If you’re a news junkie (and I am), it’s been a tough week. If you have loved ones in Eastern Europe, it’s been a nearly impossible week.
Over the past two years, a lot of people have had to create a personal “news policy.” You’ve probably heard someone say “Oh, I don’t watch the news.” And you probably know people at the other end of that spectrum, who never stop watching the news. But most of us, for better and worse, are in the middle of that spectrum. We pick up news here and there – on our phones, in our conversations, through radio or TV (if we’re old) and social media. We pick up these bits and pieces, and sometimes sit down to do some heavy lifting as we try to understand what’s happening with more depth or nuance.
That news is valuable, and sometimes helps us make more powerful decisions. It’s also heavy, and can damage our mental health and drain our resilience.
What’s the answer? The same as anytime we have to carry something heavy: Build your strength, share the load, and put it down sometimes.
You can do that with any of these three Resilience Skills*:
- Find options. Listening to or reading the news puts a lot of thoughts and feelings into your brain. Find ways to get them back out.
- Talk (or write – I’m doing that right now, so thanks!) about those thoughts and feelings
- Learn more so you have context or clarity
- Find a way to help through contribution or service
- Build connections. Connect to other people who are thinking about this and learn together, or connect to people who lighten your mood and don’t talk about these issues for a while.
- Set Boundaries. Have times of day or places in your life that you choose not to pick up news. Create some protected spaces – choose music in the car or a book in bed or make evenings a news blackout time.
Most adults, myself included, feel a need to be aware and somewhat up to date on what’s happening. We also need to be able to take a deep breath, function in our lives and keep hope and optimism alive for ourselves and our people. So don’t keep picking up that heavy news without thinking about how you’re going to be strong enough to carry it, share the load with others, and put it down sometimes.
If you’d like to share that load with me, I’m here for you. Just hit reply.
All my best,