Coping with News and Current Events

The news and current events can affect us all differently and sometimes that effect is emotional and traumatic. It is normal to be hurt by the experiences of others in our community and in our world. Whether through human action, accident, or disaster, what we see on the news or social media can impact us profoundly.

watching tv - coping with news and current events

You may be confused and hurt or shaken and fearful or overwhelmed and hopeless. These feelings are normal, but sadness and anxiety can worsen your condition or create a new challenge entirely.

If you aren’t yet prepared to reach out to a Canvas Health counselor, it can be helpful to first identify how news or current events are impacting you, then practice some coping strategies to improve your well-being.

Feelings Resulting from News and Current Events

  • Sadness at the suffering of others?
  • Anxiety about what happens next?
  • Fear that things will never get better?
  • Confusion about why bad things happen or why people make poor decisions?
  • Shame about your initial reaction to an event?
  • Anger at the actions of others?
  • Frustration at the opinions and choices of public figures?

Other Symptoms That Can Result:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Changing appetite (more or less)
  • Light-headed
  • Racing heart
  • Nausea
  • Sweating or chills
  • Tight chest
  • Sleeplessness
  • Fatigue
  • Pain

These symptoms are likely familiar, because they can indicate when a person is under stress. News and current events can be very stressful. The question when you’re feeling these ways because of news and current events is how to cope.

Coping Strategies to Improve Your Well-Being

Give yourself permission to feel. Your feelings are normal and news and current events can impact everyone differently.

Acknowledge your (changing) feelings. Part of giving yourself permission to feel is to also recognizing that you are being affected by news and current event and that those feelings and symptoms may change over time.

Get active. Start with something manageable, like a walk to a park or just around the block. The exercise can serve as its own distraction and triggers the release of endorphins that can improve your mood and improve your symptoms.

Act on what you can control. This can pull you out of spiraling thinking and show yourself that you can impact your life, whether a task for work or a chore around your home.

Separate yourself from news and current events (when possible). Taking a break from television or social media, especially when being active or engaging in a favorite hobby, can help refocus your thinking and thus improve your mood.

Relaxation. Strategies for relaxing include deep breathing and picturing a favorite calming place, but also taking a bath and getting healthy amounts of sleep at night—neither too little nor too much.

Healthy consumption.

Talk to others. Call a trusted friend or family member to tell about how your feeling. Part of the pain associated with your feelings may be that your feelings are abnormal or that you’re suffering alone. Let people who care about you know that you’re struggling.

It may also be time to reach out to a counselor at Canvas Health. If your feelings don’t improve or if they significantly impact your ability to live your life, a quick way to get help is to reach out to our counselors by message or by phone here.