Social media has taken a toll on the average person’s psyche. American work expectations have created resentment and a desire for reinvention. Life in the United States continues to dissociate between what I believe are two different mindsets: “gaming capitalists” and the “off- gridders.” One is willing to fight the fight within a system of scarcity for material things and, to some, the tangible that brings intangible gains, and the other is desperate to break away from the scarcity model and create a peace based on self or communal sufficiency past cultures cultivated.
Depending on your reality and desires, your daily experience strongly reflects one of these groups. Someone reading this may see the benefits of becoming a day trader in this unpredictable yet bearish economy. In contrast, others may lean more toward bartering than relying on the standard currency. Both groups see unpredictability in the news yet choose a differing response. Both seek security in a world that has made us feel less secure and where practices reaffirming our safety must be intentional and habitual.
But the constant need to be a watchdog of one’s safety is tiring. And I don’t have all the answers, but I’m here to remind you: You need to rest. Hustle culture and current technology have convinced us to always be on. However, these two concepts are not sustainable for us on both the micro and macrocosmic levels, and as humans, it is time for us to take back the reins where we can.
For those straddling the two groups mentioned above, I will leave you with some suggestions on removing “alert mode” and putting your mind on “silent mode.” Please take a few minutes to consider some of your own.
*Also, do not approach exercise with an “all or nothing” mentality. Give yourself what you can and bring that joy into your space. Allow it to grow by giving it a start.
-Gardening: Do you need more space to garden but would love to start? Try starting with a shoebox, window, and an easy plant you find visually appealing or will likely incorporate into a meal. For those who need more confidence in their green thumb, buy an air-cleansing house plant, learn how to take care of it, and start your journey there.
Bonus tip: Some libraries have “seed libraries” located within them. Look up local libraries and inquire with them or join a seed-sharing Facebook group but learn what grows well indoors or in your climate zone first.
-Social Media content: I don’t use technology for everything, but it has pros. I’d consider using technology to decrease your exposure to social media and technology overall a self-care win. If you own a business or MUST post social media content, try using Jounce.ai, ChatGPT, or good ole’ Canva to create great content, and use a social media scheduler like Hootsuite to give yourself a vacation from the keyboard.
-Clean up your home screen: Sometimes, creating peace also means inaccessibility to the things that disturb it. If applications on your phone create dysfunction or addictions leading to dysregulated sleep, spending, or anxiety, delete them. You can set a timer with some of these apps (which we can easily ignore). Humans are still more intelligent than machines, and sometimes we have to take on the role of curator and moderator.
With these three recommendations, may you find more places of peace and time for inner connection by taming the noise in your life and bringing in what you know will make your heart full.
..till next time… be well 😊
Portia Ingram is the Director of Smart Start Suffolk for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, developing and coordinating early childhood programs. She owns Mind Align Solutions, LLC, a consulting company that creates and runs workshops on holistic planning and life skill development for children and adults. She has also worked and advocated for the disability community for over ten years in various positions ranging from clinician to policy advocate. She continues to share and provide resources to those in the community, working alongside politicians and non-profit organizations around Long Island. She is the author of the workbook The Helpful Planner and the young adult self-help book How To Survive Your 20s.