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  • Writer's pictureJane Leder

10 Steps To Save My Sanity in 2020

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

With a new year and a new decade a matter of hours away, I thought I'd share my New Year's resolutions. I won't bore you (or me) with those that never seem to get resolved: losing those last 5 pounds, being less judgmental, volunteering more . . . You know the drill.

No, this year I have a new resolution to add to the mix: tamping down to save my sanity. You'd have to have been hibernating underground for the past three years not to feel the stress, the tension, the anger, the frustration that permeates our psyches every day, every night. It's been rough--probably, even rougher for sensitive souls and, might I add, political junkies.

I admit: I'm one of those political junkies. I wake up in the morning, fire up my iPad and, while still in bed, log on to at least three online news sites. I get out of bed, don a robe and slippers, and walk carefully down the stairs to the kitchen where, while making my breakfast, I either turn on the radio or the TV. I might have missed something in the intervening two minutes.

By then, my heart is thumping, the tension in my neck throbbing, and my enthusiasm for the day ahead crushed.

Enough is enough. I have to restore my well-being before I lose my sanity and physical health to boot.

So, what steps to take? Here's my list:

  1. Don't use any devices in the morning and, if possible, during the rest of the day.

  2. Watch a lot of HGTV (I actually like the couple from Mississippi and their show, "Home Town." I've had enough of "The Property Brothers" and "Love It or List It." I mean how can an empty house compete with one that has been professionally staged?)

  3. Listen to classical music. (I'm a blues, reggae, and oldies but goodies gal. But classical music is soothing, and god knows I need soothing.)

  4. If I must watch the news, forget about MSNBC, CNN. And it goes without saying that FOX be included in that list. Better to check out PBS ("Sesame Street" will do.)

  5. Volunteer for a political candidate or march. This may sound counterintuitive, but there is strength in numbers and, right now, I can use all the strength I can get.

  6. Walk, dance, go to the gym . . . Get out of the house and move. The more endorphins, the better. (If necessary, consider a mild antidepressant.)

  7. Reprogram my car radio. Sirius is great, and I do pay $16.99/month. But delete Progressive channels, including MSNBC. It's too easy to sneak a listen every once in a while no one can see you.

  8. If necessary, practice muting the TV or, better yet, flipping to another channel. My husband cannot walk into the den if a certain politico is on the screen. So, in my free time when he's not around, I practice flipping like a marathoner practices running. The faster, the better.

  9. Unfriend anyone on Facebook whose politics run counter to mine. I mean, Facebook is a site to post cozy photos of family and friends or clever sayings like "When you're dead, you don't know you're dead. The pain is only felt by others." True. But, hey, I found out the hard way that Facebookers don't want to deal with "heavy" stuff. Keep it light.

  10. And, finally, party hard. We're off to a raucous New Year's Eve party tonight. I won't be tamping it down. Nope, I'll be moving at full speed. Nothing like good friends, good food, good music, good conversation to renew a sense of hope for the year/decade ahead.


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