Everywhere around me, people are saying that you need to turn off your television in order to not get anxious these days. Apparently the world situation is so bad that you can’t watch the news without being scared to death (or more likely of death). But I can tell you some (not so new) news that you might or might not get more anxious about. The world situation is almost always dire, one way or the other. Even if we’re talking about a specific geographical place, country or region, it is always a roller coaster of different disasters followed by periods of relative peace and quiet. It seems to be the natural order that once people forget the horrors of something, for example war, they want to have a new one…
That’s not to say we shouldn’t care about whatever we can do something about or fight for. But absolutely nobody is helped by us worrying in excess. I’m not saying that these past few years haven’t been hard on Europe (disclaimer: because that’s where I’m born, raised and have lived my whole life, that’s my reference), I’m saying that none of it should’ve come as a shock or even a surprise. Timing could always be different, but neither pandemic, war nor economic crisis could surprise anyone who’s paid even the slightest attention over the past few decades.
Now.. What to avoid:
Giving in to the Hero vs. Villain narrative
Although tempting, It’s always twisting the truth to some extent. Reality is inevitably grey, as boring as it might sound and as easy as black and white only would be. All politicians are, well, politicians, and if they’re painted as an exclusively good-hearted and pure hero, it’s just not the entire truth.
Just like the previous point, don’t just share something random on social media if you don’t know whether it’s actually true, even if it makes you feel good. It’s just not worth it.
Thinking only about the negatives to all situations
I for one find it positive that the news show you what’s going on instead of a feel-good story just to keep people from choking on their coffee. That being said, there’s always positive sides to things, even if we can’t see them right now. Just look at the awareness of disease that we’ve achieved because of the pandemic.
What to do instead:
Do whatever you can about the situation
Whether that be trying to hold politicians accountable, helping others in some adequate or simply preparing your personal bunker and stocking up (NOT hoarding) your pantry, it might make you feel better to know that you’ve taken your precautions and you have a game plan for whatever situation scares you. That you’ve accepted your responsibility will make you feel more at ease. After that, let go of the negative thoughts, take a deep breath and say to yourself that you’ve done what was in your power.
Go out for a walk
Wherever you live, I’m sure there are places that are beautiful nearby that you might not notice in your everyday life, but that are definitely healing to the soul. Any sort of nature will do really, even if it’s raining and windy. Trust me.
Listen to music, read a book or watch a movie
It’s allowed to distract yourself from whatever is frightening to you, as long as you don’t run away from it and push it down to your subconscious, because that will only make it worse in the long run. Don’t wallow, don’t ignore.
Just to be clear, I am very much against war, if nothing else, because the most vulnerable suffer the consequences and because, just like we’re experiencing right now; Truth is the first victim of war. Stick around and listen to this rendition of a Ukrainian folksong that we recorded (I sing in Cor Ciutat de Mataró). And good luck to everyone!