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In all the noise, “take a breath”

In all the noise, “take a breath”

Well, 2020 has not exactly started like I thought it would! Within three months we have had catastrophic bushfires and record setting drought, followed by floods, and then, almost just to round out the first quarter of the year with sh*ts and giggles, it’s a global pandemic.  Being a virus that is unknown has resulted in more questions than answers and requires us all to take a minute, or what I like to say to myself, take a breath.  There are plenty of articles and posts about social distancing and best hygiene practices but working from home today got me thinking about all the excess noise and how it’s affecting us, or at least, adding to the confusion!

Living in a world without certainty isn’t my strong suit, I love a plan, a routine, and I’m not a huge fan of change; so I appreciate that living with uncertainty and confusion can raise many people’s anxiety levels and/or trigger more serious mental illnesses.  But I believe it’s up to all of us who can, to take a breath, before we react to or spread “predictions” or “rumours” that we are all hearing.  Just take a breath to consider the source, take a breath to consider who you are going to share this “news” with, and whether this is going to help or hinder their state of mind.  Is it kinder to wait to pass on facts, than to be a contributing factor in raising someone else’s anxiety levels for passing on false information and just adding to the noise?

In a world where there is a 24 hour news cycle and lots of non-accredited “experts” about what we should be doing, now is the time to consider where you get your news and if Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are the first place you go for what is happening in the world, perhaps it’s time to make an exception and watch the news once a day.  I know the news for some can add to anxiety, stress and depression, but in a time when it is vital to remain informed, I feel it’s best to get that first hand.  By watching the first 20 minutes of the news a day, it is going to be far more informative and healthier than trying to determine what is legitimate news on a social media channel.  The novel coronavirus has shown me that in a crisis, social media in my opinion, should be used for memes, funny videos of people entertaining themselves in isolation, or on the other hand, heartfelt posts of those working on frontlines or raising money for charities helping those in need, not for facts.

Lastly, I think now is a time for some compassion, not just for the amazing medical staff and essential services staff world-wide who are turning up to work so we can be comfortable while we self-isolate, but also for the experts and leaders that have to make the “big calls” in a time when no one knows what we are dealing with.  We all want reassurance, and that is understandable, but  there will be plenty of time for finger pointing and judging when it’s done.  For now, let’s remember they are working under enormous stress and high expectations, are no doubt sleep deprived, and just as worried or scared as we are – after all, they are human too.

So, perhaps, one of the kindest things we can do right now for ourselves and for each other is to take a breath and think before we speak, tweet or post; is what we are going to say, helpful, or is it just adding to the noise.

Sommer Bath

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