How To Cope If You're Finding The News Overwhelming
If you’re reading the developing news stories on the Manchester terror attacks or other tragic news happening all over the world, it’s normal and understandable that you might be feeling upset and a little overwhelmed. For many of us, this recent attack feels very close to home. It targeted young music fans at a time when they were meant to be having the time of their lives. Events can be most difficult for those with pre-exisiting mental-health issues such as depression and anxiety, but feeling scared or worried at times like these is perfectly understandable. So how do you stay informed whilst remaining mindful of your own wellbeing? Here is the Miss Vogue guide:
Choose your news source wisely
Different media outlets will cover the same stories in different ways. Large news organisations will often share as much information as they have been given and this can often include first-person videos from horrific events. If the harsh brutalities and intricacies are making you feel distressed, it’s advisory that you choose a news source that isn’t showing a large amount of from-the-scene footage or imagery. Consider switching to Radio 1, their regular Newsbeat bulletins are up-to-date, colloquial and presented in language that is detailed but not over complicated. The fact that it is only audio also offers the opportunity to place your own imagery on the event which can be helpful in comprehending exactly what has happened without taking in distressing images. Also, do not disregard Newsround as being simply for children. Their coverage of the Manchester attack is being highly praised for making the message digestible for young people without missing any facts. They also do not use distressing imagery, if this is a trigger point for you.
There’s a reason these stories are making headlines
When horrific events like this happen, the reason that people talk about these moments so much is that they are news, not regular occurrences. While this is much easier said than done, the best thing you can do is talk to your friends or family members for reassurance and scope on the situation. They are likely to have had similar feelings in the past and will be able to share some perspective on how they moved forward.
It’s OK to switch off
If you feel like you need to step away from the updating headlines, it’s OK. In fact, it’s more than OK, it’s imperative. If you’re part of a conversation that is causing you distress or making your anxiety worse, politely excuse yourself or ask if the topic can be put aside for the time being. Head to your safe space – whether that’s reading your favourite book, watching a comical YouTube clip or making your favourite self-care snack – until you’re feeling a little less overwhelmed. You might find that having taken a moment out, you have a new perspective and are keen to engage in the matter with a fresh view point.
Stick to a routine
As anyone who has experience with mental health issues will advise, sticking to a routine is an incredibly helpful tool and this will help regulate your body if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Do you always make a cup of tea when you get home from school? Do that today. Do you always head out for a run while dinner is being made? Focus on making that happen. It’s the little things that will have the biggest impact.
Talk freely, but wisely
The best thing that can be done whenever you’re feeling sad is talking about what’s causing the upset with someone who you trust to listen well and offer the right sort of advice. It’s worth being mindful about the others around you. Most people you know will be feeling a heightened level of worry over the next few days and coming weeks. Share your worries and listen back to theirs. Be mindful with what you’re sharing and to who you’re sharing it with.