Breaking News! The world is pretty uncertain at the moment.
I don’t know about you, but every time my phone pings, I dread that it’s another devastating headline. That’s not to say that current events aren’t important and shouldn’t be reported on. But, at a time when my personal life already feels unsettled (leaving university, finding a job, moving house – you name it!) sometimes the news can be overwhelming.
When I talked to my friends about this, it was a massive relief to discover I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Trying to juggle the ups and downs of my personal life, while being empathetic to current affairs, would only lead to a catastrophic dropping of balls. So, we came up with a few tips and tricks to help you stay balanced when the world is all over the place.
Talking with you friends and loved ones
As I said, talking to my friends was a big help. Finding out you’re not alone in how you’re feeling helps to take the weight off. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved! Remember – talking with a family member is a great option, too. Sometimes, I forget that I can still ask my parents for help. I’m so busy trying to be independent and living my own life, that turning to them for help doesn’t even cross my mind.
Mums like to tell us that they are ‘always right’ and, sometimes, they are. They can offer some advice, or lend an ear for your troubled thoughts.
At the moment, I’m constantly feeling guilty. Be that for not appreciating what I have enough, not always being up to date on the news, or not being able to do much to help. If we were to think about these things all the time, it would drive us mad!
While it’s good to be grateful, remember that what’s happening isn’t your fault. You have to put yourself first sometimes. Scrolling through news websites 24/7 won’t help anyone. Feeling a bit guilty is natural and shows that you care, but don’t let it consume you.
A great way for controlling your news consumption is to set yourself limits. Dedicate a certain amount of time to reading the news, sharing donation pages or just thinking about what’s happening. I find half an hour a day works well and helps me feel less guilty. That way, I’ve dedicated time to the situation without it becoming too much.
It’s important to take time for yourself, too. So, after that 30 minutes, I’ll dedicate time to self-care. That might be reading a book, scrolling through TikTok, or popping out for a coffee. Setting boundaries is a great way to stay in control.
How to help
Like many people, I’m not in a position to make donations at the moment, and that’s perfectly okay. Social media is a powerful tool, so simply spreading awareness through Instagram stories, or in-person to friends and family, is a great way to contribute.
Also, just keeping up to date is more than enough. Knowledge is power, after all. If being aware of current affairs is all you can manage, that’s absolutely fine as well. What’s important is finding a way to help that’s manageable for you.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to say no. Whether it’s because of guilt, money or any other reason. However, it’s good for our mental health to take a step back. I know I’ve felt pressured by people I follow online to support those in need in a way I’m not comfortable doing.
This ties into setting boundaries and talking to friends. Set some rules in your friendship group; if someone is feeling particularly overwhelmed that day, give them a chance to say that, and move the topic on without dwelling on it.
Further, if a news story pops up, carry on scrolling if you need to. You aren’t obliged to do anything you don’t want to. It’s really easy to become anxious about the world at the moment. So prioritise yourself and step away completely if that’s what you need to do.