A reader asked – given all of the intense things I write about – how I stay sane.
Well, even though I spend a lot of time reading and writing about intense subjects, I exercise, get out and play, have a rich family life, and “re-charge my batteries” when I can.
Yes, Fukushima is spewing radiation, but if you stay inside to avoid it you’ll become so depressed that that will shorten your lifespan. Indeed, sitting for too long can be as deadly as smoking. Get out and exercise (which floods your body with feel-good chemicals), but take off your shoes before you come inside, and shower off afterwards. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment.
Yes, we’re probably heading into a great depression, but – if so – you’ll need your friends and family more than ever, so don’t ignore them now.
Yes, our country is drifting towards fascism, but if you don’t take time out from obsessing on politics to enjoy the little things, you won’t have the energy or creativity to keep on fighting for freedom and justice. Indeed, true courage comes from love … and so we will only have the courage to fight fascism if we engage enough with family, friends, community, nature etc. to be willing to fight to protect them.
And obviously, people of faith draw solace from their religious or spiritual communities, just as atheists can recharge their batteries from secular community activities.
So, the bottom line is that facing the truth while staying sane is a paradox. You have to learn to turn it off for at least short periods every day if you want to stay sane … and not burn out.