Six Ways to Handle The (Constant Stream of) Bad News
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Because some of us prefer text, I thought it might be an idea to write a blog after my Facebook Live on Friday 24th April. It was based on the wise words of Matt Haig's 'Notes On A Nervous Planet' and I've expanded some of his points too. Head over to here to listen if you'd like to! Like what you read? Share it! Thank you!
If you are bothered by the constant spray of bad news and doom and gloom this blog is for you! It is not about you being unfeeling, or lacking emotion or indeed compassion, but rather managing your feelings about the news.
1. Be aware that the news is reported in such a way as to draw you in and asks you to emote into the subject, be it the current pandemic or goats roaming around a village in Wales. Listen to the message and not the emotion. If you were to listen to news broadcasts from the 1950's or 60's even up to the 80's you will find the tone of voice used was more neutral. As Matt Haig says:
'It is easy to believe things are getting worse when they might just make us feel worse.'
2. Limit the times you listen to the news. There is a constant stream of news coming into our homes, phones, inboxes and if you pay attention you will notice that is is the same news being repeated over and over. In the 70's news generally came via the newspaper in the morning and the evening news on TV. The world still turned.
Be aware that the news is reported in such a way as to draw you in and asks you to emote into the subject.
3. The world is not as violent as you might think. Yuval Noah Harari, author, historian and philosopher says ' ...comparatively there is less violence then ever before in history. Today more people die from eating too much than from human violence....I live in the Middle East and know this perfectly well. ' He has recently been interviewed by James Corden. Interested? Head here
4. Animals make you feel better. They truly don't care about economics or politics. Life carries on for them. Hug your dog, cat, guinea pig, iguana. If you don't have one, check out some funny animal videos and see what happens to your mood.
Try this one.
Winnie the Pooh has so many wise words to share. Again, if you've not got an animal nearby, he will do.
5. There has been a lot of advice around how to manage feelings around control. Essentially though, focus on what you can control around you. The news, as Matt Haig says is 'full of things you can't control' but you may be able to help a cause, or raise awareness. Or perhaps it is getting on with your day as best you can and managing to feed the cat, home school (admirable on so many levels!), take a walk and get into bed.
6. Sadly it would seem that bad news has the monopoly on all of the news. There are, even now, wonderful things happening. Innovations, discoveries, humans being (wonderful) humans, animals delighting us. And if you'd like a dose of verified and reliably sourced good news try Positive News UK. Here
I've found it very helpful to have find other things to occupy my mind. This week they have been:
Rage to Riches - fascinating insight into the life of artist jean Michel Basquait, a contemporary of Andy Warhol. If you like art! Here
Unorthodox. I was completely and utterly absorbed in the world of the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community, in Williamsburg, New York and the true story (well, based on a true story) of a woman who left the community. On Netflix.
The Royal Academy post a daily doodle They range from drawing a rabbit, to a fried egg, to your posture right now, to Gandalf. You can post and participate or just spectate. #RAdailydoodle
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