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Ten ways to live sanely  during chaotic times

By Njambi Wanjiku
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Living sanely  during chaotic times. Photo/Courtesy
In summary

We live in crazy times. No matter how you analyse it, the events happening around us are often unprecedented and challenging. The gamut of craziness runs from politics to egregious behaviour on social media. So, what can anyone do? Njambi Wanjiku explores how we can live well in these crazy times.

Be civil

Do not add to the craziness, but try to be civil as much as possible with those you disagree with.

Learn to balance your heart with your head, so emotionalism does not drive out reason. Take responsibility for your life and quit blaming others. 

Separate fact from opinion

Do not get excited about things that either are not true or are so wildly exaggerated as to get attention.

The late American politician, sociologist and diplomat Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.”  

Think before reacting

You should always act with integrity even when others don’t. Reacting without thinking and lashing out in anger are both shortcuts to an ulcer, injury or even death.

Just because others are behaving badly does not mean that you are justified to do so, too. Be different by doing the right thing even in a hostile environment.

Slow down

The longer you live the more convinced you will be that you accomplish more of importance by slowing down.

There are times when speed is necessary, but too often, speed only seems necessary because we are chasing rabbits instead of tracking the big game in life.

Eat slower

The most important thing someone could do to improve their health according doctors is to “chew more.”

In doing so, it slows how quickly we tend to gobble down our food. Chew each bite 20 or more times.

This simple-sounding tip is tougher than you might think. The trick is to be mindful, purposeful and tenacious.

Chewing slowly will help you reduce the amount of food you eat, or overeat for that matter, and improve gastrointestinal hormone responses as well.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sufficient sleep is a major influence on poor health. Short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.

Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and according to medical researchers, it is believed to cause poor appetite regulation.

Mental health issues, such as depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.

Do not pride yourself on burning the candle at both ends. Instead sleep enough to keep the flame of your candle going. 

Read for information

Don’t just read. Read for education and entertainment. Read novels that are not just engaging but teach something at the same time.

More importantly, do not read exclusively for pleasure. Read enough about current events to have an informed opinion and worldview on matters that matter to your life, career, family, health and your other interests such as music, sport or hobbies.

Watch news but…

Limit your news intake. News tends to repeat itself, both on broadcast media and in print. You can be saturated with so much of the same news each day, which adds to your frustration.

Be informed, but do not be inundated by news. And in its traditional nature, news media tend to have a liking for negative news.

So, the more you ingest news, the more you are likely to be stressed, especially now that we have too much going on in the world, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Work out

Despite how much we talk about it, few people do it enough and correctly. Exercising regularly helps people to stay fit, lose weight and lower the risk of developing certain diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. 

Regular exercising can also help a person age well. This may not seem important now, but your body will thank you later.

Open up

Normalise having deeper conversations with friends or perhaps a trusted family member. 

Go beyond ‘what are you doing’ to ‘what are you thinking’. Staying superficial is easy, but it is the junk food of thought.

You will learn more when you learn what others think and feel and why. Don’t keep it to yourself.

If you do so, you are not only going to injure your emotional well being, but you may subconsciously hurt other people. 

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