Even if you’re not directly impacted by a situation, it can be hard to escape bad news — it’s all over TV, social media and often brought up by family, friends and colleagues alike. It can be really hard to avoid being affected by it. Finding ways to learn about ages in a healthy way, can be a useful strategy to help look after your mental health
and wellbeing during these challenging times.
Right now, some of us might be feeling sad, anxious, scared, helpless, or even angry and confused. There’s also a good chance you might be feeling overwhelmed by the constant news updates, not sure how to react to it all, and finding it even harder to disconnect from the news cycle. So, for that reason, we’ve put together a list of five things you can try to help lift your mood.
Acknowledge How You’re Feeling
Sometimes world news can hit close to home so if you’re feeling anxious, stressed or upset by what you’re reading, seeing or hearing, it’s worth speaking about it to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, or perhaps a counsellor. The simple act of talking can help to process what’s going on and help you to build resilience.
Log Off to Chill Out
If you notice yourself feeling down because of the things you’re seeing on
social media or in the news, consider taking a break, turning off your notifications for a period of time and reducing your social media use. You could even create some new ground rules for yourself such as only checking the news at one or two set times per day.
While it’s important to take a break, it’s also important to be informed so
consider finding a set time to talk about the news with your friends or family. This might also be a chance to think critically about the news you are choosing to read, curate a healthier social media news feed for yourself or find a new way to consume the news, such as a podcast.
It might seem obvious but create some time for the things you love, whether that be listening to music, baking or going for a walk. Simple acts like making a cuppa, having a shower or doing one of these breathing exercises can be really helpful if you’re feeling uneasy. You could even try timing your self-care for after you read the news.
Ask for Help
We all need extra support from time to time, whether that be from friends, family or a professional. If you’re feeling like you might need some professional help, your local GP is a good place to start or you might choose to connect with other people who have gone through similar experiences in a safe and supportive online environment like ReachOut’s Online Community. There are also helplines available including Lifeline (13 11 14) or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) if you are feeling distressed and in urgent need of help.
Remember that it’s totally okay to be feeling overwhelmed by the news right now, especially when good news stories can seem hard to come by. If you’re feeling down remember to be kind to yourself and figure out what works for you.
Annie Wylie is a senior digital content manager at youth mental health service ReachOut and a proud member of the queer community.