One day I am feeling hopeful, positive and living my life with joy. Another day, suddenly I feel cross and easily upset by small things. This is normal for many of us at the moment. When I ask people how they feel the response for many is, “Up and down don’t you know?” is a common response. Considering my time, I become clearly aware of something: Spending time watching the news, reading Facebook and listening to folk who are fearful causes the day to fall apart. My own sense of self becomes overwhelmed in a tidal wave of bad news. If however I don’t start with the news, reading social media, have lovely chats with people who are making the best of the situation, what a difference it makes. The situation has not changed but I remain in a much calmer space. I get on with life, paint, see friends, watch comedy on TV, read books with a sense of contentent. I am not denying what is going on – life is challenging. As a therapist I know that our minds need time out from the hard stuff. If you find yourself feeling anxious or fearful ask, When did this get bad? Did you read a scary article or watch a program full of anger and blame? Give yourself permission to switch off from the bad news for a couple of days in order to do the things that give you a sense of fun and creativity. Like me, you might notice that you feel better and keep life in perspective. Thinks about the news, how much of it is actually new? Most of it, maybe 80% is speculation. The media channels compete to guess what is going to happen next. It often does not happen in the way they predict. Some of it is simply reporting who is criticising who, who is being investigated, who is calling for an enquiry. None of this is news and none of it is helpful. Maybe listen to or read about past news that has gone off the boil. The heat has gone out of it. You have time to reflect and ask yourself, Can you do anything positive to help?
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