If the febrile political atmosphere is getting you down, here are five ways to focus on healthier things
By Ernest Richardson
Few would deny that the UK political scene has taken a nasty turn. With the House of Commons resembling a “bear pit” and MPs apparently unable to reach any consensus on Brexit or the direction of our nation, engaging with the news can seem a thankless task.
|...reports suggest that wall-to-wall Brexit coverage is adversely affecting mental health,...|
As reports suggest that wall-to-wall Brexit coverage is adversely affecting mental health, now is a good time to seek distraction. Let’s face it, nothing much is going to change if you take a few days away from the newspapers.
So do yourself a favour by following our ideas for a Brexit detox. You’ll feel a lot better for it.
1) Read a good book
It can be easy to devote every spare minute to consuming the news: on your phone, in newspapers, on the radio and on TV.
But how about spending your idle moments engaged in a more wholesome pursuit? Pick up a good book, one without any connection to contemporary politics, and lose yourself in a world of imagination.
Political memoirs are off limits, right? But something like Tim Pears’s The Horseman could be just the ticket. Its soothingly detailed renderings of the rhythms of rural life are exactly the sort of thing to distract you from the parliamentary mayhem.
2) Rediscover your love of music
How many of us get in the car for the daily commute and automatically turn on the news? We think we ought to engage with current affairs, even though it raises our stress levels by making us feel powerless or anxious.
So why not turn on the stereo instead? Whether you’re streaming MP3s or listening to CDs, spend some quality time with your favourite records and you’ll feel much better about the world.
This is a chance to rediscover your favourite artists or find new ones to admire. Either way, you can lose yourself in some melodic pleasures. Brexit will still be there when you get back. Of that you can be certain.
3) Get outside
Few things can rival fresh air for clearing your head and making you feel better about life.
|It may only be a temporary respite, but the benefits of spending time outside are unrivalled.|
Rather than fretting about Brexit or assiduously following the BBC’s live news feed, leave your phone at home and get out for a walk.
If you live or work near a park or open countryside, take the time to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Pay attention to the comings and goings of birds and wildlife as they prepare for winter. Listen for the sounds of nature. Enjoy the sight of small children playing, carefree and unencumbered by grown-up angst.
It may only be a temporary respite, but the benefits of spending time outside are unrivalled. Go on, breathe.
4) Learn a new hobby
Focusing on acquiring a new skill or body of knowledge proves a great distraction from stress. You’ll be so engrossed in perfecting your talent that you won’t for a minute think about what’s happening in the House of Commons.
Even better, you’ll be learning how to do something new. Which means you’ll have hours of entertainment and satisfaction ahead of you, and the perfect way to unwind from life’s pressures.
5) Spend time with the people you love
It sounds corny, but there are few better ways to recharge and relax than hanging out with your nearest and dearest.
Use the weekend to arrange a barbecue with friends or meet up for a pizza. Grab a post-work pint with some buddies or head to a café for Sunday brunch. Go for a walk in the park or visit the zoo.
There’s just one rule: any talk about politics is off limits. This is a time to reconnect, to enjoy each other’s company and remember the important stuff.
One way or another Brexit will eventually be over. The people you love, on the other hand? They’re for keeps.
Published: 27 September 2019
© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd
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