Stay informed and keep your mental health: How I watch the News

If being in quarantine wasn’t bad enough, watching the news can be depressing, stressful and can lead to anxiety and unnecessary worry. It doesn’t have to be that way. During my time in quarantine, I came up with a simple system that kept me informed and I was able to maintain good mental health. Got to throw out a disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional, nor do I have any training in mental health. This is just something that I came up with and help me cope with the media and not feel horrible the rest of the day. Here’s how I stayed informed and not have the news damage my peace and calm.

  • Don’t start or end your day with the news. It’s too easy to wake up, grab the phone and start scrolling. And before you know it, you’ll come across something troubling and disturbing. Don’t start your day off with negative thoughts and feelings. Get up, take care of yourself and your loved ones. Take a shower, brush your teeth, do your hair, fix some breakfast and start your day. And the same goes for when you’re about to go to bed. Shower (with music if you can), get into something comfortable, again take care of yourself and family before going to bed. Don’t end your day with thoughts of the news.
  • Give yourself a time frame when you’re going to consume the news. It can be 11:30 am, 1:30 pm or whenever. The time frame I give myself is around noon. So, if I get upset or disturbed, there’s still the rest of the day to digest and cope with it. Also, by this time my friends and family are up and available if I feel the need to talk to someone. Give yourself a limited amount of time to read or watch the news. I normally give myself about 30 to 35 minutes. Try to keep it under an hour. The next step is key.
  • If you start to read yesterday’s news, stop and continue with your day. If you find you’re reading regurgitated news from yesterday, stop and go back to whatever you were doing before you began reading. It’s that easy. Nothing good will come from reliving yesterday’s news today. You can’t be afraid of missing something major. If something does happen, trust me, you will find out about it. Someone will call or text you, “Did you see or hear about…” When your time frame is up, continue with your day and don’t go back and check the news until tomorrow.
  • Don’t get your news from social media! Hopefully you all know not to get any of your news from any social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit are not trustworthy or accredited news sources. All can and has been manipulated to spread lies and misinformation. Check out “Smarter Everyday” playlist on Social Media Manipulation for more information. The struggle is real. And while you’re on social media, if you see something news related, let it go and keep scrolling. It’s easier said than done. Just don’t get caught up with clickbait.

This system takes discipline, but it gets easier when you start to notice the difference in your level of anxiety. You don’t have to be plugged in all the time and to be reminded of how shitty the world is every 5 minutes. You got to keep yourself occupied and your mind off what’s going on in the world. If you’re struggling with that, check out my post Bored and in Lock-down? How to keep yourself occupied. It may help you come up with ideas to stay focused and active.

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My system is not foolproof, and it may not work for you. Nor am I telling you to not watch the news. The idea behind it is to stay informed but limits how much and how often you consume the news. Again, this is just something that has help me tremendously with staying informed without losing my peace and calm. I can say with confidence it’s because of this, I’ve been more productive and have been able to put more energy into being creative. Likewise, my thinking has been more balance and not full of worry and negative thoughts. And has had more constructive and inspired days in quarantine than wasted and negative ones. So, how do you manage your consumption of the news and stay sane? Let me know in the comment section below. And feel free to share this with anyone you feel would benefit from it.

 

Mask up, stay safe and keep busy!

Steven

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The Right Massage

I feel it’s important to be aware of what message we are sharing on social media. We all watched spring come and go through our windows. Now summer is in full swing, the Force is strong with Mother Nature with her seductive call to venture out and enjoy the summer. Unfortunately, United States is now well over 4 million cases of COVID-19 and has over 150,000 deaths. And the last thing health care workers want to hear is “I saw my friends and family online at a cookout, party, weekend getaway and they were not wearing a mask or social distancing”. I’m not saying don’t go out. That’s your decision. But if you do, mask up, be safe and share those images of you doing so. Photos where no one is wearing masks and not practicing social distancing is misleading and could lead to an unhealthy or dangerous situation. I have a tiny following but know some of you who have hundreds if not thousands of followers. It’s too easy to send the wrong message to others in these uncertain times. Until there’s a working and readily available vaccine, we all must do everything we can to stay safe and healthy. If you’re struggling with  quarantine, check out this post, Bored and in Lockdown? How to keep yourself occupied.

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In my quarantine paradise

 

Mask up, stay safe and keep busy!

Steven

If you like what you see and read here, click the “Follow” and “Like” button. Along with feel free to leave a reply below.

Aviation Expo 2020

During all the years I traveled from one airshow to another, I’ve always played with the idea of a “Dream airshow”. If time didn’t matter, what would it look like? What aircraft, demos and jet teams would attend. 2020 is looking more and more like a year without airshows due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, I decided to put together “Aviation Expo 2020”, a virtual airshow based on images from my photo archive. There’s aircraft I wish I could add to this, but I haven’t gotten around to shooting them yet. But after searching my vast archive, I did manage to round up a very impressive group of aircraft. Here’s my adventure from “Aviation Expo 2020”

After parking the rental car, I geared up and made my way to the staging area for the morning photo tour. The participants were hand pick and I was lucky enough to be selected. The tarmac was laid out perfectly. There were no tents, Porto potty’s, food vendors or anything around the aircraft to clutter up the background while shooting. Canopy covers were removed and everyone in the group was respectful, courteous and professional. Enjoying the spectacular morning light and the historic aircraft, time quickly passed, and the main gates were open and flying soon began.

Before the morning humidity burnt off, the flight activities started with a vapor contest. Each participating aircraft got 5 passes to make the most impressive vapor. Including prop and wingtip vertices and the showstopper, the full cone. The USN Super Hornet demo team with multiple cones, was the mornings clear winner.

Following the vapor contest, there was going to be only 4 heritage flights. But with so many qualified pilots and variety of aircraft, it quickly got out of hand with all the number of different combinations. But of all the amazing formations, we didn’t get to see a “Thunderbolt Flight” with a P-47 and a A-10.

After the heritage flight fiasco was over, it was time for the photo pass challenge. The challenge was split into two categories, single and two ship. Needless to say, Dale Snodgrass smashed his opponents with grace and style and Steve Hinton came in a very close second. The twin Thunderbolts from Tennessee easily won the two-ship class.

“Aviation Expo 2020” was the largest warbird gathering in history. Aircraft from World War Two to Vietnam was present and flying. The sound of all those historic Engines running at once was unforgettable. There were a few jet warbirds too and they didn’t disappoint. The show set a new world record for having the largest mass takeoff of warbirds since World War Two.

Now it was time for the show headliners. One by one, the jet teams took to the air and performed. The USAF Thunderbirds were up first. Followed by the RCAF Snowbirds, then the USN Blue Angels with Fat Albert doing a JETO takeoff. The Starfighters team got back together for this show. Flying from “across the pond” was the Breitling jet team and the RAF Red Arrows for the grand finale.

There was a short pause in the show come late afternoon. During this time everyone walk the static aircraft and got a bite to eat before the evening show.

As the sun made its slow journey toward the horizon, fuel tanks were topped off again, engines started up for the final performances of the day. It was amazing and the light was magical.

Stay safe and keep busy,

Steven

If you like what you see and read here, click the “Follow” and “Like” button. Along with feel free to leave a reply below.

Bored and in Lock-down? How to keep yourself occupied

Run out of entertaining shows and movies on Netflix and Hulu? Sick of scrolling through the same crap on Instagram and Tik tok? Or have you had your fill of the depressing news from the media? It’s time to get up and do something that could help occupy yourself and get you through these unprecedented and troubling times. Here’s a few things I have been practicing to keep myself busy while staying at home.

  • Create some kind of routine for yourself. Wake up, take care of yourself, work from home, workout. whatever it takes. Set aside time to do certain activities. An hour to reading, a half an hour to workout, 45 minutes to clean. Just wake up, get and stay active. Go to bed and do it again tomorrow
  • Reduce your time on social media and watching the news. To save your precious mental health, ration the time you spend on them. Yes, by all means stay informed but don’t let your appetite for information start to disturb your peace and calm.
  • This is a great opportunity to work on your products around your house or apartment. Got a leaky faucet, a door that squeaks or any home repair that needs to get done or finish, now is the time to get after it!
  • Reach out to family, friends, loved ones and coworkers. We are all social beings and especially during this global pandemic, we need to talk to our families and friends. To hear those recycled bad jokes, to remain your mom that your dad is not crazy! Do it for them, you’ll hear the appreciation in their voice.
  • Cook your favorite meals. Banana pancakes for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup for lunch, throw some rib eyes on the grill for dinner. Why not?! Along with your “Quarantine food”, try cooking one of your favorite meals. If you don’t know how, YouTube is your know it all friend! And if you don’t have the supplies you need, the next time you go to the grocery store, practice social distancing along with protecting yourself. And pick up the things you need for your favorite meals.

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  • Listen to all those podcasts and audio books you have been wanting to get to. Like the song says, “Time is on my side“. Get your tasty beverage, grab those ear buds or that busted ass pair of headphones you got and start listening. Heck, you might even learn something new. Or dare I say it, laugh out loud.
  • Start a journal. “Day 6 in lock down. This morning after my lame ass breakfast, I stumbled across an enlightening and amazing blog today that help me occupy my time. Today seemed to fly by with all the activities I did.” When we get through this, and we will. Looking back and reading our quarantine journals could be entertaining.
  • Rediscover your lost and forgotten hobbies. There is no time like the present to douse that old withering fire with a bunch of fresh gasoline. Get back into whatever you love to do! Unpack that project you got hidden in the bottom of your closet. If all you have are outdoor hobbies, maybe it’s time to unearth something new.

Hobby Time

  • Never stop learning! Sign up for online classes. There are so many to choose from. Some are paid but if you don’t have the coin, I get it. There are plenty of excellent educational channels on YouTube.
  • Working out indoors. “Get your sweat on!” You can still get huge and ripped. There are countless indoor workouts you can do. If you live in an apartment, be considerate of your neighbors.
  • Redecorate your house or apartment. It is Springtime. And a change in season could also be a refreshing change in your living quarters (Star Trek reference). Switch up old artwork on your walls, maybe rearrange your furniture. Heck maybe go down the rabbit hole looking for ideas online. I’m sure your find something interesting.
  • Update your Resume and Portfolio. This could be an excellent time to dust off that tired resume and stale portfolio of yours. Lord knows I do. There is a shit ton of helpful and useful information online. Be brave, you might just find your dream job.
  • Play online games with friends. There is nothing like talking smack with your friends while gaming. It’s stupid fun! Doesn’t matter if you’re on PC, console or even on your mobile device. Just don’t be a Leroy Jenkins!

Game On

Whatever you do, don’t waste this time being unproductive or even worse, full of worry and anxiety. Feel free to share this with others. Stay safe and busy!

Until next post,

Steven