Around the end of the never-ending January I started noticing I was beginning every morning in a funk, which totally went against the attitude I’m trying desperately to have this year. (Trust me, sunny disposition Emily is not a naturally occurring state. It takes work. So.Much. Work.)
I wasn’t waking up particularly grouchy (not for me anyway) but by the time I was leaving for work a dark cloud was firmly intact over my head. And it had nothing to do with my job, so I started trying to figure out what on earth I was doing between waking up and heading out the front door that kept putting me in such a foul mood. It didn’t take long.
My morning routine, once I got Justin out the door, had mainly consisted of scrolling through Facebook (other social media too, but mostly Facebook) until I had absolutely no choice but to get my ass up and move toward the shower. It quickly dawned on me it was during that time the funk (sometimes sadness, sometimes rage, sometime both. How fun!) emerged.
So, I decided for one morning to push aside the Facebook and just see what would happen. I limited myself to a few minutes to look through while I waiting for my life-giving coffee to brew and after that sat the phone down. During the time I usually used to hold down the corner of the couch staring at a tiny screen, I got a complete meal in the crock pot, made another entire meal and even had time for a bonus cup of coffee. I also managed to do a little yoga and finally crack open a devotional book that I had been meaning to look at for a year. And for the first time in a long while, Brody and I got out the door early for school.
I wish I was joking, because this was ridiculous.
The aforementioned funk also stayed away. Clearly, this was something worth trying to stick with.
Turns out that looking at the scary and depressing real news, the scary and depressing fake news and a lot of arguing for 30 minutes to start my day is just not good for me.
Now, I do understand the reason for the all the scary and depressing news (because, well, it’s real), the political posts and the arguing. (I will never understand the fake news. If you have time to share a link, you have time to see if the story’s actually real. Journalism major at heart here.) It’s important stuff that’s no joke. I get it. It’s not that I don’t care. I just can’t look at it for hours a day. I go down a rabbit hole and get stuck and get nothing done. I can do far more for causes I care about when I’m not stuck depressed and staring at a wall.
I’m in no way declaring I’m quitting Facebook. (If you’re looking at this, I’m sure it’s because of a Facebook link.) Just cutting back. It’s like going from a pack a day smoking habit to one a cigarette each morning. It’s still terrible for you, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. I’m also not saying Facebook is evil, but it can occasionally bring out the evil in some people. I truly enjoy it when I get to use it to keep up with friends and see stuff they’re excited about. And I’m sure I’m missing some of that now, but the self-care part of it is too beneficial to ignore.
The habit of feeling like I have to read everything on social media has been surprisingly easy to break. Sure, if I’m being honest I’m not usually as productive as I was that first morning. Mostly I spend that time playing a few extra rounds of Candy Crush (I will never stop playing it!) or reading an actual book for a bit, but it’s still better than getting angry and sad to start each day. I also kept up the five-minute yoga and devotion reading, and since I started this new morning routine I have been less of an anxiety-fueled nervous wreck. Coincidence? Maybe, but who cares? I haven’t felt like I’m having a heart attack in a couple of months. I’ll stick with it.
P.S. Instagram! It’s nicer there. Pictures are lovely and less anger inducing. Or for me, at least.