How to Cope with the Negative & Overwhelming News Cycle

August 22, 2019

Photo by Branden Harvey
*Disclaimer: I'm about to have a "she doesn't even go here" mean girls moment and get real sappy. You've been warned.

Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I like to pretend that I live in a faraway land where everyone is nice to each other. In this mythical place, people approach the differences in others with love, respect and intrigue, and violence is not a constant reality nor is it normalized. Yeah, that's a nice little daydream, but I know that it is far from how our world operates today.

I've had quite a few discussions with friends recently about how we are experiencing extreme levels of anxiety. Between the mass shootings, a surplus of hate crimes, families that have been torn apart by the current administration, global warming and police misconduct, it's no surprise that most of my friends and I have trouble sleeping at night or have become way too familiar with panic attacks. But just because there is a ton of chaos in the world, that doesn't mean there also isn't a ton of good! 

I am constantly researching ways to cheer myself up after reading the news. It's a tricky spot to be in because I want to stay aware of everything that is happening around the globe, but I also have had quite an amount of breakdowns after reading the news. I'm constantly on edge while doing the most mundane activities because I'm afraid that if I go to the movies, there could be a mass shooting or if I go to the grocery store at the wrong time, there could be a mass shooting or if I go to the wrong workout class, there could be a mass shooting. Or if I walk by the wrong police officer, I could get murdered.. you guys get the point. Most of us are on edge all the fucking time! And this is such an unhealthy way to live. So I've started seeking out a few different resources to help me calm the f down and learn to cope with the current state of the world. I wanted to share what I do to take care of my sanity because I know this is not a problem that is unique to me. I hope this list helps you find a little more peace in your day. And if you have any coping mechanisms, please share them below. I want us to support each other in every way possible.

What I do to cheer myself up after reading the news. 
  • Mobile Journaling - Although I love the ritual of writing in a physical journal with a beautiful pen, it's not always the easiest thing to carry around or whip out when you are on the go. One of my favorite new habits has been using my phone as a journal. I started a folder in my inotes app that is dedicated solely to journaling. This way, when I'm feeling super anxious, I can express myself, collect my thoughts and reassure myself that everything will be ok.
  • I seek out positive news sources. Although I love my daily newsletters from Katie Couric and other sources, I NEED to read about a lot more positive things that are happening around the world. The Good News Newsletter by The Week is an amazing resource for happier news. I like that they actually share heartfelt, impactful stories instead of just fluff news.  I signed up for their newsletter via my work email so I actually see it every week and am more likely to read it. 
  • I watch Queer Eye. It's one of the best reminders of humanity in the world. Wine and Queer Eye are an excellent combination... just saying.
  • I chat with my friends about the current news. I have pretty amazing friends who are all very compassionate people. The news typically emotionally impacts them just as much as it impacts me. So discussing our thoughts usually makes me feel 10000 times better. It always helps me feel less alone and like our world has a fighting chance.
  • I step away from technology and treat myself to a nice, warm cup of tea. We all know about the soothing health benefits tea, but have you ever thought about grabbing tea instead of coffee when you are stressed or feeling really down. The warm cup feels like a mini little hug. I believe there are a few studies that discuss the psychological benefits of holding a warm beverage.
  • My last tip is to research ways to get involved. One time, I heard this great quote, "If an injustice makes you angry, that’s a sign that you should do something about it." So if reading an article makes you want to scream into a pillow, brings you to tears or want to punch something, hop on Google and find a reputable place to donate money to that cause or volunteer your time. The best way to feel better about the state of the world is to actively contribute to making it better.

Now it's your turn homie. Let me know in the comments what you do to get over the emotional hangover that usually lingers after reading the news? I'm so happy that we have each other to lean on when times get tough. That's one thing I love about the internet; it allows us to expand our support system in ways that were never possible before. Thank you so much for spending time reading this! I love and appreciate you soooooo much more than you could ever know. Until next time my friend. 

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