I was stressed so bad from the last months of 2016 up until around February. The stress was so bad that it was directly affecting my body. I was having chest pains nearly everyday. I was susceptible to crying because of the betrayal I was feeling. It messed up my lady cycle so bad that for three months I didn’t get a normal period. I finally reached my wits end so I went on a blocking spree of news outlets on all of my social media accounts.
I have lived most my life not giving two shits what goes on in the political sphere. It was too complicated for me to understand (I know I have a history masters but politics was never something I really enjoyed studying. I am a medieval girl. I like reading about the people!). I always held the belief that all politicians are liars. That they only say what they think people want to hear in order to be elected. Once elected they just do whatever they want or whatever the people want that pad their wallets. So I never cared to know about them. I still believe this.
However, I began to realize that being ignorant to what goes on in the country I live in is no longer acceptable… to me anyway. I am in no way telling anyone else they need care. I learned that you cannot change minds that don’t want changing and that it fine. Anyway so I immediately dived into all forms of information I can get my hands on trying to catch myself up on the recent/past events. Things that I let slip from my not caring. Problem is that I bit off more than I could chew and burnt out.
I was following all sorts of news outlets, reading the articles, then looking for information to verify the articles… because… well historian/librarian here… fact check as best as possible… I am not perfect though. So after month and months of doing this I couldn’t keep up. There were news stories coming out like every fifteen minutes about all different subjects happening all at once. Healthcare. Russia. Cabinet Nominations. Bans. Laws being pushed through in the middle of the night. It was ridiculous. I am sure it still is but I refuse to have it in my face all day long.
So I took the advice of my therapist. She told me that I should set time aside once a day to read or watch the news. I don’t need to have it in my face all day long. I had to give myself a break, (B is for Break #atozchallenge), or I am going to continue being anxious. So one night with a tear stained face I went and unfollowed EVERYTHING. All of a sudden I was noticing that pages I used to read all the time were showing up in my timelines again. The owl page, cat videos, museums, and other forms of entertainments I enjoy. I felt like I was able to breath again. I blew away the heavy cloud that was hanging on my shoulders.
This is in no way a sign of me going back to my not caring days. I just cut back. I kept my membership in a couple groups instead of the fifteen I was in. I then joined local political organizations. I basically realized that any change I want to see happen needs to be focused on my local politicians and not the President. I am trying to have faith in the system and let it work. So I call up my reps daily. It takes fifteen minutes out of my day but I see how the phone calls help so I am happy to do it.
By eliminating the constant onslaught of news and having to swim through all the spins to find any truth I am much calmer. My lady cycle is even back to normal! TMI I know but I just wanted to illustrate how stress changes your body.