“That’s your solution? Have a cookie?’ Astrid asked. ‘No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over,’ Sam said. ‘But a cookie never hurts.” ― Michael Grant, Gone
It is no secret that most of us are suffering from information overload these days. From constant social media updates, the latest science and history lessons courtesy the University of What’s App, 24×7 news channels, to thought leadership articles and even humble blogs – content has exploded, and we are bombarded with opinions and views no matter which way we turn.
As with most things in life, this content explosion can be both good and bad. It can help to amplify marginalized voices, find like-minded communities, and open us up to new ways of thinking and living. Left unchecked, it can also drain us very quickly. Thanks to the algorithms that rule our lives these days, we are often bombarded with advertisements and promoted content that seeks to influence our thinking using the subtle art of fear-based marketing or by playing subtly or not-so-subtly on our emotions and insecurities.
And let’s be honest – no matter how much we limit our time on social media, we are still exposed to a lot more content than even our parents ever were. With this constant content onslaught and jockeying for our attention, it is no wonder that we often find ourselves either in a mode of semi-anxiety or craving a “news diet”.
“Practice being still amidst the chaos. This and only this will guide you where you need to be, to a place of infinite wisdom and inner peace.” ― Patience W. Smith
This recent painting in my art journal was meant as a reminder for me to find peace in the middle of this chaos. I have a few strategies and tools that I use to keep my thoughts and energy clear. Used regularly, I have found them to be immensely helpful. But if I slip up and ignore these for a while, the impact on my mental health and peace of mind is almost immediate.
Escape the chaos: limit social media use
One of the things that helps me the most is being very mindful of how I use social media. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the area where I often slip up the most!
The one thing that I try to adhere to, however, is to stay off social media on the weekends. Often times this means that I will not log in to either Twitter or Facebook; or if I do, it is limited to a strict 5-10 minute window for a very specific activity. My only exception is Instagram, but that’s because Instagram is my happy place!
I also tend to avoid social media in the evenings after about 8:00 pm. I prefer to use the later part of the evening to read, catch up with the husband, participate in my online ecourses – basically all the things that feel good and nourishing to me.
There are a few other strategies I have related specifically to social media. My post on navigating Twitter as a highly sensitive person outlines most of those and can be used across any social media channel.
Eliminate the chaos: news diet
“There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don’t watch the news on television – that is a hard NO and very different from my student days, when I used to enjoy watching the news and analysis on various channels. In fact, television news was one of my subjects in college, but the current media channels have strayed very far away from those journalistic ideals.
I also don’t read the newspaper, choosing instead to go online for my news. It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally found a couple of websites that offer largely balanced news and views. I also don’t read the news over the weekend and on holidays. Having those two days a week when I am not served with the daily dose of negative does wonders for my peace of mind.
Finding peace in the chaos: energy work
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
― Nikola Tesla
And then there are spiritual and metaphysical tools and strategies that I use to keep my energy clear.
Grounding and centering is key to keeping my energy clear, especially since I tend to overthink and over analyze and spend a lot of time up in my head. Grounding myself helps me to come into my body and listen to its wisdom rather than run around in circles in my head.
A regular meditation practice is another thing that helps me immensely. Even if all I can manage is 10 minutes at the end of the day, I try to mediate at least every other day.
I also like to burn aromatic leaves like rosemary or natural incense sticks to smoke cleanse myself and the house at least once in 15 days. Burning plants, resins, and herbs has been known to have scientific benefits when it comes to getting rid of bacteria and germs, and it just makes me feel squeaky clean energetically.
And I never leave the house without a few crystals in my bag. I always have either an obsidian or tourmaline, along with a rotating cast of crystals, which I choose intuitively. Currently, I’m traveling with obsidian, rose quartz, clear quartz and amethyst.
How do you find peace in the chaos?
That’s a look into some of my strategies and tools for reclaiming peace in chaotic times – I hope you find something here that helps you too! And if you have any other tools or strategies that you use to maintain your peace of mind, do let me know in the comments!