10 Ways To Deal With News Overload & Emotional Stress

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How The News & Lockdown Stress Can Cause Overload

The pandemic has hit many people in some way, whether emotionally, financially, physically, or through the sickness and loss of loved ones. As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, the stress will increasingly take a toll on us all. If that wasn’t enough, the news is full of political unrest, economic tailspins, protests, racism and violence that seem to be ramping up day after day.

The events in the world add another layer of stress on top of what you may already be dealing with in life, and even the news can be a tipping point. With a ferocious mix of emotions, it’s unsurprising that so many of us are becoming overwhelmed.

Here’s a look at how to take a step back and manage the stress, fear and uncertainty.

1. Distraction Therapy

Many rely on distractions for managing chronic pain as they can give us a small break and temporary respite. In times of overwhelm, distractions can be very beneficial. Get yourself away from the situation, the triggers and your own thoughts by immersing yourself in something else. It can be whatever you enjoy or find engaging and engrossing in some way, like a TV series, a good book, crossword puzzles, arts and crafts, gardening or films.

It’ll help reduce the tension, whether you’ve got a few hours or 10 minutes here and there throughout your day.

2. Talk It Out

The need for connection is part of the human condition. In addition, a build up of emotion and stress needs a way out, otherwise it festers and bubbles under the surface. You might want a deep and meaningful conversation or just a casual chat about the weather, because sometimes the old adage of how it’s good to talk can be true. Have a catch-up with friends, family, loved ones or online friends. Pick up the phone, set up a video chat, get on WhatsApp, or reach out on forums and Facebook groups.

Remember to seek professional support if you need it. Don’t feel you have to go it alone. 

3. Get Out Into Nature

The great outdoors can have a plethora of benefits, but during the pandemic and lockdown it’s harder for many to get outside. If you can do so safely, or ideally if you have a garden, try to get a little fresh air from time to time. Revel in the small, simple joys of the blossoming flowers and the green grass. Marvel at the insects and animals.

Feel yourself connect to the natural world and recognise that you are a part of something bigger, grounded and supported by the world around you. If you have a pet, spend more time with them and let their carefree nature soothe and lift your spirits.

4. Be Active

No, I’m not talking about going for a run or hitting the elliptical. If there’s a cause you’re passionate about or a burning issue getting under your skin, make your voice heard. With the political unrest in many countries right now and the decisions being made at higher levels leaving many of us feeling so powerless, simply trying to be involved in some way can give you a sense of achievement.

Maybe there’s a petition you can sign, a blog post you can write to raise awareness, perhaps you can write to your local MP or maybe you can Tweet about it. Whatever it is, you can take a small stance and make your voice heard. 

5. Make Self-Care A Priority

Ironically, self-care often takes a backseat when we probably need it the most. Think of the more meaningful and the more superficial elements of that make up self-care and the ways in which you can show yourself that you matter. Ensure you get your basic needs met first, like nutrition and hydration.

Then, with the small things, think moisturising, pampering, treating yourself, doing the things you enjoy. With the bigger things, think being assertive, standing up for yourself, saying no, and asking for help when you need it.

6. Disconnect & Switch Off 

Take a step away from social media and limit your exposure to the news. We’re constantly connected, and the barrage of opinions, statistics and breaking stories can be overwhelming. It can come at us from all angles, from TV and newspapers, to everyday conversations, Twitter and the radio. It can start to feel like it’s all bad news, and it gets harder to find those feel good and positive stories.

It’s useful to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world, but there should be some balance. You can either go for a full-on news and digital detox, or just ease off a little. If it’s all getting too much, then step away from time and time and maybe set yourself limits with how often and for how long you check social media and read the news. 

7. Flex Your Chuckle Muscles

With coronavirus stress catching up with us, it’s a good idea to try to find reasons to smile and laugh each day. What do you enjoy doing? What makes you happy and brings a little joy? If you don’t have hobbies or interests and are struggling for ideas, consider hunting down the things that might make you smile, even if only briefly.

Think silly memes, cute cat pictures, funny YouTube videos, jokes and one-liners online. Laughter can be a good medicine to add to your daily intake. 

8. Proactive Protection & Prevention

When it comes to the virus, you can’t control government guidance and you can’t control the behaviours of others, but you can be proactive in your personal efforts. Be proactive in setting routines for cleaning and hygiene, ensure you have the products required, and get on top of what you need to do to help protect yourself and your family as best you can. Be part of the solution in curbing the pandemic, because we can all play a role.

We can’t fully guarantee protection against the coronavirus for ourselves and our loved ones, much as we can’t guarantee preventing everyday accidents. All we can do is our best and knowing that you’re doing what you can may help you feel a little more prepared, confident and in control. 

9. Create An Environment You Love

Most of us have been spending more time at home and probably will continue to do so. It’s worth making sure our home environment, especially if it’s also your work environment, as pleasant as possible. When so many of the big things in life seem to be out of our hands, we can try to take a little control back by focusing on what we can do. Look to create a clean, safe, warm, welcoming and comfortable environment. The need for cleanliness can pique OCD tendencies, so if you feel this resonates then be mindful of it.

The adage of ‘a tidy house, a tidy mind’ can hold some credibility and you might just feel more organised and on top of life if you can get your home likewise organised. Decluttering, cleaning and tidying can also be therapeutic, so pace the chores to prevent over-exhausting yourself too quickly and celebrate the small achievements along the way. 

10. Mental Declutter

There are various techniques and activities that can help with calming and decluttering your mind. Exercise, if physically possible, can be a way to let out frustrations and clear your head. Breathing exercises are another way to bring some balance into your daily life. Other people find the likes of yoga, mindfulness and meditation helpful.

Mindfulness can be done through guided online practice, self-help books and apps, or it could be as simple as concentrating your focus when making a drinking a cup of tea. Set aside five minutes or half an hour, whatever you’re comfortable with, to meditate. Go at your own speed and allow your thoughts to present themselves without resistance or judgement. Let them be. Bring yourself into the present and slow things down.

Try to gradually build in time each day for some mentally decluttering as this can help ease the tension and provide you with more mental space and energy with which to cope with life.


Step Away From Stress

Sometimes it’s the small things that can help the most in calming our frazzled emotions and mentally recalibrating. Don’t underestimate the mental health toll that the coronavirus situation and other events in the world can take, especially in conjunction with the pre-existing stresses in your life. Acknowledge how you’re feeling because it’s okay to not be okay.

Try taking proactive measures to ease away from the stress and step away from the harrowing news. Be gentle with yourself and build into your daily lifestyle the tools and activities that can help soothe and uplift you, mentally and physically.

Related Reading : Coronavirus Mask Types & Where To Get Them

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Caz  ♥

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27 Comments

  1. June 30, 2020 / 4:00 pm

    All great ways to reduce stress, but #6 would be on the top of the list. I’ve done that and feel so much better for it. If it’s not happy I won’t be around.

    Have a fabulous day, Caz. ♥

  2. June 30, 2020 / 4:27 pm

    Great post Caz!!!

  3. June 30, 2020 / 4:27 pm

    Great tips. I certainly use social media and the news far less as a coping mechanism.

  4. June 30, 2020 / 4:40 pm

    This really is a trying time for everyone and your tips are excellent. We really do need to learn to switch off at times because it can all just get a bit too much. All your tips are great but ‘Flex your chuckle muscles’ actually made me smile when I read it. Yes, laughter helps. I don’t know how I would get through this (or life in general) without the ability to laugh. Brilliant post.

  5. June 30, 2020 / 4:41 pm

    I used to do all these things, now I’m kind of stuck at home, so I read and write not to go crazy.

  6. June 30, 2020 / 5:01 pm

    I keep away from the news for this reason.

    Nature is awesome…..

    Thinking of you 💕

  7. June 30, 2020 / 5:39 pm

    Dvds as usual for me. I like my walking, but I only walk to work or grocery shopping. So I am not doing the walking I would like to do, for simple reason of tje worry and stress of those ignoring distance rules.

    I enjoy chats with my neighbour each Monday over a cuppa.

  8. Ashley
    June 30, 2020 / 6:01 pm

    This is such a relevant topic right now. I’ve been trying to stay very aware of how much news I’m allowing myself to be exposed to.

  9. Svet
    June 30, 2020 / 6:39 pm

    Those are great tips, Caz! At times I definitely felt overwhelmed with everything that is going on in the world. I do implement the distraction method by cooking something nice. And I like to spend time in the backyard with my cats. My next goal is to limit my amount on social media.

  10. June 30, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    These are great tips. For me, I make self-care number one, even as I assist my elderly dad. I remember hearing on an airplane if the oxygen mask drops down, put yours on first, then assist others. You cant help if you pass out because you didn’t put on the mask first. Same for disconnecting from the media. After the morning update, I turn it off to keep from getting sensory overload.

    You must laugh. I got a good chuckle when a friend showed me a short video of a guy walking down the street. He sees a pickup truck moving slowly with no driver. He thinks fast and grabs a big rock and pushes it under one of the tires which stops the truck from moving. He feels good about his deed… until he sees 3 guys in the back struggling to get the truck moving again. He walks away without saying anything. That’s funny! I got my laugh for the day and decompressed at the same time.
    Thanks for presenting great tips to help with stress Caz. I hope your afternoon was better than your morning.

  11. June 30, 2020 / 8:44 pm

    awesome tips Caz………..I love getting out in nature. Just wish I felt better to do more of it!

  12. June 30, 2020 / 9:08 pm

    Great ideas Caz. I particularly like the ‘flex your chuckle muscles’ and think it should be used more as a therapy. A good old belly laugh is a fantastic stress reliever. I also find mindfulness and self-hypnosis work a treat.

  13. July 1, 2020 / 12:55 am

    I’m attempting to step away from stress. This post reminds me to stay away from media for awhile.

  14. July 1, 2020 / 2:26 am

    BRILLIANT post Caz. I absolutely love it! You’ve done a brilliant job sharing easy, actionable tips for our lives that really do make all the difference.

    You’re 100% right – it has been a ferocious mix of emotions, hasn’t it? Good grief, it seems like everyday brings with it more chaos and confusion in public view. All I can do is pray for resolution in these maddening times. You’re also right that it has affected us all in one way or another. There have been many positives to come out of these crazy times. But sadly, there has also been much to grieve for.

    #3, #6 and #9 are all big ones here in this home. I love what you said here: “Revel in the small, simple joys of the blossoming flowers and the green grass. Marvel at the insects and animals.” — Wow, so beautifully said! It’s true, we really do have so much to marvel at around us when we allow ourselves to simply let go and zoom into the natural beauty all around us. I am far too guilty of missing out on all the joys in everyday living because I’m stuck worrying about this, this and oh yeah, that too! (sigh)

    Your second paragraph under, “Create an environment you love,” had me shaking my head the whole time. I agree with you emphatically! When everything around me is in chaos, I have a VERY hard time feeling positive or focused. It’s a part of my personality that I can’t shake. Cleaning and organizing does become therapeutic and the benefits are lasting when you look around and think, “Wow, what a peaceful space!” It is important, as you said, to pace ourselves though. Otherwise it just becomes yet another source of stress!

    So proud of you for writing this, Caz. It’s truly a brilliant article full of proven, easy to follow and adopt tips for a healthier, less stressed life. Thank you for writing this!! You’re the best! ♥ All my love heading your way. 🤗

  15. July 1, 2020 / 3:04 am

    Very thoughtful, sensible advice, Caz. Hope you’re practicing all the self-care and relaxing as best you can.
    Annie xx

  16. July 1, 2020 / 7:49 am

    these are all good tips; I practice most of them from time to time otherwise you collapse under the load

  17. July 1, 2020 / 10:17 am

    Great advice Caz. Your tips are always very wise. I am forever thankful for my friends and family and their mutual support. Lock down is easing here in Ireland, but we are staying safe so far. xx

  18. July 1, 2020 / 2:59 pm

    This was great Caz! I think you and I think a like or are kindred spirits because I posted something similar early this morning. I had worked on it all day yesterday on and off, but finally completed this morning. I always knew you were a small person with a kind heart, but seriously we are like sisters that never actually met! Great job, Caz!! Please continue to stay safe and keep your head head high!

  19. July 1, 2020 / 5:05 pm

    Great tips, Caz! Thank you for sharing them!

  20. July 1, 2020 / 5:14 pm

    Great one Caz! most needed post in these times! Well personally working out, nature and creating the environement I like are the ones that work mostly for me ~ wish you are well Caz! Thank you~💝🙈

  21. July 1, 2020 / 6:38 pm

    These are some outstanding tips Caz! We really do need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves right now, as the circumstances we find ourselves in can definitely become overwhelming. You know I love the ‘nature’ idea. Being out in the garden is being in my happy place. 😊 As restrictions start to ease, your tip to be proactive in protecting ourselves. Not everyone sees things as we see them, and don’t take the precautions we take, so we have to be careful to look after our own best interests. These are all great tips and sound advice for any time in our lives – fabulous post Caz!

  22. July 1, 2020 / 8:00 pm

    I like number 7! Thank You and Cheers!!! 🤗❤️😊

  23. July 2, 2020 / 6:07 am

    In the first weeks of the Corona pandemic I made the mistake to watch every news special and searching the Internet for news constantly. You give great advice here, Caz. Spending time in nature is my favourite thing to do against going crazy.
    Stay safe xo

  24. July 2, 2020 / 7:27 pm

    I think we all need to set our own filters and parameters.

  25. July 3, 2020 / 9:23 am

    I love these tips and will be bookmarking this post and returning to it.

    I do agree about the need to switch off and disconnect. Not only is social media a time sink, I find with Twitter especially if I spend too long in it my stress levels start to rise. I think it’s because tweets have to be short, so the medium is well suited to ill-tempered arguments and personal insults but not to thoughtful discussion and debate.

  26. July 3, 2020 / 4:21 pm

    Great post as always Caz .Just reading all these points makes you feel lighter .I love nature walks and the chuckle muscles the best , but all points are important.

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