As we feel the world drastically changing around us, many of us are glued to news sources, through TV, online, and social media platforms. How do you balance the desire to know and be educated with taking care of your psyche? And, when do you know that it is all too much? There are many signs our bodies use to inform us we have reached capacity.
These signs are unique to the way we, individually, respond to anxiety. Sometimes it’s a general sense of fear, all our senses being heightened, or anger that springs from nothing specific, or the inability to focus. Sometimes, interruptions in our sleep, or noticing our food habits have changed, craving more “soul” foods to help soothe us. Sometimes we sense the overload with a desire to seek more info, moving from one source to the next in a quest to have as much information as possible, and not being able to stop to do our normal daily activities or responsibilities.
It’s important to be aware of how all the information affects us and those around us. To be aware of mood changes inside yourself and those in your family so that you can redirect the anxiety, and restrict the information intake.
If you find you are seeking too much information, decide how much info you can tolerate, maybe 20 minutes in the morning to gather any new headlines, and then follow up that information gathering with something that helps balance any internal unrest. Exercise, talking to a friend or loved one, art or music, are all good balancing pieces to internal stress. Also, be aware of what your kids might internalize from what they see and hear around them.
Even if they don’t have access to all the news sources, it doesn’t mean they aren’t keenly aware of all the anxiety that information stirs up. Help teach them good coping skills when something external affects their internal calm. Similar activities to what might help soothe you, but age appropriate, kicking a soccer ball around, playing a family game of H.O.R.S.E with a basketball. A bike ride, a game, building legos or blocks.