This last week was really rough on me mentally. A zillion new sexual assault allegations. Alabama voters who are willing to vote in a sexual predator rather than consider a Democrat. A shooting at an elementary school in Northern California that barely made the news. The Dakota Access Pipeline has already broken and spilled oil into the water. And on top of all of this reigns our Predator in Chief, Donald Trump.
This was literally the topic of one of my therapy sessions this week. This is how stressful it’s gotten. It feels like nowhere is safe and every day a shower of horrible things happen. It’s been causing a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. The news is just one big trigger and I’ve had to get creative to deal with it.
If you are a victim of abuse, and the odds are stacked against you, then the recent news cycle could be upsetting to you too. Hell, even if you’re not a victim! Here are three things I’ve been doing to help absorb some of the blows.
I follow a page on Facebook called Happy Cats for the specific reason that I get a video of an adorable kitten in my newsfeed for every couple of stressful posts I see. It seems like a healthy approach to life. I mean, yes, we need to resist and stand up for people’s rights and that means paying attention to all of the madness going on. But we don’t need to do it 24/7. I try to give myself breaks even when watching late night TV because they all draw from the same well for their monologues. It may be informative and funny but even that can be too much.
Don’t be afraid to unplug from social media for a bit. Only you can decide how much is healthy for you, so I won’t say leave social media for x hours or days etc. But I would suggest having some alternatives for when it gets to be too much. So that you aren’t just left feeling overwhelmed with no support or solution I suggest games, or learning something, or laughter. There are a number of informative vlogs that I like to watch instead of the news, The Financial Diet (TFD), Vlogbrothers, and Sci-Show. Some great comedy channels for a good laugh are Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, or HISHE.
I also keep a Destress Box. It’s a shoe box that I’ve filled with things for when I’m anxious. I try to find something for each of the senses. Taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell. I keep lavender lotion in there to smell, fuzzy soft socks that I can just feel the fabric on, crossword puzzles, and a journal in case I need to write about how I’m feeling. There are bubbles, silly putty, and an adult coloring book. Just customize your box for you. If you’re feeling fancy you can even decorate it.
What do you do when you need to rejuvenate yourself? How do you de-stress and fuel up on positive energy to keep you going? Especially with all the awful news we are bombarded with daily! I would love to hear from you!! I can always use new ideas! Meet me in the comments section!