WHAT TO DO WHEN THE NEWS MAKES YOU SAD
Recently it seems as if the news has been on sadness overdrive; when it’s not politics, it’s dreadful weather, when it’s not the weather it seems to be this wave of fear concerning security, border security, or security regarding our personal data. It just seems as if we have so much to be concerned about all the time and it’s becoming inescapably daunting.
Personally, I am tired of my heart racing as I read news articles and comments, or as I watch the news and try to decipher real and key facts that may or may not affect me or my immediate community. I then decided that enough was enough and began making notes about how I could still stay informed without becoming overwhelmed by the news, below I’ve listed 3 tips you can follow if you too would like to escape this “tornado of gloom” we now call news.
Be selective and indulge in positive news.
We have a tendency to over engage in news that is shocking, mysterious or popular, these things steer our brains into an abyss of sometimes irrelevant data, and before you know it, twenty minutes have passed, and you are still confused as to why ordinary people are organizing a raid at Area 51. Aren’t we all a little ashamed when we catch ourselves exiting the fog of spending too much time on something that started off with positive learning potential, only to end up on an article entitled “the top ten things the media isn’t telling you” - I’ve been there.
be selective by evaluating your mood first, then engage in things that will make your day better. Skip or just skim titles like - “The world ends soon, find out how and when” and opt for something with a light undertone such as “People around the world are now living longer here’s how”. You can control how long you watch a news report, if it is more than you wish to handle in the moment don’t be afraid to walk away and switch your thoughts to something different. For example if you are watching a report on how kids have found a dozen beached whales on some lovely beach in California, it’s OK to think wow this is sad, then immediately get up to go get a glass of water, in 5 minutes your focus will be on something else if not change the channel, discovery and HGTV are my go to channels for relaxation . You must combat sad news by actively deciding not to engage.
Escape your TV
Escaping the TV is the hardest task in our contemporary society since our TV has now become our computer and has also transformed into our phones. Chances are you will always have one device present. I believe reading or watching videos on your phone is completely different than watching videos on your 75-inch mounted LED smart TV, the content maybe the same but delivery is everything. Give your TV a break sometimes. you can always scroll through the news in the bathroom while you are “doing your business”, If you have just about had it with news, you can use your enormous flat screen to watch Comedies, Cooking shows and Fixer upper. If you would like to ditch the TV overall, you can find a book that you have always wanted to read (hard copy) and snuggle into your bed or designated reading spot with a cup of tea and just relax. You can also call your relatives and friends to catch up. Remember that the world will not end because your TV is off.
Indulge in a little nonsense
This has to be my absolutely favorite tip! As adults we are taught to be responsible and take everything seriously, then we judge others and ourselves very harshly in this same context. We share news and articles riddled with subtle ideas and standards that we reiterate to ourselves just to confirm normalcy. It often feels inconvenient to break out of a routine and just have random fun, but it is important to at least try to have fun and reflect on how it makes you feel. I remember watching an interview with television producer Shonda Rhimes, I recall her saying that she had made a conscious decision to agree to playtime every time her daughter requested it and how this small change helped her to regain focus at a time when she was overwhelmed in her career. There is a large amount of research that indicates that a little daily nonsense is far from a waste of time, it actually helps to relive stress. So, the next time your spouse, friend or child hits you with a knock-knock joke don’t be too stiff to boldly reply “who’s there”?
I believe that back in the day the news was more well-rounded, and things made sense as stations were concerned with providing viewers with quality programming in terms of balance, there were things that made us feel good then things that made us feel sad, then it concluded on a light note. NOWADAYS we have news that make us feel sad fused with news that make us afraid then “that’s all folks, come back tomorrow to see more - what?????? No!
Just between us, I think we have to break the addiction to the drama, this way the news can go back to being news instead of the circus that we now have. Feel free to comment below and share other tips of how you deal with this “new news”.