Ahh, New Year's! We often begin the New Year with a list of promises and a vow to "eat better", less crap and more organic whole foods. Don't get me wrong, I love me some kale and brussel sprouts, but here's a thought. Instead of vowing to eliminate "bad food" and to eat more "good food", why don't you try looking beyond what you actually put in your mouth and take a good look at other "foods". Let's talk about what your actual "intake" is. I'm not counting calories or weighing food here. Besides food and drink, what are some other things you actually "take in"? How about things in your environment? What you see, hear, and expose your senses to. Social media, news, even people. You take in A LOT from those sources, both good and bad. Just like food, you take in Social Media. Ever get so involved in a political tete-a-tete with a relative that you felt physically sick? How about the news? Watching or listening to the news before bed is like having a whole pizza (and a nasty one at that, think cheese-filled crust and lots of bacon) before you close your eyes and head off to LaLa land. Most people wouldn't do that, but a heck of a lot of people watch horrifying news before bedtime and wonder why they can't sleep. It's all food, people! And speaking of people, you can take them in, too. If you don't believe me, think about the last time you were stuck in a corner speaking to your most annoying fill-in-the-blank (relative, colleague, acquantance). They are all fired up telling you about the horrible things that could/might/did (fil in the tense) happen and you just want to get away, but you can't because your energy is literally being sucked out of you. Yes, many of you don't eat people, but you do take them in.
So, yes, in a way, Social Media, the news, and people are food. There is a lot of crappy food out there, but thankfully, there is a lot of good nutritious food out there, too. What can you do about this crappiness? I'm not telling you to bury your head in the sand and only surround yourself with positivity, but I am encouraging you "TONE IT DOWN" (yes, I used all caps for that)! Go ahead and stay informed, but choose a time to do it then give yourself a break! Don't let Social Media beome a Social Suck. Spend some time nourishing your mind with good food, good books, and great podscasts (see below). Regardless of what you like to listen to, think about how it affects you. If Social Media were a food, what would it be? Think about people in the same way. We all have those energy sucks in our lives, those people that just bring you down. I'm not talking about friends who are going through a hard time. I'm talking about people who just bring you down. All they see is darkness and negativity. They love to complain, yet provide very few solutions and have little to no hope. Thankfully, there are people in your life who are like Social Smoothies. You know, those people who just make you smile, laugh, and feel better about yourself and your place on this planet. They also help you realize ways you can actually help on those days you feel particulary helpless. Hell, maybe you are Social Smoothie yourself (with chia and protehlin powder).
Now, do yourself a favor and throw your freakin' diet out the window and think about all of your "food". Limit your exposure to the negative Social Media, news (good news doesn't tend to make good news), and Negative Nellies, and take in more of the good stuff. Better yet, don't make the change yet. Take a few days and just observe your daily routine and really take a look at all you take in. Then, take baby steps towards cleaning up your "diet". Small changes add up. Good luck and have a kick-butt year. We will be in touch.
* I recently spent some time driving to Rhode Island. I was alone and could have listened to some damned depressing news, but instead I decided to listen to a few episodes of one of my favorite podcast, "On Being" by Krista Tippett. If you haven't heard of this podcast, you should really give her try.