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5 Ways to Cope with a Constant Stream of Bad News

Sometimes, it can feel like much of what we see or read on local or world news is negative. With humanitarian crises, civil rights issues, and natural disasters happening almost daily, the constant stream of bad news can significantly impact our mental health. “It increases our stress and anxiety, and decreases our ability to care for ourselves and regulate our emotions,” says Kelly Bombardiere, Vice President, Enterprise & 988 Crisis Services. Though the 24-hour news cycle is never ending, there are a few ways to help cope with what we see and hear.

  1. Limit your news consumption. Though we can get news from almost anywhere, there are ways to avoid it when you don’t want to see it. “Unfollow news outlets, or mute their notifications. This way, you’re able to control when you receive news,” adds Bombardiere. It may also be helpful to allocate a set amount of time each day or week to catch up on the news. If you do this you can still stay up-to-date without feeling overwhelmed. 
  2. Get accurate news. When consuming news online, it can be hard to tell what’s true. Before sharing an article or post with friends and family, make sure to validate the source of the piece to avoid spreading misinformation.
  3. Follow positive news outlets. Online outlets like @goodnews_movement on Instagram or sites like Good News Network share positive news and uplifting stories from all over the world that may help bring light to your day.
  4. Focus on you. Consistent exposure to negative news can be overwhelming, and can cause us to feel swept up in current events that don’t directly involve us. In the event that the news brings feelings of negativity or stress, do something that allows you to step away from it and brings you joy. “There isn’t a set go-to list for this, it is truly as simple as doing something that makes you happy,” adds Bombardiere. Whether you take a bubble bath, listen to your favorite song, or practice yoga, distracting ourselves with something positive can help alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed.
  5. Practice gratitude. Keeping bad news in perspective when we feel like there isn’t anything we can to do help can be challenging and can often bring feelings of helplessness. However, it’s important to try to focus on the good that surround us, and try to use that to help others. Consider getting involved with an organization that supports a cause you’re passionate about. Whether you donate goods, time, or money, you are making a difference.

There’s no doubt that taking in bad news can be hard, and at times, painful. If you find yourself feeling consistently overwhelmed and anxious because of current events, Centerstone can help. Visit our counseling services page or call us at 877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.

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