Life has been busier than usual for me over the last few weeks. Accepting and facing up to life’s emotional and physical challenges can be quite invigorating. From preparing for and hosting Miss America 2019, to launching some new projects, and ramping up for the new season of Dancing With The Stars, I have been a busy woman on the go.
Yet, as with most situations where demands and expectations are high (whether from the world out there or from within our own selves), life’s challenges can be draining and can leave us feeling like our batteries need recharging.
Hosting Miss America 2019. Photo by Donald Kravitz for Getty Images
On stage with Nia Franklin, Miss America 2019. Photo by Donald Kravitz for Getty Images
I know many of us in this public space who use online social media sites tend to use these new media platforms mainly to share the ‘positives’ in our lives. We rarely if ever ‘post’, blog, or dish about life behind the pretty scenes and the postcard moments, where stress and tension is real, and low energy moments are part of the story. But the truth is, energy management is something I think we all struggle with at times, especially in this day and age where we are inundated with so much information coming at us in so many ways. Keeping up with it all can feel like a part-time job. We are living in a time where we have our television screens, our computer screens, our iPhones and iPads and Androids (so I don’t seem too biased to Mac and Apple), and mobile devices and tablets, and so many other ways to get information. Information is coming at us from everywhere, in every direction. I think we are not even aware of how much energy we exert each day filtering and processing all of the information, not to mention the energy required simply by living our day-to-day lives.
Announcing the season 27 cast of Dancing With The Starts live on Good Morning America
I remember a time not so long ago when we didn’t have so much access. A time when we played outside with friends until the sun went down, or when we might choose to crack open a new book during a 30 minutes break during our day or before falling asleep at night. Like it or not, those days seem to be fewer now than in years past. With new technology infiltrating our lives, we have gotten more and more attached to the digital display screens that surround us. It almost feels like we continue to evolve as technology evolves, and with the impact of shifting technology on our lives, we might be better off to find healthy ways to adapt to the changing world around us.
Backstage at Dancing With The Stars
Backstage at The Talk
So I find myself thinking about these things. How do we re-energize ourselves? How do we take breaks from all of this energy and information that floats by us every day, at all hours of the day? Sometimes even, it feels as if it is aggressively attacking us, similar to the feeling of walking into a swarm of angry bees. I have a sense that people are looking for answers and even finding new ways to manage the buzz of information surrounding us. As we review the changing landscape of life in this digital era, I think we will find there are many ways to cope with the buzzing swarm of information overload and our drained batteries.
Today, I want to share some of my processes. One of the ways I cope with the challenges of life in the age of always-on digital information is journaling. The practice of journaling has become a habit that I use to detach from the many digital screens and take time for myself to release, reflect, and recharge my inner-spirit, and my mental, emotional, and physical batteries with it. Diet Eman, author of “THINGS WE COULDN’T SAY” says this about the process of writing, “This pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.” Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, as I have found it to be true in my own life. And while there are times when journaling by itself is not enough to make my problems go away, I usually feel a bit lighter and clearer after writing, which helps me move through my day with much more ease.
I sit out in my backyard with my animals at least twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. I don’t read anything. I just sit and think, and then I write. Sometimes I type; sometimes I write with a pen. My favorite pen is a Pilot G-2 1.0 or 0.7. For me it matters what pen I write with … somehow, for some reason, it just seems to flow better. Journaling is a way for me to reset my energy and create space in my life. I pour out the things that are swirling around in my mind, needing a voice, needing to be seen and heard by my own innermost self. And by doing so, through pouring out my thoughts and feelings and emotions buzzing around my mind, I clear out some of the clutter in there. I don’t mean clutter in the sense of the word to mean “junk”, but rather I simply release some of the things I am holding onto into my own universe – facts, thoughts, images, questions, ponderings – and I share that swirling inner universe within myself, releasing it in an outward manner.
Perhaps doing this is similar to the idea of making lists before you go to bed. If you make a list of the things you want to do, you create a little more space in your mind so you don’t have to hold on to the thoughts. For instance, when I write my emotions, thoughts, random sentences, songs titles, lyrics, or whatever floats through my mind, I clear space for myself to have a greater capacity to accept and process whatever life may throw at me in the day ahead. Sometimes, I just make lists of things I’m happy about, or sad about, or grateful for … Or I just describe my emotions. I suppose I like to change it up. Sometimes I may only write three sentences. Sometimes I finish 10 pages without even realizing it. I have no rules about journaling. I just know that when my energy feels stretched it is a tool I use in life, it is a part of my process, and it helps me to flow.
I encourage you all to try a bit of journaling. Make it your own process, give it a bit of ritual, light a candle, grab a glass of wine, turn on your favorite classical music (I prefer a Keith Jarrett), and I hope you enjoy yourself in the process.