Turn the news off

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We were living in fear for a few weeks there. We weren’t sure if the shaking was another earthquake getting started, or one of those phantom quakes your body tricks you into believing is real. First port of call when unsure? The jersey hanging over the bed. Was it shaking, or was it all in our head?

Not to mention, at the time we also had the very real possibility of radiation with the nuclear plant melting down on the opposite coast.

I am of course talking about 3.11, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

That was a scary time.

But we made it through.

We had the tv on non-stop and were constantly checking our phones for updates. Devastating scene after devastating scene, the risk of radiation, phantom earthquakes, constant worry about whether we have enough petrol to escape if we need to, it was all a bit much.

However, in the end I think we made the right decision.

That decision?

TV off. Phones away. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

A constant barrage of information is unnatural and frankly unnecessary. The thing I remember most about the news at that time was when we turned it off. Oh the silence, oh the freedom!

Humans aren’t designed to constantly have a barrage of information thrown at us. We aren’t designed to be in front of a screen with instantaneous information coming at us 24/7.

In other words, it’s ok to take a break from the news. With all the sensationalism in the media it’s imperative we do, in fact.

I’m not saying you should become a hermit. Coming from a Yamabushi that is quite rich (Yamabushi escapism isn’t for the purpose of escaping in my view. For some, perhaps). By all means you should follow the news, just don’t let it be all that you do.

Either way there comes a time when too much is too much, and you know who should decide when that is?

You.

If things get a bit too much, take a break. Go for a walk. Let off some steam. Still stay updated with what’s going on if you need to, but understand the added stress from constant news can be a bit too much at times. That’s why it’s ok to do things at your own pace.

The thing with news such as this is that it can be paralysing. It can stop you from action if you let it get to you. That’s the exact opposite of what’s necessary at times like this. You need to keep moving, you need to keep going so that you can be of help, not glued to a screen.

Perhaps a jersey over a bed is all the news you need.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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