Your Wellbeing – Tips to cope with news overload
This content has been adapted from Morneau Shepell's workhealthlife.com, part of the CDSPI Members' Assistance Program (MAP). MAP is available to you, your family and team member.
Access their website here.
Thanks to social media, mobile devices and 24-hour news stations, we seem to be bombarded with bad news from around the world – natural disasters, political turmoil, terrorism and war. It’s no wonder many of us are feeling stressed. And when traumatic or difficult events happen in our own lives -- job losses, relationship issues, the loss of loved ones, financial problems – we can feel completely overwhelmed.
A constant barrage of stressful events can make us feel:
- Sad or depressed
- Irritable or angry
They can cause:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Sleep problems
- Unhealthy coping strategies such as overeating, drug or alcohol abuse, and social withdrawal
Coping with bad news
While we can’t control what happens around us, we can control how we react to them. Try the following:
- Adjust your thoughts. Losing your job or ending a relationship can be devastating but try not to look at the situation as the end of a certain chapter of your life, but the beginning of a new one, filled with possibility.
- Limit your exposure to the news. Everyone has their own level of tolerance for stress so we each have judge for ourselves when enough is enough. Try to set certain times of the day to catch up on news or log onto social media.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep keep our bodies and minds ready to cope with whatever life throws our way.
- Stop and breathe. Do whatever works for you – a long walk, a vigorous workout, meditation, listening to music or playing with the kids.
- Laugh. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins that give us a sense of wellbeing. It’s hard to feel angry, anxious, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Rely on your support network. Discuss your concerns with family members, friends, trusted colleagues or neighbours. People who care about you will provide perspective, sound advice and practical help that can get you through tough times.