Everyone is outraged over everything all the time. It’s so negative. Break the cycle in your life by ditching the 24-hour outrage news cycle.

Once upon a time, there was one hour of local news and one hour of national and international news and it was good.

Americans went about their lives with a focus on their family and local community. Twenty-four-hour news didn’t exist; 24-hour television barely existed, and it was good.

It wasn’t perfect. But it was good. You could reasonably expect to avoid negativity in the news.

Americans didn’t know everything that was going on in the world. They didn’t know everything that was going on in their country. Americans didn’t much mind, and the country and the world still worked.

Rise of the 24-hour news cycle.

Then. came cable television. Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24-hours news. American’s could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans had more stations than three from which to choose. In 1980, a billionaire buffalo farmer launched a 24-hour news station. He reasoned that if people wanted to watch 24-hours of music television, they’d surely want 24 hours of news. Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

Americans could get national and international news from around the world almost in real-time.

It was innocent enough until everyone realized that finding 24 hours’ worth of news that people would actually watch was a lot of hours a day, every day, to fill.

In theory, Americans wanted to know about important current events on the other side of the globe. In reality, they don’t.

Then came competition. Now there were three 24-hour news stations. Then there were stations that covered individual segments of the news for 24 hours.

It wasn’t long before sensationalism was the 24-hour news channels’ business model.

If you couldn’t rely on politicians or celebrities to provide something sensational every day, create your own pseudo-celebrities to argue with guests, make outrageous comments, and call that news.

Trying to avoid negativity in the news became much harder.

Fast forward to a world in which Americans learn about policy decisions in 140 characters and it’s all be a bit much.

Everything is outrageous whether it’s outrageous or not. Everything is in real-time whether it deserves to be or not. Clicks are more important than truth and being first is more important accuracy.

How can you avoid negativity in the news? Here are five ideas:

Turn off the 24-hour news.

Go back to where it all began and end it. With Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sling, no one needs to pay for cable anyway. It’s too expensive. There’s too much of nothing to watch. And, it would be good if we all got off the couch more, The Walking Dead notwithstanding.

MTV doesn’t play videos and most 24-hour news channels don’t report the news.

If you want to avoid negativity in the news, stop getting caught up in the cycle.

Delete social media apps.

Social media was fun when it more about what people were eating, where they were partying, and where they vacationed.

Yes, it’s a free country and it’s our right to say what we think, but it’s also our right to not listen or read every opinion of every non-expert on everything that doesn’t really matter.

Until this last election cycle, I didn’t know how many of my 500 friends were political experts, legal experts, espionage experts, military experts, civil rights experts, and international relations experts.

We’re talking about people I watched do keg stands at frat parties, wear sexy nurse costumes at Halloween, and jump from job to job until they found one that didn’t require a drug test.

Some of my friends are pretty brilliant, but they don’t seem to be the ones filling my Facebook feed with every article or meme that “shuts down,” “slays,” and “buries” their opposition.

Seeing all their crappy news sources makes me want to avoid negativity in the news that much more.

Cancel your subscriptions.

In this age of technology, it doesn’t make sense to have traditional newspaper and magazine subscriptions.

As another way to keep negative news at bay, stop letting the negative news invade your home in video, audio, and print. With their shiny covers and eye-popping headlines, it’s hard to not want to open every issue and become equally outraged, but most of it doesn’t serve us.

Clean your favorites.

Admittedly, there was a time when the first thing I’d do in the morning was to click on each of my five “favorite” news sites. I use quotes because there were a couple of sites I completely disagreed with, but I felt it was important to have a holistic view of the news. I’ve since concluded that even this is not the best use of time.

I now give myself an hour to two a week to read The Week. The Week seems to try its best to report the news in, what one 24-hour news channel calls, a “fair and balanced” way. It’s not perfect, but most things aren’t.

But, for me, it’s one way to avoid negativity in the news while still being informed.

Get social.

Of course, you want to stay engaged and hold a conversation. So, disengage from the one-sided conversations, step outside the echo chamber and get social. Talk, debate, disagree, and change your opinion with face to face conversation.

We’re social creatures. We teach each other. We learn from each other. We tell great stories. Your friends whose opinions and experiences you respect likely have better opinions and more information about most news than a political pundit on television whose first responsibility is to sell advertisements. Their responsibility to the news is a distant second, at best.

Doing all of these at once may be hard or impossible. But it’s a good way to avoid negativity in the news and keep it from dragging you down.

If you disconnect even a little, though, you’ll be more connected to what matters.

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Broad perspectives enhance understanding of life. Live abroad at least once in your life and fine-tune your empathy.

When I was in high school I had a fascination with all things French.

I joined the French club. I learned to speak the language. I loved the show Les Misérables. There was something so romantic, so different about France, that I had to go there.

Sadly, I didn’t have any money.

Travel to another country.

It wouldn’t happen until several years later after college that I would travel overseas and live abroad.

It’s true that when I was a young girl I lived in Japan for two years. However, a small child doesn’t comprehend the experience of otherness that being in another country makes you feel. A small child doesn’t have the same response as an adult.

Being a young adult in a foreign country, a young American in a foreign country, was very exciting and humbling.

Living abroad is an experience that every young American should have because it helps develop an awareness of our place in the world.

Live abroad and see how the world sees us.

At the time that I write this post, we have just experienced a highly contentious Presidential election and a tough year. The U.S. has a new President and, as is the case with each new president, their vision of the world and the United State’s place in it will guide and shape their policy.

These new policies affect people. Young Americans, for the most part, live very wealthy lives compared to many people around the world. Our homes are bigger, we have electricity, and with the exception of Flint, Michigan, most of us have clean water.

We’ve experienced very little civil disruption, we have plenty of food, and most people have access to the internet.

It’s not like that everywhere.

We grow up with stories of how just and fair the U.S. is and when we step outside of our bubble we are presented with an alternative view of the history that we’ve been told our whole lives.

Leaving the U.S. to live abroad forces one to answer questions that we might not typically be asked.

We discover that some countries and citizens absolutely love the U.S. and other countries… not so much.

Travel puts us face-to-face with people who are affected by the decisions that our country makes (good or bad). When you’re faced with people who are affected by policies that we feel are in our best interest, we are compelled to defend or refute a policy with a depth of reflection that we may not normally tap into during our day to day lives in the U.S.

For many young travelers being presented with a negative or positive view of the U.S. may catch you off-guard. And you may find yourself wondering if everything that we’ve been told about our country is a lie.

Not necessarily, but how one group sees a geopolitical situation may be completely different from how another group perceives it.

When you live abroad, you see the way others see us. And that’s not a bad thing. We should have more understanding with other people from other countries.

Live abroad and become “the other.”

Living in a foreign country forces people into an experience of otherness. As a person of color, I’ve been the only black person in a class or a group (on many occasions). But there are many people who’ve never had the experience of being “the other.” It can be a shocking, disturbing and somewhat disorienting experience.

Young Americans need that experience so that they can develop empathy and develop a worldliness that can only be discovered through travel and a deeper curiosity about who and what is around us.

Young Americans need to travel abroad because not everything is about us. And to learn that life lesson, we have to venture beyond our borders. Those adventures foster a curiosity about the world that might fuel other adventures.

That curiosity about the world and willingness to explore it as a younger person will serve you well later in life if you go into international business or politics.

In recent election cycles, voters expressed concern about candidates lacking global awareness because they hadn’t traveled or lived abroad.  From a job perspective, international businesses look at global awareness through the lens of actual time spent living and exploring other places.

But, if developing a global awareness isn’t enough to entice you to live abroad, maybe the following reason will be enough: travel abroad because you can.

While you’re still single, have no kids, and basically have the least amount of responsibilities that you will ever have during your life. Of course, you can travel abroad at any age, but that first time when you have very little to lose and everything to gain, that first experience is everything.

For some people, that one experience will be enough. For others (like myself) that first trip will become addictive. And, each trip has grown my global awareness, my awareness of my role as an American citizen, and fed my lust for adventure.

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You don’t want your work performance to suffer because of SAD. If you experience a seasonal problem, take steps to reduce the impact.

It’s been pretty dreary around here lately.

It’s been cold and cloudy. We went a whole week without seeing the sun.

Maybe you’re in the same boat. Maybe you feel stressed, anxious, and down for no reason that you can put your finger on. Or perhaps you think it might be because of gloomy weather and the fact that it’s so dark for so much of the day still.

Those feelings you feel are real. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Yep. It’s a Thing. And it could be dragging you down at work and in other areas of your life.

Here’s what you need to know with SAD affecting your work:

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes out as the seasons change. It can result in feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression during fall and winter.

The days are shorter, and the weather often means that the sun is hidden behind clouds.

You might feel better when spring pushes the winter away and you start seeing the sun again.

However, just because you know this seasonal depression will go away, it doesn’t mean you should just try to power through all winter.

SAD affecting your work can have consequences that go beyond just the weather and the time of year. You want to address the issue in a way that makes sense so that you maintain your job performance (and your job).

Plus there’s no reason to feel crummy four to six months of the year just because seasons.

SAD affecting your work.

Do you feel like SAD is dragging you down at work? You’re not alone.

According to Purdue, SAD costs the United States about $44 billion a year in lost productivity, sick days, and other illnesses.

Some of the ways SAD could be impacting the way you do your work include:

  • Difficulty concentrating on the task at hand.
  • Drop in your energy level.
  • Feelings of fatigue.
  • Irritability (including with your coworkers).
  • Hard time motivating yourself to do your work.

This goes beyond a need to just suck it up and do the thing.

SAD can really cause problems for your productivity, and keep you from accomplishing everything you’d like to do.

Plus, when your work performance suffers and you start missing deadlines, that could mean a real problem at work.

While it would be nice if all employers were understanding and willing to help mitigate the impacts of SAD in the workplace, the fact is many of them are just going to look at your performance.

If your work performance is dropping off, if you’re missing deadlines and making a lot of unacceptable mistakes, that could be grounds for firing.

When you find SAD affecting your work, it’s time to get help.

On your own: attempts to ward off SAD yourself.

If you’re like me, you don’t want to get professional help until you’ve tried to take care of the issue on your own.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to boost your mood and chase the SAD blues away. According to WebMD, some of the things you can try on your own include:

  • Regular exercise. Regular exercise is a mood-booster. You can help your energy level, help your brain, and fight against SAD with regular exercise. Bonus points if you can do at least some of your exercise outside (take a brisk walk) or near a window so you get that natural light.
  • Open a window. I find myself less inclined to open windows during the winter. I’ve been fighting that, and it helps my mood. Even if the day is cloudy, that extra natural light can help.
  • Melatonin. WebMD points out that some people find results from melatonin, which can help you regulate your biological clock. You do need to be careful, though, since this (and other complementary methods) can interact with current medications and have other issues.
  • Pay attention to your diet. When you’re feeling SAD, it’s common to crave junk food and eat foods that aren’t the best for you. If possible, eat healthy. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help your body function better.
  • Take time for yourself. Don’t forget to relax. Take time for yourself. Meditate. You might be surprised at how good sleep, time for relaxation, and enforced meditation can help your mood.

Sometimes, though, the SAD is too strong to keep away yourself. You might actually need to seek professional help.

Common treatments for SAD.

With SAD affecting your work, it’s vital that you get professional help if attempts to fight the feeling on your own are failing.

There’s nothing wrong with getting help.

Light therapy.

One of the most common treatments for SAD is light therapy. With light therapy, you use a special bulb to provide you with more light in your day. The idea is to provide you with more exposure to light, either in the morning or in the evening (or both).

Many people with SAD improve with the help of light therapy and little else is needed beyond that.

Counseling.

Another way to get help with SAD is to get counseling. In general, I support the idea that everyone should get therapy at some point. It can be really helpful.

Counseling can help you by giving you someone to talk to. Additionally, a therapist that is well-versed in SAD and how to use cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat patients can be especially helpful.

Medication.

Finally, many people need to resort to medication to help them with SAD. For many of us, medication is an absolute last resort. However, if you need it, there’s no shame in getting a little pharmacological help.

As long as you use your antidepressants as prescribed and you remain in contact with your health care professional about your progress, it can be one way to beat SAD, especially when used in conjunction with other treatments.

Get your work back on track.

Once you understand the problem and how it impacts you, you can get your work back on track. You can keep SAD from being a detriment to your work.

It’s still a struggle some of the time, and you might fight to stay focused and motivated at work, but with the right help, it should be possible.

Do you get SAD? How does it affect your work and other areas of your life? Share your story with us in the #Adulting community on Facebook.

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Clayton Daniel shows how you can use the money and time you have today to fund your ideal lifestyle.

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Our regular hosts, Harlan and Miranda, are joined today by regular Adulting.tv contributor and guest co-host, Jana Lynch. Today’s guest is Clayton Daniel, author of Fund Your Ideal Lifestyle.

What is it that you really want out of life? Are you spending too much time at work? Here’s how to stop feeling like you’re wasting the best years of your life.

Happiness and fulfillment come about when you identify what you want and find ways to achieve it with the resources (time and money) that you do have.

Clayton Daniel is a personal finance expert specializing in cognitive minimalism: the belief that outsourcing the greatest stresses in life such as money to technology and automation, result in better performance across every other area of life. Visit Clayton online at Fund Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Clayton spent ten years of his corporate career in accounting and financial advice. As personal finance flourished online, Clayton identified a broadening gap between what could be offered through financial planning, and what genuinely helped people succeed in achieving what they wanted out of life.

Clayton’s professional experience is in tax accounting, and financial advice with Dixon Advisory, AMP and his own company Hillross Silverstone. He has worked with the AFA, XY Adviser and the University of NSW.

Listen to the podcast audio by using the player above.

Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteven Flato
Music bybensound.com

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Feeling trapped in our own life? You can get out of that rut. Here’s how to add a little more kick-ass to your life.

Just after college I found myself in a deep, deep rut.

I lived in a small midwestern town where I had no friends and worked a job that bored me. I struggled to find anything to feel passionate about. Every day felt the same, and my outlook on the future was pretty bleak.

Being in a rut changes the way you think. It catches you in a loop, blinding you to the endless options and divergent paths a life can take. You may know deep down that there’s another way, but realizing that change is harder than it sounds.

If you’re ready to make some alterations in your stagnant routine, here are some strategies to help you out of that life rut.

Make small changes.

Some people are tempted to drop everything “Eat Pray Love”-style to get out of their rut. While that kind of extreme experience works for some people, you really don’t need to leave the continent to fix your mood and get out of your life rut (although a real vacation can help).

Small changes add up to a big difference, and they’re much easier to implement. The idea of having a life-changing adventure might appeal to some, but plenty would be intimidated by the idea. Thinking small allows you to make incremental change without taking a big, scary leap.

For example, if you’re sick of your 30-minute drive to work, find a podcast or an audiobook to spice up the commute. I used to drive three hours one way to visit my then-boyfriend, and I’d load up my iPod with new music and “Fresh Air” interviews. The drive was still dull, but at least I loved one aspect of it.

If you’re eating the same meals for dinner every week, try adding in one new recipe from your favorite food blogger or from an ethnic cuisine you love. You’ll be surprised how far a little extra flavor goes, inside the kitchen and out.

Small changes, from adding a 10-minute walk in the morning to learning a new language, can help you feel a little more invigorated by life.

Invest in an experience.

The quickest way I’ve found to freshen my routine is by taking a class. Learning something new is challenging, uncomfortable and exciting – exactly what someone in a life rut needs.

Local community centers, colleges, and businesses offer classes on any topic. I’ve taken cooking, sewing, and financial planning classes. Right now, I’m signed up for improv and drawing. These courses make me feel like I can do anything – like I’m capable of more than I realize.

Studies also confirm that spending money on experiences instead of material goods makes people happier. The joy from a vacation or museum trip lasts longer than the thrill of a new purse or piece of furniture, no matter how tempting it might be to choose the latter.

Recognize your power.

Being in a life rut feels like you have no control over your life.

Instead of dwelling on your helplessness, make a list of things you can change. You can find a new workout, reconnect with old friends, set new goals at work, foster an animal, or change your hairstyle.

Your list can help you realize how much you can change by yourself. Sure, you might not be able to quit your job right away or move to a new city, but there’s nothing stopping you from salsa dancing every weekend or eating brunch at your favorite diner.

Here are some other suggestions transforming your life in ways you can change today:

  • Be grateful. Cultivating gratitude can perk up anyone who thinks their life is dull and pointless. Keep a journal where you list three things you’re grateful for, or recall the good things that happened that day before you go to bed. Soon you’ll learn how to do this throughout the day and make it a regular habit.
  • Enjoy the little things. During my senior year of college, I struggled with depression and anxiety. I remember complaining to my mom about how every day felt like the same routine. Her suggestion? “Drink a cup of tea and have a piece of chocolate.” I begrudgingly tried it, and was shocked at how much better I felt. It’s not a permanent fix, but small luxuries can break up a humdrum day quickly and cheaply.
  • Talk to a therapist. Sometimes a life rut can be fixed by a fun weekend or change in routine. Other times, it’s a symptom of depression that needs a professional’s help. A licensed counselor or therapist can identify exactly what’s bothering you. It might take a few sessions, so don’t expect overnight results.
  • Perform service. Helping someone else is one of the best ways to feel better. Researchers say volunteering boost happiness levels. You can find a regular volunteer position or a sporadic one, depending on your schedule. Sites like VolunteerMatch.org or Idealist list positions, or you can contact organizations individually.
  • Do something hard or new. At work, ask for more challenging assignments or collaborate on a new project. When I’ve found myself in a career rut, doing work outside of my job description let me expand my skills and try something new.
  • Talk to friends. Your friends might understand or feel the same way, so talk aloud about what you’re going through. They could have their own ideas on how to help, and sometimes just sharing your struggle with someone else is enough to make things seem a little more hopeful.

There are things we can’t control. But when you recognize your power and acknowledge the things you can change, you feel better at life. And you can see some of the ways to get out of your life rut and move forward with greater purpose.

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It sounds hokey, but you really can change your destiny. Be real about why your life sucks, and then take steps to make positive change.

One of my favorite quotes is by Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul:

“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about.”

I like this quote because it makes you the master of your destiny, the author of your own story.

It often feels like we’re at the mercy of a million external forces. The boss has unreasonable expectations. Children and spouses have needs. Mom and dad think we should do this. The neighbor is upset about that.

Have you ever wondered, “How did I get here?” or “This isn’t the way it was supposed to be.”

Life took over and suddenly we’re living up to everyone’s expectations but our own.

But you can change your destiny. It takes some effort, but it’s possible if you take the right steps.

We made our today.

If we’re the masters of our tomorrow, then we were the masters of the yesterday that produced our today.

Today is the future yesterday. Today didn’t happen by accident. Whether you realize it or not, you consciously or unconsciously led yourself to this moment.

Our decisions, thoughts, and actions yesterday resulted in what we see, live, and feel today.

Do you like the results around you?

At this point, most people deflect to their perceived circumstances. Rather than take responsibility, it’s often easier to blame someone or something else for today’s results.

“He did this to me” or “She made me do that.” Blame your family’s social or financial status. Blame your place of birth, the economy, or politicians.

Blame any and everything you can except yourself. In the litany of blame, you’re innocent.

While it can make you feel better to approach things this way, it won’t help you change your destiny.

Gary Vaynerchuk points out that if anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then there’s no reason we can’t achieve success.

If anyone else with our perceived limitation has achieved success, then “the problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” (Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean).

It’s a harsh truth: if we’re not happy with our reality, we’re responsible for it.

It’s also a refreshing truth because as much as we made our today, we can change our tomorrow. Instead of placing blame, we should change what we believe. Earl Nightingale said, “What we think about we become.”

What are you thinking? The answer is all around you, and it can change your destiny.

For the Bible says so.

If we don’t like what we see around us, we must change what’s inside us. We must change our beliefs about who we are, what we’re worth, and what we can be. We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

We can be anything we want to be, we just have to believe. This may sound like another Disney quote, but it’s a truth that goes back to history’s oldest texts.

Mark 11:23 says, “I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.”

Changing beliefs is easier said than done, but it is doable.

Many of our beliefs are etched into our subconscious. Because they’re buried so deep inside us, we often don’t know why we believe them. We dismiss them as “it’s just who I am” or “it’s just what I believe,” as if they’re inherent truths. If our inherent truths aren’t serving us, we would do well to change them.

We can change our subconscious programming, otherwise known as our neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). This is the script we tell ourselves. It’s the voice we hear inside our head.

Did you ever wonder why you say the things to yourself that you do? That’s your NLP.

Changing your NLP is the key that will help you change your destiny.

Changing your texts.

There are two exercises that can help change your NLP. I notice as soon I stop doing them. The first action is repeating affirmations. The second action is keeping a gratitude journal.

It sounds a little hokey, but these two actions really can help you change your destiny.

Draft a script you can memorize. It should describe the best version of you and what you want to achieve.

Be specific and include deadlines. For five minutes each day, in the morning or before bed, close your eyes and recite your affirmations out loud.

Picture in your mind’s eye what you say. Feel the emotions of achieving your goals and being who you know you can be. Imagine what it will feel like, smell like, and sound like. Involved all your senses.

This will feel like a strange at first, but it’s a repetitive exercise that, over time, will change your NLP. When you change your NLP, you change your beliefs, change your behavior, and change your results. You change your destiny.

Next, while you practice affirmations, keep a gratitude journal, even on days when it feels like you have nothing for which to be grateful. Focus on the positive. As you focus more on expanding the positive, you’ll see more positive results.

It’s easy for our thoughts to drift into negative territory because we’re surrounded by negative stimuli. Plus, misery does love company.

If your coworkers aren’t getting you down about work, your boss is on you about your job. If you’re not depressed about the weather, the news does it’s best to make you blue.

A daily exercise that fights negativity will change your outlook and, therefore, your beliefs, your behavior, and your results.

The truth is that we’re all responsible for our results. The sooner you acknowledge that and manage your beliefs, the sooner you can change your destiny.

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2016 really felt like the worst. Now that it’s over, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But was it really that bad? Are we just drama queens?

Many of us had just begun the process of putting our holiday decorations away and enjoying the beginning of 2016 when we heard the news: David Bowie died two days after his birthday.

It caught us off guard. We didn’t even know that he was sick.

WTH?

Collectively, we began mourning his beautiful music and the effect that his music had on our lives. The Thin White Duke was gone.

Celebrity deaths were everywhere in 2016.

As the year continued, it felt like 2016 had it in for us. Many of the people who were part of the tapestry of our lives weren’t going to get out of 2016 alive.

Prince, Mohammed Ali, Alan Rickman (Snape from The Harry Potter Series), Gene Wilder, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, and Fidel Castro. The alarming thing is that this is the short list.

And let’s not forget the late-year tragedy of losing Princess Leia/General Organa. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

It didn’t feel like we were drama queens as we continued to wrack up more losses even until the very end of 2016. It felt like the obvious response to emotional stress.

Was this the worst presidential election ever?

On top of all of the people dying, we were inundated by the constant sharing of the dulcet tones of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton making their cases for the presidency.

All day long. We couldn’t escape them, online, on TV on our cell phones, and any other place we found ourselves browsing for information. And we couldn’t escape friends and family talking about politics.

As we moved further into 2016 it began to feel like we were under fire.

Or, was our perception of what was going on in our world skewed by the constant availability of news, newsfeeds, and friends sharing things that would otherwise slip our notice?

Was our belief that 2016 had been a crappy year a result of the skillful targeting of Facebook ads and fake news stories? Was the real issue with 2016 that we had too much information available to us at all times?

Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss.

I found that, compared to other years, 2016 did feel like an exceptionally difficult year. And, as I wrote this post I decided to reflect on this. Was 2016, in fact, a difficult year? Or was there something else going on that I didn’t want to admit?

Are we all just a bunch of drama queens?

Life happens.

Life isn’t always easy. It’s messy, chaotic, and it’s not always pretty. Life is a gift, but it’s a gift that comes with the following reality: life is balanced out by death.

And, without being too morbid, death happens when you least expect it.

But 2016 was rough not just because of the beloved celebrities who passed away. It was rough because it felt like our way of life was dying. To me, it felt like the spirit of America in the way that we knew it was going away and maybe that was what was what we were having a collective reaction to.

And, let’s also be honest, as we get older our awareness of the mortality of the people in our lives becomes more acute.

We’re a lot more aware of the threats to our own lives and safety and with the ability to: Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Excessive amounts of frightening information leaves us shaking in our boots.

We begin holding our loved ones tighter and when situations like: terrorism, the shooting in Orlando, or natural disasters. We hold our breath until we’re sure that everyone we love and care about are OK.

We’re not drama queens for reacting to the changes we experience. Most people (myself included) resist change, especially when that change feels like an unwelcome visitor that just won’t go away.

So, are we drama queens?

I just think we’re human.

Perhaps the real issue that needs to be addressed is how to manage the emotions that come from the unexpected moments that break our hearts.

Own your feelings. David Bowie or Prince dying broke your heart because you are remembering the first time you heard “Let’s Go Crazy” or “Ashes to Ashes” and the way that you played it over and over again. Own it.

Do you love or hate how the election turned out? Are you frightened or thrilled by the outcome depending on your political philosophy? Own it.

Are you frightened of your own mortality? Be honest.

The most important piece of advice that I can give you is to embrace life. Embrace your loved ones. Don’t live in fear of the next shitty thing that may happen. Take each day as it comes because ultimately, you woke up that day.

I’ve had more shitty situations in my life than I would like to admit.

Some of those situations were my own fault, while other situations were the result of life happening. In every instance, I had to focus on becoming resilient and figure out ways to keep from being overwhelmed and demoralized by these situations.

But, let’s be honest, most years are a mixed bag.

At least you woke up today. Don’t take it for granted that life will always run smoothly.  And, yes, 2016 was pretty shitty.

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