It is simply overwhelming at times .. and it seems to come in waves. I know that our media and technology make it all so much more accessible, it is everywhere and there is no escaping the harsh realities of the world around us. At the moment I want to run far away from the intense sadness of Nepal, the executions in Indonesia, the growing number of women being killed by partners or strangers, planes going down, the horror acts of terror .. it is all too much. At the same time it can be strangely fascinating to delve into the details and explore our own emotions and reactions to such complex issues.
It is even worse for those of who blog, adore social media and work in the constantly connected world .. it is not possible to run far away unless we take a self imposed break from being connected! Finding a way to keep yourself at a safe emotional distance so that all of the bad news does not consume you is essential! It can be a delicate balance of also being a compassionate and actively caring human being, donating and volunteering where you can to make a difference. However you choose to be involved these tips for how to handle all of the bad news and take care of yourself and your family will hopefully help:
♡ Turn off the TV! I cannot stress this one enough, the commercial TV news is generally a toxic place filled with sensationalised content. It is just not necessary to subject yourself or your family to this experience. I know that it is tempting, there is something strangely addictive to the repetition of information with carefully chosen backing music. In recent times we have seen this taken to a new level, most noticeably during the Martin Place siege when the TV news had no new information for many hours yet they kept repeating meaningless snippets of the same content that only added to the intense fear and misinformation.
♡ Utilise your Facebook feed as a very carefully curated news feed. Choose some sensitive and educated sources of news and only allow those into your world! In Australia I prefer the ABC for my news, or SBS. I also quite like The Guardian. Avoid the tabloid newspapers the same way you avoid the TV news!
♡ Find a few positive news sources such as the Huffpost Good News 🙂 and sprinkle these into your news feed so that there is a balance!
♡ It is very normal to absorb some of the collective grief during times of great tragedy such as natural disasters and acts of terror, as well as the smaller scale yet deeply disturbing events such as the murder of beautiful Stephanie Scott recently in Australia. If you have any level of compassion the images and stories presented to us by the media will hurt you in your own way. I try to limit the amount of imagery that I allow into my space, the images are what stay with you and they create a lasting imprint of these events.
♡ Turn your focus to something positive, try to find the glimmers of hope and humanity that always shine through at these times of intense bad news. The #ridewithme hashtag came out of the of the Martin Place siege, turning the focus around powerfully. How can you turn things around for yourself and your family when you are feeling overwhelmed with this collective sadness?
♡ Take some time to look into the charities, individuals and other groups providing relief and support to those directly affected. The Red Cross, World Vision, Unicef, Care, Save the Children, Friends of Nepal and many others need your donation.
♡ Think before you share anything ‘bad news’ related on your social media or verbally. It is the words, the vibe, the meaning that you put out into the world that ultimately comes back to you. Be careful, and cautious whilst also being true to yourself. It is essential that you have your own voice and that this is not censored, it is just as important that you think about the energy and the life force behind everything that you choose to communicate. Is it positive? Is it kind? Is it helpful?
♡ Take some time away from the news, schedule in something that will nourish you when you are feeling overwhelmed. Go for a walk away from the inter webs, away from the TV and away from the radio, breathe in the goodness of the beach or bush or any source of fresh air! Bake something or get together with loved ones for a meal that is focused on intimacy, compassion and your personal connections, rather than the extended connection to world issues. Escape into a good book or a magazine, a yoga class or your journal.
♡ If you have children it is even more important to handle the bad news in a way that is balanced and sensitive, pre school aged children are the most likely to be affected. I found this article really helpful, and for me it is about being honest and compassionate and ensuring that my child is not exposed to the TV news.
I hope that you are OK with all of the bad news we are experiencing currently, please take care of yourself and each other xx