Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall wellbeing, and it’s more important than ever to take care of it, especially during negative news cycles.
With the constant influx of information from social media, TV, and other sources, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the negative news and become consumed by anxiety, stress, and depression.
Overwhelming and scary news can have a massive impact on our mental health. When you’re exposed to events that cause worry or uncertainty, it’s natural to feel fear, anxiety or a loss of control over your own life. You may worry for the safety of strangers, loved ones or even yourself, and if you have lived experience of the events taking place in the news, it can resurface traumatic memories or triggering emotions.
We have created some advice to help you maintain your mental health during times where the news seems particularly daunting or negative and support your loved ones through uncertain times.
Limit exposure to negative news
It’s important to stay informed, but it’s also essential to limit your exposure to negative news. Set specific times to check the news and try to avoid watching it just before you go to bed, as this can affect your sleep and mood. Instead, choose a reliable source of news and stick to it, so you don’t get bombarded with different versions of the same story.
You may also want to consider muting or turning off news notifications on your smartphone, or unfollowing social media accounts that are reporting on particularly upsetting news stories.
It’s important that you take into account how you are consuming news. Where you can, avoid long sessions of scrolling through and overloading yourself with information which is upsetting.
It’s important to take breaks from the constant stream of news and social media. Try to find activities that bring you joy and peace, such as reading, taking a walk, practicing meditation or something else that brings you peace of mind. This will help you to recharge and refocus your energy on more positive things.
Once you’ve taken a break, take a minute to ask yourself how you feel. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, give yourself more time. But if you feel like the break has helped you recharge, then ease yourself back in and continue to take the relevant steps needed for you to avoid getting consumed in the bad news.
Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental health, even during quiet news periods. Make time for yourself to do things that make you happy and reduce stress, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise are also essential for maintaining good mental health.
By taking better care of yourself, this can help you feel more positive and take your mind off the stress that external events are causing you to feel.
Connect with others
Negative news cycles can make us feel isolated and alone. It’s essential to connect with others and build supportive relationships. Whether it’s through virtual or in-person connections, talking to friends, family, or a therapist can help you process your feelings and emotions; the likelihood is there are other people who feel the same way as you do in that moment.
You may want to extend your networks and reach out to local communities to help you tackle your feelings towards news events. This can help you feel more empowered in the situation and less alone in your thoughts. This may look like getting involved in local volunteering opportunities or a political community, participating in a peaceful organised rally that is supporting causes you’re passionate about or linking up with grassroot campaigns that are working on issues important to you.
Don’t keep it to yourself
If you’re struggling with anxiety, stress, or depression, it’s important to reach out for support. A mental health professional can help you understand and manage your feelings, provide coping strategies, and develop a treatment plan. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Alternatively, speak to a friend or loved one about your feelings so you’re not bottling up your emotions.
You may also find it helpful to document how you’re feeling through journaling or other creative outlets. Express your feelings in a way that feels best for you and has a positive effect on your mental health.
Focus on what you can control
During negative news cycles, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless, particularly if you have opinions on what is happening in the world. But much of what happens in the news is beyond your control. Focus on what you can control, such as your thoughts and actions, and try to make a positive impact in your own life and the lives of those around you.
There is no denying that negative news cycles can be overwhelming, but it’s important to stay hopeful. Try to find positivity in the midst of the negativity and focus on the good things in life. Find a routine that works for you in consuming news and fill your time with things that bring you happiness and positivity.
Maintaining good mental health during negative news cycles and overwhelming world or local events is crucial for our wellbeing. It’s important to limit exposure to negative news, practice self-care, connect with others, seek professional help, focus on what you can control, and stay hopeful. Remember, you are not alone, and there are resources and support available to help you. Take care of yourself and your mental health, and stay informed in a healthy and mindful way.