When the News of the World Spikes Your Anxiety

It’s been a tough few weeks in terms of horrific things happening in the world. Having to hear and see the news of so much devastation and suffering caused by the hurricanes, as well as the recent Las Vegas shooting, can be tough to swallow.

There seem to be some people in this world who can hear these things and move on with their lives fairly easily. But for those of us who are highly sensitive, anxious souls, it can cause us to grieve deeply.

I know for me, seeing things like the Vegas shooting makes my anxiety flare like crazy. How am I supposed to feel safe in the world when there’s so much evil? Those people at that concert could have easily been my fiance and me. We go to Vegas almost every year. Or it could have been family and friends. I’m so painfully aware of how horrific it must have been for everyone involved. I feel it deeply.

So what do we do when we’re bombarded with negativity all the time? How can we take care of ourselves and keep ourselves healthy even in the midst of despair?

Here are a few things I’ve done recently.

 

-Place limits on your consumption of news and social media.

For the most part, we’re in control of the information that we let into our worlds. I consciously made the choice not to watch any of the videos of the shooting, or to click on articles that went into detail about the event. I didn’t believe doing either of those things would be beneficial in any way.

I also made the decision to stay off of Facebook these last few days. I was getting overwhelmed reading about everyone’s opinions, as well as seeing a few headlines of other awful events taking place around the world.

It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to give your mind a rest. It’s okay not to be informed about every single detail. If that’s something you’d like and you can handle it, great! But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about taking a step back.

 

-Seek out all the good stuff.

There IS good in the world, even though bad is happening. And in fact, there’s way MORE good than there is bad. Look around and notice all the love you see. All the people holding hands. All the children being hugged by their parents. The small acts of kindness.

Focus all of your attention on the good in order to remind yourself that the world isn’t all scary. Watch funny shows. Play with your pet. Listen to your children laugh.

I am amazed by how many people were so brave in stepping up and helping others during both the hurricanes and the shooting.

If you need a little boost, watch this video of the Ellen Show that highlights some wonderful acts of kindness. People ARE generally kindhearted.

 

-Do what you can and let that be enough.

If there’s something you are able to do in order to help those who are suffering, like donating money or blood, then do that. But then let that be enough.

For the hurricanes, I donated money, clothes, and goods. For the shooting, I donated to a fund to help survivors.

And after I did this, I realized that sitting there with a pit in my stomach, thinking about these people over and over again, wasn’t going to help them, and it wasn’t going to help me. What’s actually going to help is for me to go out and be a kind person. To go out and do good. To love everyone around me as much as possible.

 

-Double up on self-care.

You’re going to feel all kinds of emotions, and that’s okay. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and take care of yourself in the process. What can you do to nurture yourself while you’re feeling scared/overwhelmed/sad?

Make time for restorative yoga. Take a bath. Go for a walk. Cook your favorite meal. Snuggle up with your fluffy babes. Exercise.

This past week, I’ve been carving out extra time in my day to practice yoga nidra, which is a deeply restful guided meditation and it’s helped me so much to reset body and mind.

 

How have you guys been this past week? How are you taking care of yourselves?

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