06 Jul Emotional Well-being During Roller-coaster Times
We live in difficult and uncertain times. Keeping up with politics and current events can be distressing. The world may feel like it’s out of control, and you may feel like informing yourself as much as possible is a way to find control again. However, it is important to be mindful of your mental state and know when to step back and care for yourself to avoid burnout.
Symptoms of Stress
There are signs to look out for that indicate that your stress is affecting you physically as well as psychologically. It is important not to ignore these signs:
✓ Weight changes
✓ Significant mood swings
✓ Sleep problems
✓ High blood pressure
It is important to learn tools for current times and political stress management. Here are some examples that can teach you how to relieve stress:
Limit Your Consumption of News and Political Content
If you find that you are anxious, think about how often you watch or read the news. How much of your day is consumed by reading headlines and watching political broadcasts? How do they make you feel? If these activities cause stress for you, consider decreasing the amount of time that you do them and see if that makes you feel more at ease. Also really try not to watch or read the news right before going to sleep.
Know Your Emotional Limits
Do you regularly engage in political debates that make you feel angry or emotional? Do you find it hard to resist expressing your opinion, even though you know it might be inflammatory and cause conflict? If a conversation (online or in person) is getting to be too much for you, see if you can step away or ask to continue the conversation at a later time.
Find a Like-Minded Community
Finding groups that have similar views might feel comforting and validating. You might feel inspired by groups that are engaged in social action. However, it is important to keep your mind and heart open to other views.
Be Aware of Your Environment
Be conscious in deciding where, when, and with whom you discuss politics. Not every time and place is appropriate for every discussion, and not everyone you encounter would necessarily like to be involved. Being thoughtful will decrease stress for everyone.
Experiencing stress is difficult, but you are not alone. Everyone is feeling stressed today in some form or another, quite frequently from exposure to current events and political discourse. Value yourself and your well-being and take measures to protect yourself from extreme stress. Passion for what you believe is right is an admirable trait, but it can damage you as well. While it’s important to stay informed, don’t take it far enough that engaging in political discussion hurts you psychologically and emotionally.
Join an Online Support Group
Avoid isolating yourself and dealing with stress alone.