How to Keep Politics from Ruining Your Holiday (Stress-Free Holidays Part 2)

I did a radio show last week on this topic, and a man called in complaining about an issue in the State Legislature…of Virginia. This was a local show here in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Me: “Sir, do you live in Virginia?”

 

Caller: “No, I live right here in the great State of Georgia.”

 

Me: “Are you able to vote in Virginia? Do you know anyone who can?”

 

Caller: “No, but there are things happening there, and in other states, that are taking away our constitutional rights…and we need to…”

 

[Here I cut him off and started to preach. I know, shocking.]

 

Me: “Don’t you believe in States’ Rights? Isn’t that part of what makes these United States of America so unique…and so influential? You don’t live there, so there’s literally nothing you can do about it. But if such an issue came here to Georgia, you could actually vote on the issue, correct? In the meantime, why not just focus on the lives and issues you can actually influence?”

 

So, let’s all pose some similar questions to ourselves:

 

Can we do anything over the next two weeks about the Trump impeachment? Or Brexit? Or immigration?

 

Is our rancor and rage about the issue, and our resulting unpleasant disposition, going to influence anything positively?

 

Do we actually believe we’re going to change our uncle’s, or sister’s, or cousin-in-law’s mind? And even if we did…then what?

 

Here are some practices to help the next two weeks be an amazingly calmer & happier time:

1. For the love of life itself, stop watching & reading the news. Get excited about learning the real news that impacts your life, such as how your niece’s new job is going, or how your cousin’s new baby is growing, or how your brother’s business is doing.

2. Similarly, stop posting or re-posting anything political on social media. You’ve never made a positive dent in the issue by doing so, and you certainly won’t now.

3. Find a book to read or a movie to watch that has nothing but entertainment value. Try fiction like the Jack Reacher books, or a “chick-lit” book (I hate that phrase, but you know what I mean), or a biography (I just started Elton John’s ME). Go see Star Wars (it’s fantastic, and I don’t know what the reviewers are upset about), or Knives Out (pure fun at the movies!), or It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (a beautiful appreciation of the miracle of kindness.)

4. Take a walk. Get outside, move your feet. Invite someone to join. Breathe deep the season, the air, the simple joys that make you smile.

5. Challenge yourself to be present and pleasant as much as possible. This will be a lot easier the more you do of the first four above.

 

I want this to be my best holiday season ever, and I want that for you. Thankfully, you and I have a lot more influence over that than we’ve previously believed. Certainly a lot more influence than we do over politics.

 

Holiday peace begins with a pause,

Hal

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