A decluttering detox (or how to stay off Facebook for a month)

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I have a confession to make. I consider myself to be a generally healthy person, and by that I mean in mind and body. As much as I’ve explored the connection between food and health on this blog, I’ve also frequently referenced the importance of a healthy mind and balance in all things. You can’t have one without the other – both are needed for being in that so-called ‘good place’.

Right now I don’t feel like I’m in an especially good place. Part of this comes from doing too much, which is my own fault. I read somewhere the other day that we consider it a badge of honour to be busy, like the more busy we are the more admiration we think we’ll get from everyone around us and the more we admire our own capabilities. If you look around your inner circle you’ll see this is 100% true, but it is also completely absurd.

When did we start to judge our worth by how many things we can juggle at once? By how many events we can attend in a week or how many tasks we can tick off our to do list in a day? What happened to a long lazy weekend of doing nothing – a long afternoon picnic with no commitments afterwards or a weekend at home where you read a book instead of doing chores all day. Nobody does these things anymore…or if you do, it’s only because you’ve managed to fight off four or five obstacles which have attempted to derail your zen. You basically have to go into hiding, battening down the hatches against the tide of activity that hungrily threatens to engulf you.

But that’s only part of my problem. The other part is the constant barrage of negativity. The world has always been a cruel and complicated place, but now we know exactly how cruel and how complicated every second of the day. Thanks to the digital age, you can’t escape it for a second when you’re online. Our social media newsfeeds are filled with people trolling one another, arguing and shooting each other down at every opportunity. The news is filled with stories of desperate humans and animals being violently and distressingly hurt or oppressed. The planet is dying and the majority of humanity appears to be doing jack shit about it, with most not even seeming to care.

It’s no wonder a recent American study showed that 70% of teenagers are stressed, depressed and anxious. That doesn’t even account for us ancients over here in Gen X and Millennials (or Xennials!), who feel the same way but also have more responsibility, which further escalates the general sense of panic.

There is no real solution for this problem of Too Much, it’s symbolic of the times. But there are small things we can do to find calm amidst the roar of the noise.

I’m trying two things in the short term: taking a break from facebook (except to post blog links from a pages manager app) and saying no. I’ve tried saying no before without any great degree of success, but apparently when you try and fail you are supposed to try again, so –  second time lucky! And staying off social – I know that’s not going to change anything, not really. But it certainly will declutter my mind, hopefully enough so that my sleep improves and my general feeling of well-being with it.

I’m hoping that with less influence from what’s going on around me, I’ll start to appreciate a rainy day instead driving myself crazy worrying about all the dogs tied up outside with no shelter. I might find fulfillment in a random connection with a stranger, instead of reading about strangers who are having their most basic human connections taken away. The world won’t magically become a better place while I’m in my bubble, but maybe I can become better for the world. We should always be putting in what we hope to get out and sometimes to do that, we just need to take a breath and build up our flagging reserves. Catch me on whatsapp and let’s see how this goes!

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