On Finding Distractions When the World Just Gets Too Big

My goodness, it seems there are a lot of awful things happening. I am feeling weighed down by all of it. My anger wants to get the best of me, gnawing away at my insides and wanting to flash outwards, which would add to the problems.

The reversal of Roe v. Wade has made me oh-so-angry. Mostly because of the re-relegation of women to become human incubators, no matter what they think about it, of course. Speaking as someone who nearly died from an ectopic pregnancy, I can tell you it’s radically unfair to label that an ‘abortion’ and put me in jail for it once I heal up. It’s devastating all on its own, trust me. Don’t need jail time and shaming on top of it. Yep, that’s what several states have mandated. But it also chaps that several of those SCOTUS peeps when they were nominees lied about “established law.” Another just outright stated he’s still angry about his confirmation hearing, so he’s going to do anything and everything to “burn the libs.” Great. There’s who I want on the highest court in the land.

And then they ham-strung the EPA even though combating climate change is a pretty important issue.

 The shootings of children and shoppers and parade goers are gut-kicking. It makes me livid that there have already been 307 mass murders so far THIS YEAR. You cannot convince me that normal people who are not soldiers fighting in a war need rapid-fire AK-anythings. It’s ludicrous. I don’t believe the desire to own one or several is more important than children going to school safely. I also know I will not change anyone’s mind. And no, I’m not lumping handguns and rifles in there.

And it’s insanely hot. And my mom is in the ICU. And my car’s air conditioner quit working this morning.

I cannot control any of this, except my car’s air-conditioning. I’ll need to gear up mentally and emotionally to deal with that, as I always think car mechanics laugh at my ignorance once my back is turned.

Here’s what I do to distract myself and/or practice self-care so that Overwhelm and its sister Despair don’t swamp me and paralyze any forward movement.

1.       Look at Zillow for new places to live. Currently looking for houses on at least 1 acre, so there’s room for a garden and a granny flat. Maybe room for fences, turrets, and a moat, too. Depends on my mood. Must have a Trader Joes and a swimming pool nearby. And at least four seasons, not one really long, hot one, followed by a short less-hot month or two.

2.       Watch “Unexplained” type TV shows about world mysteries. I’ve watched all those ones about aliens (on the History Channel, which always makes me laugh) and Unsolved Mysteries. My new favorite is Bill Shatner narrating the UnXplained (yes, they spell it wrong). It’s exactly like that really old show that his pal Leonard Nimoy used to narrate called “In Search Of.” I find that so meta.

3.       Read recipes for cakes and pies. Maybe re-watch the British Baking Show. Except right now it’s too hot to turn on my oven, and I don’t like no-bake things, so not really doing this one right now.

4.       Watch Alligator reels. (I know!) I just don’t understand why people would go near them. They are not remotely cuddly. That said, one of my bucket list items is to go diving with sharks, so take it all with a grain of salt.

In terms of self-care:

1.       I try to get my writing done as early as possible so the little words knocking around in my head don’t get the best of me and I stay on track to publish 7 books this year. So I get up at 4.30am. Yep.

2.       Exercise nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Swimming and walking at the moment.

3.       I do my best to drink a lot of water.

4.       Reading. I love books. I just wish I had room for a lot of bookshelves. Thus the looking at new places to live, see how that all ties together?

5.       Naps when possible. Several years ago, a girlfriend took me to see the Dalai Lama be interviewed. When asked about his solution for the world’s woes, he said, “Everyone get more sleep.” I have to agree.

What about you? What are your go-to’s when the world just becomes too much for one body to handle?