I don’t know about you, but the ‘be kind’ mantra of early 2020 seems to have been lost during the throws of Brexit, COVID, US elections and the general fall out of global events over the past year.
Not a day goes past when I don’t see a barbed comment on Facebook, spats on Twitter (which are getting worse by the day) as well as confrontations in supermarkets.
Get a grip people.
I know that tensions are high.
People are tired.
The kids are at home and no one can find clean pants, let alone pens and workbooks for school.
The future is uncertain and ever changing.
But, we can still be kind.
Getting caught up in toxicity, being triggered online, and dwelling on the doom, is so easy right now, but the good news is that is doesn’t have to be that way.
While that content, those opinions and attitudes are out there, you don’t have to be a part of them.
You don’t need to get drawn into the conversations, or see them and play them out in your head, something that is all too easy to do.
I have some easy ideas on how you can ride the waves of toxicity so that you remain calm and stay in your own lane.
Turn off the news
This was a big one for me as a PR agency owner. I needed to know what was going on in the world around us, so I could jump on stories for clients and make contacts with the right journalists and influencers. Today, I don’t need to do that, so I have taken a step back from looking. I am not totally ignorant, but spending time going through the headlines, looking at the nitty gritty details and being immersed in scaremonger wasn’t helpful, so I stopped. I watch maybe 30 minutes of BBC Breakfast, the odd look at a couple of news sites, but other than that, I don’t need that toxicity in my inbox, or face, so I have let it go.
Mute, mute and mute again
This, 110%. IT would seem that all of a sudden there are a sea of world class medical, education, and political experts out there who we didn’t know were so qualified. That is because they are not. WhileI love social media and spending a lot of time on it, so many people have decided that they know better than anyone else and want to private their point until the bitter end. Pages, groups, feeds, it’s all there to be seen and if you find it too much, mute the noise. You don’t need to tell them, because quite frankly you don’t need the drama of the response, but you can leave groups, unfollow pages and people, delete apps and replace angry noise and confrontation with positive memes and cute dogs.
Will it matter in a year?
Yes, you might be annoyed that Sandra next door made a comment about your kids, or that uncle Bob went to Asda in a mask, but seriously, getting your knickers in a twist about their sh^t isn’t worth it. Step back, think about it clearly and ask yourself, will you even remember that Sarah in HR didn’t reply to your email in an hour?
Don’t believe the hype
I know you know, but what you see isn’t always the truth. We tend to post our own best bits on social media, rather than the bit when the dog peed on the carpet and the kids went feral, and that’s what other people do too. You might think that everyone is sorted and coping in this situation, but really, are they? If they are, hats off to them, but don’t let what you think is going on for someone else, cloud how well you are coping.
Don’t get involved
You might want to wade in with your fluffy slippers, but becoming a key board warrior isn’t going to help anyone, especially you. Yes, stay true to your values, but don’t get into nasty online fights that will leave you drained, cross and struggling to sleep. Let it go, and move on.
I know that not everyone can do this, but a breath of fresh air can be so good for you. We might not get much vitamin D right now here in the UK, but getting away from your desk or screen, embracing the elements and just getting rid of some that toxic noise can help your mind as well as your waistline if you walk fast!
It goes without saying that eating well, drinking water and getting enough sleep is a good idea when it comes to riding the waves of toxicity as these things will help you stay healthy, but go easy on yourself and do what you can, when you can. The reality is we are are in the middle of a global pandemic, so as I said at the start of this post, be kind people.
Be kind to him.
Be kind to her.
Be kind to them.
Be kind to YOU!