There are few life skills that we learn while growing up. How to remain calm is not one of them. Early this week I came across something on the news which triggered instant anger inside me. I texted a few close friends about it and remained angry till evening that day.
Today I clicked on a trending hashtag on Twitter and got sucked into the rabbit hole of the news media. You exit this rabbit hole far more traumatized than when you enter. But luckily, a sudden mindfulness touched me this time. So I got out less harmed.
Whether you’re watching 24×7 news channel, or clicking one trending hashtag after another, or find yourself unintentionally landed upon somebody’s timeline that voices their opinion about a “news-worthy” situation, the news is exhausting and wounding. But more than that, it’s uncaring.
We are left to heal ourselves with nobody checking on us to know how we’re doing.
So, if that is the case, then let’s be fiercely careful for ourselves. Let’s be fiercely assertive about what can and cannot touch our minds.
Here are a few ways to do that. Pick what fits you the best.
Decide your interests: Instead of letting yourself be a mindless audience to whatever the media wants to offer, decide what kind of news interests you. If you’re interested in news regarding economics, stop watching and caring about the news that has nothing to do with economics.
Go back to newspapers: I find newspapers better than news channels or online news as at least there is an end to it. You can read whichever section interests you and skip over the others without having a blinking news alert or hyperlink tempting you. Once you’re done reading the newspaper, put it down, breathe and go about your day.
Stop watching and reading the news: This is not a mild phrase for “screw the world”, but I think if you choose to do this, it’ll be a long-pending self-care task finally done. So if it’s feasible for you to stop watching or reading the news completely, go for it. You won’t be a bad global citizen or a bad person who doesn’t care. In fact, you do care and that’s an example of what good care looks like.
There are a lot of things going on in this world which you’ll find out anyway if you’re supposed to or want to. Don’t let the fear of poor general knowledge or FOMO lead you to allowing a bunch of people to decide what you should listen to. You have the power to turn it off.
Presently, I consume some news on animals, environment and economics – they too aren’t easy to process on most days. But I’m closer to finding a balance. Whatever you choose as your news option (and I suggest that you choose it), do not watch or read it first thing in the morning. Don’t start your new day with the vibrations of a painful global past.