Is it just me, or has the current political climate, globally, made you twitchy?
Unless you live under a rock (sorry, very poor word choice), I'm guessing you've noticed that several headlines cycle through each day, offering further reasons for us to question our faith in humanity and in the world around us.
I mean, I get lightheaded when I start thinking about who's in and who's out of the Trump administration.
Keeping up with news in the United States alone is a full-time job, and I already have one of those.
It's a lot.
But being "woke," or informed, is the most important thing you can do for yourself in changing political and social climates. It's self-preservation, really.
So here are some ways I've found that allow me to stay up to date on current events without losing my shit (all while working full-time).
1. Sign up for the Daily Skimm.
Something to look forward to, the Daily Skimm sends free daily emails that summarize the big headlines of the day. And these headlines will seriously make you LOL.
2. Limit your news apps.
On my phone, I have what I like to call a smorgasbord: a little to the left, a little to the right and a little somewhere close to the middle. To me, that means: CNN for breaking news, Politico for politics and Aljazeera for world affairs.
To see what's going on with the Democrats, I go to NPR. And for that alt-right gobbledygook (sorry, now MY bias is showing), I reluctantly go to Fox. But, hey, don't take my word for it. Check your sources.
Everyone has a bias, and every corporation has an agenda. As much as we'd all like to take our favorite news anchor's word for it, we live in a world of alternative facts. So it's imperative that we, as consumers, trust but verify. Always verify.
3. Practice yoga.
A happy society is an informed one, but lately the news has become a point of contention. And, for me at least, it induces stress. That's why it's important to remove yourself from it every once in a while.
Not a fan of tree pose? Take walks or read fiction. Do something — anything — that's not related to current affairs. And I don't mean checking social media.
4. Talk to people.
Folks, our country is seriously divided right now. But progress, however you define it, cannot be created without some semblance of unity. I mean, imagine a group of friends unable to decide where they should eat out. Unless some compromises are made, a decision is pretty much impossible.
And if we don't actually want to live in a fascist society, we've really got to start listening to one another.
My advice? Get talking. Talk with people you agree with and people you don't. Talk with people whose ideas you've never even considered. Yes, even if they seem a little like a conspiracy theories. Just do it. Trust me.
5. Set aside time.
Staying woke takes time, y'all. It just does.
But as I've said, it is important that you do so. Sorry, I know there's a dead horse somewhere and I am responsible for beating it. Wow, I do dislike that saying...
Anyway, just set aside ten minutes a day. Don't have ten minutes? I don't believe you.
6. Click on uplifting stories.
I'm looking at you, Ms. Negative Nancy. There are positive things happening around the world every day, multiple times a day.
For example, check out the amazing SEAL team that rescued those boys and their coach from that cave in Thailand.
7. Avoid clickbait.
If you're reading this, I can only assume that you are not a fish but a human being. Therefore, with your opposable thumbs and pretty large brain, you should be able to distinguish between a headline that's being marketed toward your beliefs and an actual news story.
For example, I care about the environment. And because I have clicked on and searched items related to the environment, stories geared toward that topic pop up on my Facebook news feed and elsewhere on the internet. And we should all know that just because something is on the internet doesn't make it true, I'm looking at you, Wikipedia.
So be a human and don't go for the bait.
Phew, I feel more woke already. How about you?