News about the coronavirus has flooded the media, saturated social media streams, and dominated most people's minds for the last few weeks, and the crisis shows minimal signs of abating soon. When worry about this pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of lives including business, school, socializing, shopping, and everything in between, it's hard to stay calm, but the right approach can help. Check out these tips.
Be Purposeful About Media Consumption
When consuming media, try to strike a balance. Find ways to be informed without overwhelming yourself with negative news. You may want to choose one or two news sources — for instance, a daily news show, a newspaper, or a radio show — and limit yourself to those outlets. Or if you prefer to diversify your sources, you may want to give yourself a daily time limit to prevent yourself from spending too much time reading opinions or diving into unnecessary information.
Curate Your Social Media Feeds
Often, people feel frustrated or upset after spending time on social media, but these platforms can also be very enjoyable. To limit negativity, take some time to curate your feed. If you have friends or people you follow whose posts bother you, unfollow them, or play with your settings so you don't have to see their posts as often.
At the same time, look for people who post uplifting content. While that can include news and political content, also look for people who post about your hobbies or interests. Because the coronavirus can be all consuming, cultivating your other interests and passions is also critical during this time.
Look at the Big Picture
To help prevent the daily news from overwhelming you, try to keep your eye on the big picture. For instance, in relation to financial news remember that although the markets may fall, history shows that they always rebound.
Find Strategies That Keep You Calm
When you feel your thoughts spiraling and your heart pounding, you need to practice strategies that will help you stay calm. Grounding exercises or deep breathing can help. You may want to download a mediation app or simply give yourself 10 to 20 minutes of quiet time with no media once a day.
In some cases, you may even want to reach out to a therapist. Even with stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, many therapists are offering help online or over the phone.
Identify Something Positive Everyday
To help yourself focus on the positive, make a practice of identifying some positive things everyday. Consider starting a gratitude journal where you write three things you are thankful for everyday. These things don't have to be big. They can include running water, your dog, a wall hanging that you like, how your carpet feels underfoot, or countless other little happy things in your life.
At the beginning this practice may be challenging, but over time, you are likely to start to notice all kinds of positive things. This simple act can change your mind and help you feel more positive in both good and trying times.
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