Some more tips on how to handle anxiety caused by news and media
- Reduce your time spent on social media and news reports. There is a lot of fake information spread on social media, so please only listen to reliable sources. I recommend checking this site once a day:
and checking in with this news summary only once or twice
- Focus on things that are under your control. There are things in life we can control, things we can influence and things that are beyond our control. By nature, we humans tend to be most afraid of things that are beyond our control and spend most time worrying about these. But, by definition, this is a waste of time and creates a sense of helplessness, which is one of the most common causes of depression and anxiety.
So focus on listening to a good song (ideally with an uplifting beat and plenty of bass), getting some exercise, even if it is just dancing around the house, create predictability by putting together a daily schedule. Focus on taking a shower, getting dressed, preparing a healthy meal.
- Focus on what's real in the here and now. We are human, which means we catastrophise. We imagine worst case scenarios and then we take them to the nth degree. We can get stuck in these horrible ruminations and become paralysed with fear.
When this happens, hit the pause button. Come out of your head back into the real world and ground yourself in the moment. Go through each of your senses: what can I hear, what can I smell, what does this chair feel like, what colours can I see etc. Then remind yourself that the things you are afraid MIGHT happen are not happening right now. Say things like: Right now, all I have to cope with is sitting in this chair. Right now, I am safe. Right now, everyone I love is fine. And so on.
- Stay in touch with others. It is natural that we tend to hide away when we are not feeling well or if we are anxious. This is called the freeze response. We might stop moving altogether and only curl up on the sofa and binge-watch movies etc, or worse, the news. This is extremely unhealthy and unhelpful. Try to force yourself to stay in touch with real people. Try to text friends or, even better, pick up the phone. There are amazing online groups coming together, like online choirs etc. Get in touch with these people! We are all in this together.
- Remind yourself that everything will be fine. When we are anxious, we tend to slip into vulnerable child mode. This means we need to talk to ourselves in the same way as we would talk to a terrified child. So no self-criticism or yelling at ourselves. That makes it worse, just like it would only scare a child even more. Talk to yourself in a gentle and supportive way. Say encouraging things such as you can do this, we can whoop this, you have done difficult things in the past and you were always fine, you will be fine this time as well. You are tougher than you think!
Copyright @ All Rights Reserved