“DON’T PANIC” - are the words printed in bold letters across the cover of The Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I don’t think there could be any better motto for our time.
The hero of the book, Arthur Dent, is constantly thrown into situations where panic is absolutely justified. From being expelled into interstellar space without a space suit to being stranded on prehistoric earth, panic is a completely sane response that doesn’t actually help anything.
I am very concerned for you, dear reader, and your capacity to handle the current circumstances. Of course, I’m also concerned for my own capacity to handle it, but this is about YOU right now. If you feel panic, or concern, or just uneasy in these times, here are a few suggestions that I’ve found helpful:
Pace Yourself - 30 minutes a day of social media per day is plenty for me. You might be able to handle more or less than this, but consider setting some boundaries for yourself.
You are in a Bubble - whether your bubble is Liberal, Conservative, Conspiratorial, Religious, Anti-Religious or Ethnic, no one has access to every perspective. Consider strategies of expanding your bubble to include more perspectives.
Talk to Someone ¹ - you may be more anxious, stressed or uneasy than you realize and a good conversation with an old friend can surface these feelings. On the flipside, you can probably help others who are feeling these things just by listening.
Find a Good Book - As mentioned, The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series would be a great choice, but any thoughtful and creative book will help break spirals of inward thoughts.
I hope you are all doing okay in these uncertain times, and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help! ²
¹ Important Note - In-Person and other One-on-One interactions are fundamentally different than social media comments, and extremely important! Always make sure you have the phone numbers and active text threads to at least three people you trust will respond in good faith.
² This was originally posted to email/Facebook - I’m not soliciting random strangers at the moment, sorry!