How To Stay Sane When The World Is Going To Shit

close up of globe
Photo by NastyaSensei Sens on

Originally published May 26th, 2019

I don’t know whether any of you have been watching the news lately, but it very much appears that the world is going to shit. Climate change is threatening to destroy the world as we know it, but very few people seem to want to do anything about it. Politically, things are starting to resemble mid-1930s Germany. Even the glorious news of evil politician-bot Theresa May’s resignation was bittersweet considering the gaggle of privileged white men who are lining up to replace her are all various shades of deplorable. We live in tough times, folks.
The question is, how on earth can any of us expect to stay sane when modern society is crumbling around us? How can anyone with a uterus not lose their shit completely when they hear about what’s going down in Alabama? How can the non-fascists of this world bear it when Nigel Farage is spewing his poison daily, with not even the power of a well-thrown milkshake being able to stop him? I’m frankly surprised that we’re all managing to function normally at this point. I’m about THIS close to throwing in the towel completely, selling all of my worldly possessions, and going to live on a remote, otter-filled island as St Cuthbert did all those centuries ago. It’s genuinely such a tempting prospect.
Unfortunately, though, real life has a way of interrupting my fantasies about shunning society and becoming a hermit. There’s this thing called employment that I have to do for five days a week. I’m not sure my employers – or anyone, for that matter – would approve if I spent all-day, every-day screaming into the abyss. We all have to find a way to carry on with our daily lives, despite the numerous threats to society’s existence. How can we manage it, though? It’s not easy, that’s for sure. The only thing that’s helped me to stave off the tidal wave of existential dread is watching the news a bit less, which is genuinely upsetting to a news junkie such as myself. I find it hard to survive without my daily dance to the BBC News theme. (Such a banger.)
The truth is, we shouldn’t ignore what’s going on around us, because a lot of it is truly scandalous. We shouldn’t allow the world to become ruined entirely by climate change and the overuse of plastics. We shouldn’t let the far-right continue to wheedle their way back into political discourse. We should, in my opinion, continue to douse Nigel Farage in lactose-based products at every possible moment. But at the same time, we should also find a more effective way to cast him back into the pit of hellfire from whence he came.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, we should do our best. We shouldn’t spend all-day, every-day gripped by panic about the way the world is going, because if we did spend our time like that, we’d never get anything bloody done. We should do what we can, and be safe in the knowledge that we’ve done something to make the world a better place. But, we should also get on with our own lives, too.
I feel like in today’s increasingly “woke” world, we’re all under a lot of pressure to spend every waking moment of our lives fighting some injustice or another. If we don’t, we’re all terrible people who are just as bad as the fascists. The truth is, though, that’s not a feasible way to live. You’ve got to take a break from activism at some point. If not, you’ll burn out completely, and turn into a husk of a person who may have a lot of “woke points” but has literally nothing else going on in their life. It’s not a great way to live.
That’s not to say we should all stick our fingers in our ears and pretend things are TOTALLY FINE. But at the same time, we all need to take a deep breath from time to time, turn off Twitter and BBC News, and have a bit of a chill. Our sanity will thank us for it. On that note, I’m off to play vintage video games and eat a massive slice of cake. I might even get a milkshake.

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