Stress-Relief for Those Who Watch the News
How Do You Balance Staying Informed with the Desire to Not Lose Your Sh*t?!
We don’t need to see case studies to tell us that reading or watching the news can “bring us down” a bit in our day. I’m referring to news of a non-positive nature, of course. There might be the thought, "C'mon humanity, we can do better than this!"
Even with a certain level of awareness of a “bigger picture in the Universe,” we can feel frustrated or disheartened at events that unfold and how people behave and act in response to them. Most of us don’t read sad, fearful, or tragic stories and feel better about ourselves, our lives, and the future of the planet.
If you wish to participate in news consumption at whatever level you believe or do not believe what you hear, what can you do to support your most stable mental health? What can you do on a practical level right here, right now if you want to know what is going on outside of your house or community, so you can take conscious action if need be on personal or collective levels? And by “conscious action” I mean whatever you are feeling called to do. That may depend on your level of interest, responsibility, physical or mental abilities, or inner or outer resources.
Some are called to provide meals to those who don’t have any. Some rescue cats or dogs. Some see the weather forecast and go sailing or buy a snow shovel. Some help a neighbor with a task that couldn’t be done without their assistance.
And others send energy and “love and light,” pray, bless, chant, meditate, and visualize a smooth and peaceful outcome to the news story of the day, and wish perfect health and abundance for all. These extraordinary times are calling for us to participate on all those levels. Bless AND help care for one another.
5 Immediate Stress-Relievers If You’re Overwhelmed By News
- Limit exposure. Set aside a specific time of day, and amount of time to look at the news. Maybe it’s 10 minutes once or twice a day to take a peek or go more in-depth on stories of interest. If you’re finding yourself checking every hour in multiple places and constantly looking at who’s saying what and where all day long from when you wake up to when you fall asleep at night; take a breath. Turn things off. Step back. Take a walk in the fresh air and regroup; re-center yourself. Allowing yourself space to enjoy going about your life (making a meal, dancing, exercising, cleaning out the garage, calling a friend to talk about the sunset, or baking yummy cookies), helps to provide balance and a reminder that while certain events or locations maybe closed right now, it’s a chance to notice how open the heart is. How open can your heart be to the trees, the water, all of life’s creatures, the wind on your face, the rain on the grass, and the sun’s rays?
- Control how YOU go to the news, not the other way around. If you go out into places that have it blaring on all the TV screens and it’s not the thing that feels right to expose yourself to in that moment, remember that you can choose a different, more calm environment.
- If everyone around you wherever you go is having conversations about fearful things and the spread of illness and that’s not what you are feeling is contributing to your good physical or mental health, again, you can choose to leave and go to a different aisle of the grocery store, or move to a different table at the restaurant.
- Be especially discerning, use your intuition about what feels true or not from any source you seek.
- Choose to go to the level-headed, reliable sources that are much more non-biased and objective, not the fear-mongering, negative, inflammatory, sensational sources that are set on stirring up their ratings, blaming, creating anger, and dividing people.
Go Deeper: 8 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding News Consumption
- Why do I need to know this?
- Am I blindly following this information instead of the compass of my own heart?
- What if I didn’t have this information in my day, how would my day be different?
- What if my day wasn’t any better or worse because of this news? What if it doesn’t affect my inner peace or inner strength?
- How does this news feel in my body and mind—does it feel like it is a positive contribution to my day, my expansion of consciousness, or to my health?
- Does it feel like it’s contributing to a high collective vibe life, or a low vibe that brings down my immune system and view of the planet?
- Is there anything positive in this news that I can act on to make the world a better place? Where can I take conscious action in this?
- How does this contribute to my health and wellness? If something you hear or that your mind takes and goes into a long list of “what ifs” and that spikes your cortisol levels (the stress hormones), pumps your adrenals with negative doomsday thinking, or causes any constriction in the body, perhaps choose something different that helps you to feel open and relaxed. Healing comes from a relaxed, receptive place.
It’s time to dig deeper into what best supports all of us. That might be an appointment with a counselor to help manage stress, returning to your yoga practice, mindfully breathing, eating healthy immune system boosting foods, getting extra sleep, and increasing how much purified water you drink.
Keep your eyes, mind, and heart open. Question what doesn’t feel right, true, feels off, or odd. Trust your gut and your body's wisdom. Don’t believe everything you see, hear, or even think. Your thought don't have to run you. Don’t give your energy or power away to people, organizations, situations, and things you cannot confirm are true.
Engage and stay true to your inner moral compass and encourage others to do the same. It is time to put everything we have learned in life into practice with our best foot forward. As we may need to not be so outwardly social right now, or need to isolate temporarily to keep ourselves and others healthy, we can balance the solo, solitude time with alternate social interactions and staying in touch with friends and family. Text, email, call, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook messenger, use whatever means you can to see a loved one, or hear a friendly voice. We can share virtual hugs, songs, or our own stories.
If you find yourself stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, go on a media fast. Do something fun away from all of it. Go be amongst the trees. They will show you everything there is to know about peace. Find relief in looking into a baby’s eyes, or watch a dog or a cat. A cat sits on the windowsill of life and “reads the newspaper,” as my grandma used to say. Whatever the cat sees in view is what’s going on.
In addition to changes that are going on in the world and adjustments being made to daily life for people to be healthy and well, let’s keep in mind that there are other things going on that we surely don’t want to lose sight of.
In Great News Today:
- People are still recovering from illnesses.
- People are being there for one other through challenging times.
- Even through physical distancing, we are finding creative ways to unite, uplift, and inspire hope in one another.
- Many are leaning into their practices of mindfulness, while others are waking up to a new understanding that they need to build a more harmonious relationship with their mind.
- Even through "lockdowns" and "quarantines," people are already finding many gifts in their spontaneous "Vision quests" within themselves, their homes, and families.
- We are remembering the gifts of music and song to unite and heal. Thank you Italy.
- There are fun YouTube videos to watch just because. Like “Puppy Dog Bounce It In the Box.” You’re welcome, if you haven’t discovered that one yet!
- "Walk Off the Earth" releases new videos on YouTube to bring joy and inspire awe at their crazy awesome talents. There's yet another reason to live on planet Earth.
- Baby goats are still wearing pajamas, but I’m not sure they're very happy about it!
- Cats still purr. Dogs still wag their tails.
- Pizza still tastes great.
- Someone in the world is still knitting cute tea cozies in the shape of a flower, frog, or beehive.
- People are sailing across the world’s oceans right this very minute and picking up plastics along the way as the dolphins swim alongside the boat.
- Love. A chance for deeper heart-to-heart connections with one another. Everything is here to help us evolve as a planet and specias, let LOVE lead the way.
As always, you are loved,
P.S. PERSONAL VIRTUAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME. Details here: Private Sessions with Julie Dittmar
If you're feeling like you could really use some additional support in stress-relief, grounding, centering, and balancing on all levels, for a limited time (the next month or two to help get you through a time that you might find challenging you to your core), I'm opening up some 30-minute balancing/healing sessions.
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