Staying Balanced in an Uncertain New Year
Jan. 3, 2023 Psychology Today
It’s easy to get caught up worrying about what the new year will bring. From economic and political changes to pandemics and climate change, the media feeds us a barrage of news stories that can easily overwhelm us with anxiety. But there are ways to manage your worries and take control of your mental health in 2023. Here are some strategies for coping with world events and knowing when you’re worrying too much.
Understand the Media Cycle
It’s essential to understand how the media works and their tactics to keep us engaged. News outlets often rely on fear-mongering to grab our attention and keep us coming back for more. This means they focus on negative stories, using sensationalized headlines and vivid language to draw us in. But this doesn’t mean that bad news isn’t real—it simply requires us to be conscious of how we consume the information and take it with a grain of salt.
Know Your Triggers
It’s essential to be aware of what kind of environment triggers anxiety or depression. For example, some people may feel overwhelmed by political news, while others might be more affected by economic uncertainty. Knowing your triggers can help you manage your emotions and cope with the stress of world events.
Connecting with friends, family, or a professional therapist can be beneficial when navigating life’s challenges. Having someone to talk to can provide perspective, reduce feelings of isolation, and give clarity during difficult times. If talking to someone face-to-face isn’t an option, there are plenty of mental health apps and online support groups.
Practice Self Care
It’s important to practice self-care to maintain emotional balance during stressful times. Activities such as exercising, mindfulness meditation, journaling, or connecting with nature can help to reduce stress and clear the mind. In addition, taking time to focus on your physical and mental health can help you stay balanced and better equipped to handle life’s challenges.
Know When You Need a Break
The media can sometimes be overwhelming, so it’s essential to know when to take a break from reading or watching the news. If you get caught up in anxious thoughts or overwhelmed by events out of your control, it might be time for a mental health day away from the news cycle. Permit yourself to step away from all media sources for a few hours (or even days) if you need to reset your mind and soul.