Saturday, July 21, 2012

Avoiding Triggers and Bad News

I don't want to write this piece, but I feel like it's mandatory.

Unless you've been off line the last day or so, once again the US had a fatal public shooting, this time during a midnight opening showing of the new "Batman" movie.

Once again, the media, doing what they do, run an interview the survivors. Hear the horrible tales. For the next few weeks, we will be assaulted by news of the burials, and learn more about the shooter. The shooter will get a fair trial and then when it's over, banished to the back pages, brought out only when the next one happens, where ever it happens, what country it happens in.

Here is some wisdom they don't teach you in Kindergarten. Life is hard. Some people are nice, some people are not nice. Mean people suck. Life isn't sunshine and rainbows, bad things will happen to you. Hopefully the worst things a human being goes through is loosing family members, sheerly by out living them. Your grandparents, your parents. Your beloved pets.

You will get your heart broken. It will hurt like hell. The amazing thing is the next time it happens the pain is a little less.

You will hear/see things you would not normally see in this world. That's because as Social Media makes us closer, it also gives us too much information. We know can read about the death of a despot, Social Media makes it possible for people to tweet, You Tube pictures of it happening.

So you are feeling fragile today. So am I. Here are a few tricks I've learned from working in a news environment, and just from living through some horrific things in my life.

You need to take care of you. Turn off the TV. Don't watch the news. Turn it off. If you must watch TV, watch something like a sporting event, or a cooking show. Even children's TV shows. (There are a few real good ones. I've just discovered Phinneas and Ferb).

Is it a nice day where you are? Get dressed and go for a walk. Have a dog? Take it for a walk, or a dog park. If you are single, this is the best thing you can do. Maybe you will meet the love of your life. Hey, it's happened for several people I know. (I've even met a guy once who was walking his cat).

Speaking of parks- wonderful places. Go to one with a small picnic lunch, or if you live in a city, buy a hot dog and a soda, find a bench and watch the people. Buy some bread and feed the pigeons, just getting happy seeing the pigeons enjoying the bread. Sounds silly? One of the smartest men ever, Tesla, loved feeding the pigeons every day in the park when he was in NYC during the last few years of his life. If it worked for Tesla, it might work for you.

I understand if you are afraid to go to the movies, - that's OK. Why not rent a movie? A lot of this year's Oscar winning films are now on DVD. Have a favorite TV show on DVD  you've been meaning to watch? Do it. (Yesterday I wasted six hours sitting on the couch watching old Red Dwarfs. It's my favorite TV show ever, and it always cheers me).

If you can get to the sea, a lake, or the ocean, that is very relaxing. Unfortunately, the traffic to these places really can give you agita, so it's a double edged sword.

A Library is a great to go, or if you would rather, go to a bookstore, and get a coffee. Go to a coffee shop.

Listen to music, or a book on tape.

When all else fails- take a nap. Hey, nothing wrong with a nap on the weekend. Just don't make it more than an hour or so. it's a NAP, you don't want to be awake all night because your nap was four hours.

Some other ways (children leave the room) if you have a partner, or are married- well, have some "alone time". Sex is a wonderful thing, it burns calories (yay!) releases endorphins (yay) and it makes you feel good and close to someone.  If you don't have a partner or are not in a relationship- well,  I understand, I'm in that boat too.  A nice long bubble bath works for me in this case.

Turn any instant news texts/alerts on your cell, if you get them. Turn off your computer. It will be there tomorrow. Pretend you live 100 years ago, before computers and phones were invented.

Take care of you. You are the most important person in the universe. If you are over a certain age, no one will take care of you, you have to take care of you. You can't be a friend to someone if you are in a bad patch. And the whole idea is to avoid bad patches, and triggers so you can stay in good shape, physically and mentally.

Now it's time for me to follow my advice. I'm logging off for the day, and I'm going to go out and go to a coffee shop. I'm the cute blonde wearing a black t shirt and denim clam diggers, with a green and blue scarf with flowers, drinking the mochachinno.


Ruth said...

Hope you had a great time being unplugged and relaxing. :)

Unknown said...

The best way to avoid depression is to turn off the media, focus on the positive and avoid the negative. And get out and exercise. Solidarity, Susan!

Shannon said...

Lovely post, thanks for the reminders!

Unknown said...

thank you very much for writing this because this is EXACTLY how I was feeling today. I just fell into a hole and stayed there today, emotionally paralyzed and glued to the news online. Thanks. You are very perceptive and empathic. Wish you were my mom.

Alyssa said...

I've been struggling with how to process the news. I started to blog about the situation, but I didn't know what to say or how to say it. I noticed that today I was feeling lower than I have in a while.

I feel like this will really help me, so thank you. :)

susan said...

@Ruth, I did! I went to a coffee shop and I went to the local dog park. Saw a lot of cute doggies. I also had a bubble bath. That was sheer pleasure.

@Rossa, thank you- yes Solidarity!

susan said...

@Kathryn, thank you. Did you get out of your hole? Are you doing ok? Your link doesn't take me to a blog, so I don't know how to reach you.

I am so touched you said you wish I was your mom. I don't have children, but I am blessed to have the best mom- well I think she is anyway. I do wish I had a daughter though, a lot of times. Thank you so much for the compliment, and please stay in touch

susan said...

@Alyssa, how are you doing? I took a look at your blog- I'm now following it on FB! - and will be reading it later. (Yes, I was off the computer all day yesterday except in the evening to check out the weather).

You are more than welcome, I am glad I helped someone. These are actually things I came up during Sept 11, since I live close to that, and every anniversary it's too much for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I have decided I am definitely in hell. No meds that work, no talk that works. It is all just a trap isn't it? You can't live but you aren't suppose to die.


Some very good advice. Thanks :-)

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