Reading the news can be stressful. Recently, the tragic death of Lower Merion High School graduate Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other individuals had a profound and sad impact on our communities. Compounded by the impeachment hearings and the outbreak of the coronavirus, the news may be deeply impacting lives. Such difficulties can lead to negative feelings like anxiety, sadness and despair. But there’s a way to stay informed on current events without it impacting your mental health. Here’s how.
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1. Unplug. Take a break from the news and social media or limit check ins to once or twice a day.
2. Experience your feelings. It’s normal to have a mix of emotions when something tragic happens. Acknowledge your feelings. Fighting or berating yourself for negative emotions can make us feel worse for longer.
3. Reach out for support. For many, the news can trigger painful emotions from past events. Make plans to be with family and friends who are supportive, schedule an appointment with a therapist or join a supportive online community.
4. Make time for self-soothing activities. During a particularly stressful news cycle, it’s important to carve out time for relaxation. Self-soothing activities indulge our senses and naturally calm the nervous system. Listening to music, taking a warm bath, going for a walk or watching a funny movie are all self-soothing options.
5. Stick to healthy self-care practices. Whether it’s daily exercise, getting a proper amount of sleep, limiting alcohol or eating a healthy diet, sticking to a schedule helps maintain a degree of control over our lives.