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Overwhelmed by the news? Switch it off. 

man sitting on chair holding newspaper on fire

I make no apologies for switching off while acknowledging that it is a privilege and one that I am thankful for. The news has been so overwhelming lately. It has been painful to watch and follow on socials. Equal parts depressing and infuriating. I’ve even found myself crying while watching the unfolding madness that is now our reality, or screaming at my TV. We need to take care of ourselves.

The bias. The propaganda. The heavy focus on October 7th with no room for reflection on how we got here. The lack of nuance or discourse around plausible solutions that consider the humanity of all persons concerned. All of it is disgusting and our elected public servants and the Western media have all been complicit in fuelling the madness. I was once taught that the role of the Fourth Estate is to serve as a bias-free watchdog that holds everyone accountable, not just a selected few. Now most have become echo chambers for the elite and we need to sieve through the unaccredited fifth estate in search of truth. 

Celebrating Christmas feels really strange this year. Again, what a privilege. As helpless as I feel, I recognise that showing up as a mother, showing up to work and my other daily responsibilities with all of this pent-up anger and upset is not productive and will not make any difference to what is going on in the world. We do not need to partake in “war porn” to understand that something inhumane and evil is going on or to be reminded that the humanity and the rights of most people in the world are reliant on their access to power and wealth.

Headline stress is a real thing and it can cause anxiety, anger, and even intrusive thoughts. However, there are several strategies that can help manage this stress. One effective method is to write down the stressful headline on paper, which can slow down the mental processing of the information. Additionally, it’s important to set limits on technology usage, such as disabling news notifications on smartphones, setting time limits for social media use, and creating tech-free periods throughout the day. Taking action can also help bind anxiety and create a sense of control. So by all means, if you want to learn about the history, seek the truth, and not be led by propaganda, protest, make donations, boycott certain companies, or sign petitions, please do so. 

However, please do not sit there excessively consuming all the horrific war footage that we are being fed without finding ways to dispel all of that negative energy. Find moments in the midst of all the madness to switch off and take care of yourself. We owe it to ourselves and to those near and dear to us, who rely on us to show up and give our best every single day. For some positivity and a suitable timeline cleanse follow pages like The Happy Newspaper or fly away with me and indulge in some music therapy.

I wish the world were truly happy, living as one. I wish the world they call Freedom, someday would come

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