Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Information Overload

First, a couple pics.

Actually, I'm doing better today than yesterday, and better yesterday than the day before. This is where adopting a bit of Stoicism comes in handy. Stoicism isn't "don't care about things" or "don't have feelings"; it's about understanding which things you have control over, and controlling those things, and then just letting go of concern over the rest.

There's a lot of stuff going on right now that's outside of your control. Whether it's pandemic stuff or the associated legal or economic stuff, there's bad news aplenty to keep you busy reading all day. You can sit and press F5 on the CDC or DJIA  or $NEWS_SITE and get more info in real time all day while you're sitting at home. Right or Left, TV or Internet, news and editorial sites are a seething roil of panic and/or outrage, bad news and anger.

Here's some advice from a friend, dispensed in an online discussion sparked by that first image up top.
"So I’m spending half my time working right now reassuring people that a lot of what they are experiencing is totally normal. Anxiety prone people are biologically predisposed to be much more attentive to stimuli they find threatening and it feels superficially empowering to compulsively engage information about this crisis. 
But obviously it ultimately just exacerbates the anxiety and distress and then it’s this vicious loop of thinking more information is the answer.  
The information is all the same. You can learn everything you need to know with about ten minutes of reading per day. Everything else is just media doing the media thing. 
Also, the stress is just a background radiation right now so even if you aren’t dwelling on it, you experience it bodily through increased fatigue, restlessness, issues with concentration and short term memory, joint and muscle pain.  
I’m mostly telling my patients to be mindful of the line between being informed and just indulging a compulsion and to try listening to what their body is trying to tell them. Get plenty of rest. Move around. Get fresh air and sunlight. And find things that get you out of your head for a while. And navigating the stress of this while taking on the stress of hundreds of others is exactly as much fun as it sounds." -Michael Tichy, CNP
Ride your bike, play a game, read a book, binge watch that series you've been meaning to catch up on. But don't alternate hitting refresh on some news site or social media page and seething in the comments sections. Take care of yourself and yours and chill.