A “Cold War Kid” Shares Self-Care Tips with Millennials on How to Cope in These ‘Retro’ Atomic Bomb, KKK Flag Waving, Civil War in the Streets Times We Fell Back into . . .
Headlines got you down, Son? The KKK is back in the saddle again, riding high on their horses. Regular threats from Communist Countries to blow the U.S. of A. to smithereens with Atomic Bombs. Civil Unrest is in the streets. “The revolution will not be televised,” but it may appear on YouTube. All this chaos may seem surrealistically strange to Millennials, but this is old hat for us “Cold War Kids.” To keep your head up, “your head tight” (your mental health), to decompress your stress, and stay physically strong —here are some Cheat Sheet Tips from those who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. As a Self-Care Expert, Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and “Cold War Kid” (60’s and 70’s survivor), I have some friendly advice.
Truly, there is a grave danger for men today to have their already high stress levels overwhelmed by the craziness happening on a Macro-Level. If job, relationship, and financial stress were not enough! If traffic, crime, and family dysfunction was not enough—Now you get to worry about Atomic Bombs dropping on your head, racists driving cars through your peace rallies, and a leader who has delusions of grandeur, or at least, may be delusional. How can men cope in such an environment?
From those of us who survived Richard Nixon and Watergate, the Vietnam War (oh, sorry, “Conflict”), and the Cold War threats straight out of Orwell’s “1984,” here are some tips on
Self-Care to keep in mind. Having grown up in an age where weekly in school we practiced dropping under a desk (in case the “Commies” dropped the Atomic Bomb), this dystopia of the Trump years feels extremely familiar. Racial unrest? We saw Dr. King and Malcolm X get assassinated, as well as President Kennedy and his brother. Today’s headlines feel rather lightweight, to be honest. Granted, still it is difficult to bear if you are simply trying to do “normal life”; like raise a family, work on a career or business, finish school, or whatever.
Here are 4 tips I would like to share with Millennials as they navigate these “new” chaotic times, that to Cold War Kids feels like our old playground:
- “45” Got You Down? Take a Tip from Billie D. Williams and have a “Colt 45”—Malt Liquor. In the 60’s and 70’s, men did not just drink for fun, sociability, or for the flavor. We definitely did not drink for our health. We drank to forget the fact that the world as we knew it, could very well end any second. That low grade stress can lead to a radical sense of disillusionment, despair, and depression. And how are men socialized to deal with depression? Go to a mental health professional? Naw! Just grab a “40,” or better yet, a “Colt 45,” like Billie D. Williams did. Check the coolest man alive getting his drink on in this old school T.V. commercial (He was “Lando” in the original “Star Wars” —how much cooler can you get than that?). For Cold War Kids, we learned from our elder brothers, uncles, and dads, to “drink up” when times get you down. Hmmmm . . .
In reality, moderate drinking can benefit your health. Medical studies have shown over the years that heart disease, cancer, and other common modern ailments that moderate drinkers fare better than abstainers. Yet, the dangers of excess drinking are well known and far too common for men. You would be hard pressed not to find a family impacted by alcoholism. Like Grandma used to say “moderation” is the key. Take it easy! Keep it cool, smooth, and low key—like Billie D. Williams.
- Read Between the Lines The News Media Feeds You.
These Orwellian “Newspeak” times are nothing new. The news does not exist to inform you. In this waning “Democracy,” the news is intended to distract, confuse, and ultimately to generate fear and obedience. Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, and Chris Hedges have been warning folks about this for years. Ask yourself, “WHY” is the Media allowing this story (with this twist) to pass through? What reaction are they trying to create? Who is writing the check for this particular media outlet? What would the “Corporatocracy” have to gain from this half of the story being told?
Dick Gregory passed away today at age 84. This iconic African-American Social Critic, Activist, Comedian, and wholistic health advocate taught me, as a young White kid of 6 years old, how to read the news—for real. To this day I follow his advice and read the business section first. He said “follow the money,” for what you read in the financial papers will manifest as regular “news” down the line. Dick Gregory taught us critical thinking and logical analysis of the hype we get fed from mainstream media outlets.
The bottom line? Do not get overly stressed about what is going on. What you can do something about, do it. What you cannot do something about, do not let it get to you. That is the intention of the “Powers The Be” —to stress you out to the point where you become immobilized, depressed, and worst of all, afraid. Manage your intake of B.S. Turn off the phone, the computer, the T.V. Take in only what you can act on. This is a mind game.
- Breath Deep and Keep It Moving—Exercise.
Regulate your body to regulate your mind. Regulate your mind to regulate your stress. Regulate your stress, and you regulate your health and longevity. Find your fun thing to do and keep doing it for fun. That is the key to a successful exercise program. Men in particular can dissipate stress through energetic movement.
For me personally, I do the moving meditation of Qigong, Tai Chi, and Martial Arts. I teach and train others in those modalities, for doing so is a labor of love, not work for me. For others it may be softball, running, swimming, golf, meditation, hiking (yes!) or playing roughhouse with your kids. Team sports and “Dojo’s” are great because you knock out the last tip with that one too.
- Heal Within Your Community.
Find that community you resonate with and get grounded there on the regular. It may be a place of worship, or place to practice of meditation. It may be a sports team, “Dojo,” or training hall. It may be a pub (going back to #1), it may be a writing group or a book club. It may be hanging with other social activists who care about the things you do, like the online and telephone talk groups Good Men Project has available. Just do not isolate! That is a key goal that “Der Fuhrer” has for citizens within the Third Reich, which is why we need to resist it vehemently. We heal with other human beings, not in isolation. Humans are hardwired for socialization. Community teaches us about “love” which is the antidote to the madness afoot today.
Men must work hard at taking care of themselves here in the Third Reich. If we are not taking care of ourselves, we cannot help those around us. Totalitarian states operate on the same principles as Domestic Violence perpetrators—they isolate. “Love” is the ultimate self-care that we must cultivate this neo-dystopia.