Memes are pretty much my favourite thing right now. I love scrolling through Instagram trying to find things to make me laugh so I can share and make others laugh without doing the work. I also really like doing research about COVID-19; I try to find credible sources that are sharing real, valuable, and truthful information about what’s going on, so I can arm myself and my clients with the best advice to stay healthy and safe during this weird-ass time. Truth be told, I am online WAY too much. Anyone else feel me on this?
I watched/listened to Elizabeth Gilbert answer a fan’s question this morning on Instagram, and it really hit home with me. In her 16 minute answer (which I highly recommend, watch it here), she suggests that during this isolation period, maybe we aren’t isolating enough. And as a self-isolating extrovert struggling every day without human interaction, I couldn’t have disagreed more. But then, after taking it all in, I couldn’t have disagreed less.
She suggested that our eyes and ears have no choice to eat up what we feed them and that we need to isolate ourselves more from the things we are forcing upon our senses when it is negative, or anxiety-forming or self-esteem crumbling, or negative in any way. And this has never been more true.
Our senses feed our souls. Please read that again. Our senses feed our souls. What we consume with our eyes and ears is taken inside as perceived nourishment, and often it is so completely the opposite that it’s harmful to our health. But we have a hard time recognizing the signs. Or rather, connecting those signs with our sensual diet, if you will. We don’t see how what we expose to our senses can cause insomnia, but rather the opposite; When we can’t sleep we turn to our phones to get us through.
If you’re like me, you’re a fact seeker and or a fact-checker. This research can send your mind to places it shouldn’t go, and send your thoughts spiralling out of control. Not all of what you read is real nor can it be trusted, but it is hard to distinguish between the two. Fake news disguises itself as legitimate publications, but when the mask is taken off and we examine things more closely, it is nothing more than terrible writing with some hidden agenda; a wrinkle-free, botoxed version of the truth made to appear as true. However, the real truth is ugly, and it’s hard to find those flaws. There are also so many unknowns, and the truth is evolving and changing as everyone learns.
Right now, more than ever, we need to isolate ourselves from what is playing out online. The stress and anxiety of what we read, see and hear isn’t worth our time, and can negatively impact what is already a very hard time for all of us right now. Stress levels are high, anxiety is amplified, and we need to give our bodies and our souls a break. What we expose our senses to can be a source of stress, anxiety, insomnia, self-loathing, depression and so much more. Or we can choose to expose our senses to things that are real, that aren’t on a screen, and that drive positivity. We need to absorb less of what we are told, and more of what we do in daily screen-less moments. How can we do this?
By being diligent to our wellbeing:
- Catch up on the news once daily from a known and reputable news source
- Limit your screen time to a couple hours a day
- Get outside safely, any way you can, and daily
- Be diligent in filling up your time with activities that do not involve screens, whatever those may be to you
- Connect with other people in safe and meaningful ways – deeper than digital
The world will not end if you don’t add to your Insta story today. You CAN make food without showing the world. Your walk in the woods doesn’t need to be recorded. We, including myself, can all be better at this. Our life is not a performance; live not for the audience but for yourself. Being in the present moment, living mindfully, can create deeper and more meaningful experiences and connections. Let go and live deeper.