Stay Politically Engaged Without Losing Your Mind

October 3, 2019



Just the thought of politics can tie a knot in your stomach and make your blood pressure skyrocket! From losing sleep to feeling depressed to arguing with family and friends, today's democracy in action isn't exactly inspiring any of us. New data shows almost 40% of people say politics created stress in their lives. About 1 in 5 said they had lost sleep, felt fatigued or even depressed due to politics and around 20% said politics had hurt their friendships. It's no wonder why many choose to tune out the noise not realizing that it is our civic duty to pay attention and participate.  SO here are some way you can stay engaged with politics without losing your mind.  Politics is not a sport. When we view politics as a game or reality show, expecting entertainment instead of doing our civic duty, we're bound to lose interest and at best, we become bored.  At worst we don't show up at the ballot box. With the introduction of social media, many feel that making a snarky post or watching a viral videos of politicians' gaffes is enough participation. This sort of "cheap participation" has replaced the everyday, more mundane forms of activism: community organizing, engaging in local elections and voting in the midterms. That's not to say you should show support or disdain on about our government online but follow it up with traditional action. Know when to tune in, and when to tune out. For many people, continual alerts from news sources, blogs, social media and alternative facts feel like missile explosions in a siege without end. So manage this kind of emotional tension. If you find yourself obsessively checking the news throughout the day, take "digital breaks," which could mean stepping away from the screen and taking the dog for a run, or making sure to stop your news consumption at a definitive time every night. Above all else, channel feelings of powerlessness into direct action, whether that's writing letters to your state representative or lobbying Congress in person. The old adage, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," has never rung so true. Focus on the bigger picture by looking back at how our country has struggled, and persevered, through other difficult times in the past, and stay true to your own moral compass. Remember that arguing with your uncle on Facebook isn't going to save democracy, let alone your sanity.

SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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