In this age of technology, we are constantly bombarding ourselves with information. By the end of the day, our heads swirl with the new content we have consumed. "Who did the Bachelor hand a rose to? How many followers did I gain? Did you see what the President tweeted today? Are my eyebrows on fleek? Republican? Democrat? Illuminati confirmed! #keepingupwiththejones'. Scratch that, #keepingupwiththekardashians."
America is changing, that is wildly apparent. We say "these days" with a crude distaste of the current times. It's like we've been swept up by a tornado and crash-landed in a new world of Oz, Doctor Oz. #datkalelife.
So how can we find solace in the cacophony of electric chaos that is 2018? It's simple, really: we reduce our "bubble." Imagine if you will that you are standing in a bubble – just like Glinda the good witch, we're in the land Oz after all. This bubble represents your mind, body and soul. It fluctuates in size as we grow and learn.
We all start with small personal bubbles. As we take in information, we are forced to stretch our bubbles to encompass all of the new ideas, standards, trends and places we interact with. Eventually, the bubble gets pushed past its capacity, becoming so large that we lose ourselves and our boundaries within it. This can make life seem overwhelming and unmanageable. The goal, then, is to reduce our personal bubbles back down to a manageable size. How do we do that? We power off, get social IRL and get away.
The first solution to your new #solace2018 goals is to POWER DOWN! Yes, you heard me right. Turn the device(s) off – not just on silent or "do not disturb" – OFF (preferably buried under six feet of dirt). I understand that the feeling of missing out on social media buzz can be distressful and unsettling.
The internet fools us into thinking we need to know all the things, and we need to know them now! However, the human mind was never meant to be in a million places at once. That trickster internet gets us every time. If we cut our connection to the internet for at least two hours a day, it can help bring our bubble back in touch with the here and now. Being completely present in the moment can feel freeing and take stress off of that expanding bubble.
Get social IRL
One of the main factors into how far-reaching your bubble extends is social media. We love our social media and we love to hate it. Our world cannot function without those tiny notification bells. Social media is the status quo.
A major problem, though, is people participating in social media but not participating in social situations IRL (in real life). We are great at creating Facebook groups, but not so great at creating in-person social groups. We are too busy checking the latest K-pop music videos instead of gathering the local K-pop fanbase together in one space.
Being with face-to-face with people who share a common interest builds a sense of community. Having community gives us security and support to face our everyday struggles. Having a tangible connection with others cannot be overlooked. Getting social in real life can bring your bubble closer to home and heart. So take a chance, find your people and get out there!
"Getting away" may seem contradictory to "get social IRL." However, we often unintentionally create a toxic space around us: a space so focused on technology and someone else's business that it stresses us out. Physically getting away for a weekend or even a day trip can remove us from the hazardous environment. This allows us to detox and refocus ourselves and our bubble.
A great way to do this is to check out your local Airbnb postings. People rent out their personal rooms and homes just like a hotel. Some of the rooms and homes are very unique. Airbnb now features Experience Bookings, so you can have activities to do in the area you are in. This is a great way to explore your city and build some community as well.
When you find yourself overwhelmed with "these days," try to bring your scope down and make your bubble smaller. After that, the wonderful electric chaos of 2018 might not be so bad after all.