regain some of my life, my time, and myself back, I decided to go on a news diet. Let’s face it it’s very difficult to avoid news altogether in this super connected, now society. I knew I could not cut it out completely, but I could cut out reading comments altogether, browse the headlines of the news sources, and tune into the local and national news having it on as almost background noise and not following it that closely.

Two months in, I am much happier than I have been in a very long time. First off, I have more time to live in my life. Not sure what I am doing is exactly newsworthy but these are my days that are making up my years and thus my life. Whatever I am doing, I want to be in my own life and not the life of the news cycle and all of the people spinning their two cents.

Now off that merry-go-round life feels a lot more open for me to live my life on my own terms and not via the next headline. I know many people have told me they have taken a news diet with great results. I am glad I finally moved on it as well. My guess is I will keep this level of attention to the news going forward no matter what comes up.

Few News Diet Tips:

Don’t go all or nothing. A diet means you take in a bit less — how much less is up to you. it doesn’t feel realistic to go about life not knowing anything, but definitely take stock of how you are viewing the news and see what would make it less stressful for you to engage with the news.

Make sure when you do your review it isn’t just the news reading you are thinking about, but all of the other ways you are engaging the news — i.e. the comments section, following link after link, engaging in oral arguments with strangers, posting news on social media — as well as how much space the news of the day is taking up in your mind.

Once on your news diet, check in to see how you are feeling. Do you miss it? If so, which parts? If not, can this become a lifestyle — a way of being consistently with self? Are you feeling more at ease or more anxious not knowing everything. Keep a close tab on your news diet experience.

Now that you have more space for you, how are you choosing you? Are you relaxing, engaging a hobby, or something else? Where space has opened, what else is shifting in your life? Exciting!

I stand by my news diet and you won’t be surprised to know that I think it’s going to become my lifestyle — taking in a very limited amount of news.

That’s the news of the day!

Creativity Burst: Compliments

Yes you are all of those things and more. Let me be the first person to shower you with compliments today. It’s good for me and my spirit to do so — I definitely feel a burst of creativity when I see someone in his best light and share that thought with him.

For me, as people walk by me on any given day, I notice them. Do you? I see some amazing color they are wearing or their sweet dog they are walking or how good their hair looks and on and on. Even though these people are complete strangers to me, I share my thought with them, giving them a compliment.

I figure no matter what is going on in their day, hearing someone appreciate some part of them can only do good by that person and really all of humanity. How could one compliment get so big? Well, when that person feels good, he may pull his head up and notice someone else, extend a complement and the chain continues on. All of a sudden, you have a bunch of people – random strangers – connected to one another by appreciation and goodness.

And it does lead to creativity. Perhaps it is difficult to find something good about others who you see walking by. Perhaps there is a critical voice inside that thinks everyone walking by looks like an idiot, as an example. Well, then, noticing that this is how you view the other is a great moment to get creative and find something you like. That’s right, find something. Perhaps it’s too much to tell the other person, but finding something good creatively in the other person is a start.

For those of us whom it comes naturally to give away compliments, take that energy and give some compliments to yourself. Another problem we sometimes have is noticing the good in everyone else and actively calling it out to others, but then denying ourselves those kind thoughts from ourselves to ourselves. It is a wonderfully creative idea to think about what you are wearing or how you are feeling and give yourself the compliment. This may also not be easy, but it’s another way to cultivate creativity within.

Now, who will I compliment next?

Treat Yourself

It’s the first Monday of February Nothing is really special today. I woke up to realize it is still winter. Still gloomy. Still rainy. We are in a Leap Year, so February offers us 29 days this year – still short by a full day. February always feels short and sweet to me, but it is indeed regular time.

So, why would today or this week be one where you would treat yourself?

Well, exactly for this reason! Life is not offering up a particular holiday to celebrate, spring is still a ways off, and a month of 2020 has already slipped away. To capture the day and the moments in these ordinary days, it is important to make them memorable in your own way. Treating yourself is good for the soul on days like this.

What is a treat? I actually looked up images for treats and all it showed me was Halloween Tricks and Treats – what? Is that all American society thinks about when we hear the word treat?

For me, a treat is anything that I look forward to –perhaps it is that special coffee drink that you indulge in occasionally, or a piece of your favorite chocolate, perhaps it’s giving and receiving a foot massage, maybe you are going to whip up something delicious or – better yet- eat something sweet and rich.

A treat is something – big or small, can takes a lot of time or mere moments – but it is something special fo you to indulge in right in this moment.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and treat yourself! (No tricks needed!)

Who Are You Living For Anyway?

Life Your Way

I often hear people say they are living life for others. It’s so common that people say it without even giving it a second thought. It’s also something people say in plain, clear language:

  • It’s the kids I live for.
  • It’s work that gives my whole life meaning.
  • My spouse/partner makes my life worthwhile.
  • My parents need me.

It’s so common in American society — and actually this is true in most parts of the world – to live for anyone but yourself.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I live life for me.”

If you have, what was your first thought? I can think of many first thoughts in response to this little phrase, including:

  • Gee, that’s selfish.
  • How does he do that?
  • What’s wrong with him?
  • How shallow – no wonder he is alone.

Somewhere along the way living life for ourselves in our unique way became a problem for most people. Perhaps it was our parents who taught us and modeled for us being responsible and adjusting ourselves to please others? Perhaps it is easier to give one’s life over to some outside force, such as work, to not have to make decisions about one’s life? Perhaps we have experience with handing our power over to our partners and living for them rather than ourselves?

There are any number of reasons we live for everyone else and thing rather than ourselves. To put ourselves first is risky as we may be seen as selfish and unable to handle the responsibility called life.

So, how do we live for ourselves while also not being seen as “bad” or a “lone wolf?” Well, it’s all about you. We can never control how another will think of us, but we can control how we think of ourselves. Living life for you doesn’t mean you are selfish, but rather that you are embracing the highest form of you to contribute to the world, your community, and relationships. By being true to yourself, you aid the world in moving one step closer to authenticity. You also serve as a role model for others who are striving to do the same, i.e. to live an authentic life.

It is all in how we frame it for ourselves. Next time we are asked what or who we are living for, pause for a moment before you reply.

Who are you living for today?

The Holiday Hangover

Do you have a holiday hangover?

I’m not talking about being hung over from drinking too much, but rather the feelings of being “spent” or having made too much merriment? The holiday hangover I am also describing may be called the “Holiday Letdown.”

The holidays that have been building for what seems like months – in Seattle, the radio channels started playing holiday music on Veteran’s Day for goodness sake – and now it is over. No more songs on the radio, the holiday movies all of a sudden have no relevance, people are returning to work, and people are anticipating their credit card statements as they know the bills will soon be due.

It’s all back to reality in many ways. I know there is still the New Year’s Eve holiday and traditions to enjoy, but the presents are opened, the feast inhaled, and the merriment made to a large extent. Now, it’s about the clean-up and out of the season.

Do you have any rituals that you use to make the end of the season easier for you and yours? Do you spend time together before life rushes back in to play one more board game? Do you write your thank you notes really appreciating what was given to you by your loved ones? Do you make up a plate of leftovers to taste it all again one more time?

These are ways to mark the end and also savor just one more moment. With all of the hoopla of Christmas in the rearview mirror, how are you spending your day?

Salt Bathing

Salt Bathing – Ah!

Bathing is a wonderful way to take the day’s stress away and really relaxes the body before bed — helping the sleepless find sleep. No need to stay in the bath for a long time — even twenty minutes will do.

An indulgent ritual that cares for the self well.

If you want to take it up a notch, I highly recommend a salt bath. Along with the bubble bath that is surely fun for all us to soak in, I recommend the following Salt Bath recipe:

  • 1/4 c. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 c. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. Epsom Salt

Adding in this salty combo will not only heal any scrapes and nicks on your skin, but is supposed to remove toxins from the body. This could just be old folklore, but I feel “lighter” having added the salty combo to my baths.

Give it a try! Most of these ingredients we have easily sitting around our kitchen cupboards or in the fridge.

Bathe away!