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What to do when the news is overwhelming

What to do when the news is overwhelming

Sophie Coffey

Over the past two years we have come to rely on the news with an almost alarming dependency.

While it is fantastic that we are all so up-to-date on the world’s events, said events have a tendency to be far from fantastic and the news is often overwhelming. It is natural to find your optimism waning when the majority of broadcasters report bad news. The last two years have been overwhelming with the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine. But it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and confused – it’s what makes us human.

Here are our top tips for coping when the news is overwhelming…

Log out

Throwing your phone out the window might seem like an inspired idea at the time but give it  a minute and I guarantee you will regret it! Logging out of your social media accounts and walking away from your phone will have the same positive impact without the dramatic consequence.

Considering our phones tend to be our only connection with others at the moment it is perfectly understandable if that is not an option you are particularly fond of. Instead logging out of individual accounts or temporarily deleting certain apps might be more effective.

Balance your media consumption

The phrase ‘look on the bright side’ is possibly one of the most overused expressions in existence. While the intention is good the words can fall slightly flat sometimes. And I think a global pandemic might just be one of those occasions.

So while, I won’t proclaim that every cloud has a silver lining or anything along those lines, it is worth remembering that there is still good in the world and in our communities.

The media might be showing a reel of despair but there are still good news stories out there too. In the same way nutritionists advise that we balance what we eat, it is also important to balance our media consumption.

Chat to a friend

I always thought starting conversations about the weather was something I wouldn’t do for another thirty years at least! And yet these are the depths I am reaching to in my determination to avoid yet another coronavirus related conversation.

If you are finding the onslaught of frightening figures overwhelming then reach out to a friend for a chat. It may help to avoid encroaching on topics related to Covid-19. Instead feel free to chatter away about something light-hearted or funny.

Avoid speculation

The pace of social media and the news in the 21st century means it is not unusual to feel as if we are being bombarded with information from every direction. The current situation can make this onslaught seem like a torrent of negativity. To avoid sensationalist headlines popping up on your phone it might be worth turning off notifications from certain apps even for a short period of time.

See Also

Watching clips in their entirety or reading the full contents of an article can also be valuable tools. This can help you to see past the clickbait headlines or captions that tend to incur panic. Remember that speculation is not fact. We have put together a guide to help you navigate fake news.

Change your habits

Most of us have that awful habit of checking our phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night. While there are plenty of reasons why this isn’t the best idea the type of information you are viewing now may influence your day.

If you start and end your days with a dose of bad news then it is likely to affect both your sleeping and waking hours. Try to limit the types of information you look at just before going to bed and just after waking up.

What are your top tips for coping coping when the news is overwhelming?

If you do feel utterly overwhelmed by the situation there are organizations and helplines that can provide support.

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