Doing the Unthinkable – Going Offline
"The biggest source of stress in
my life is the screen, the blogging."
~Jessica Valenti, founder and editor of
mean, let's get real here. It must be really, really nice not to have a
greater crisis eating up your attention and time than blogging. On the
other hand, I understand exactly what Valenti means.
Anything can cause us to lose focus on what is fundamentally important, even seemingly innocuous things. For some parents it could be getting sucked into over-scheduling extracurricular activities
for the kids, for a college student it might be taking on too many
credit hours, for a young professional it might be the pressure of
passing their certification exams the first time around. I've known people to have serious debilitating anxiety over these things.
Why stress over such stuff when there are so many much more serious troubles in the world? Unemployment, illness, war. Take your pick.
Because it's our direct experience that's important to us, that's why. I tell my patients all the time, please, don't compare your stress to someone else's. It's like comparing pain of any kind. It can't be done. We can and I hope do, have compassion for each other but who am I to minimize the stress of a new mother just because her baby is healthy? Or of a young man, trying his hand at being an entrepreneur? These are good things, right?
Sure they are. But still it takes courage to do them and doing them can be stressful.
And what about blogging? I know I needed a break this weekend. Not going online for a few days was hard the first day. Easier the second. Genuinely cleansing the third.
We all need a break whatever is causing us stress; a respite, a moratorium. If you can, I recommend closing the door on whatever is causing stress for you and getting back to some fundamentals like uninterrupted sleep, play time with the kids, cooking a favorite meal, eating it.
You will get back to your unique not-to-be-compared life, refreshed and stronger.