Over the past few years, the news has become quite intense, with the pandemic and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, with these intense events also comes major anxiety.
It can be safely said, that no matter who you are, we are living in an age of uncertainty. And uncertainty, especially on a global scale, can lead to anxious and fearful thoughts.
In light of this, various experts have come to the rescue with some extremely helpful tips to help us move through these times with as much ease of mind as possible.
Here are 5 ways to diffuse news anxiety.
1. Embrace the mundane.
According to Psychotherapist Noel McDermott, during this time it may be helpful to replace worries about the news with more mundane worries and tasks. For example, rather than focusing so much on the conflicts between Russia and the Western world, place your focus on spending time with your kids or going grocery shopping.
2. Sign off.
While it’s good to stay informed, when staying informed is costing you your mental wellbeing, it’s time to take a break. “Witnessing life-threatening events, even though you’re witnessing them secondhand, can produce trauma responses,” explains McDermott. “Try and monitor the level of images and stories that you’re allowing to come in, especially when children are in the house.”
3. Stay connected.
It can be easy to get lost in your thoughts when the news is screaming scary things at you. To thwart this, call a loved one you haven’t talked to in a while, or go visit them. Go outside and talk to your neighbors. Or, cuddle your pets.
4. Maintain healthy routines.
Rather than becoming so consumed by the news that you allow yourself to lose sight of your health, continue to maintain your healthy routines. Go to bed at a decent time, avoid too much alcohol, and eat well. “Your body signals get messed up when you’re anxious, so you have to artificially take over and think about these routines. Eat at regular intervals whether you have an appetite or not, and if you don’t drink enough your body becomes distressed. Meet your basic needs, or things feel much worse.” says Dr. Mcdermott.
5. Manage your anxiety.
It can be tempting to observe yourself worrying and tell yourself, “I shouldn’t be worrying about this.” However, that isn’t going to help your case at all. Instead, replace that thought with, “I’m anxious, that’s okay. I need to respond to this feeling and manage it to the best of my ability.”