Hearing about the pandemic can be upsetting for some and being constantly reminded of it can be taxing on our mental health. Currently, all we hear about and see on the news is information related to COVID, every time you log on to your social media account, something related to COVID will show up. Even this blog is related to the pandemic. However, unlike all the negative news we read or see, it is important to remember that not everything being said about COVID is accurate.
It is important at this point to be open and honest with yourself about how the negative news is impacting your life, your thoughts, behaviours and emotions. Keeping track of the daily cases is not going to make you feel any better or reading an article on the worldwide death toll is certainly not going to enlighten your afternoon. Even being honest with your friends and family about how social media and the news are disturbing you can help them to understand you more, perhaps they may even want to join you too in this detox. It is also important to take a step back from speaking about the pandemic. Let’s admit, we all know that one person who constantly talks about COVID, perhaps a co-worker, an aunt or a brother that loves to fill you in on the daily details. At this point a simple ‘no thanks I would not like to know’, will suffice. This can help you set boundaries and distance yourself from information that you do not need to know.
Apart from these listed, below are some of the ways we can take these steps:
- Turn off social media notifications
- Unfollow or limit some of the news pages we follow
- Don’t watch the news on TV for a certain period
- Follow only good news sources there are pages or blogs on the internet that only share good news and stories. Following some of these will restore your soul for a while. (P.s there are a lot of animal ones)
- Fill the void. You will have additional free time during your news/ social media break. This is the perfect time to do something to improve your mental and physical health. Perhaps you could go for a walk and exercise, read an inspiring book, work on something you have always wanted to learn, or just allow yourself some time to relax and be present in the moment.
If you are struggling with your mental health as a result of the pandemic, we have established a platform for group therapy sessions to help provide you with skills to take care of your mental health.
You can reserve your spot here.
Stef Gafa’ is a counsellor with Willingness who has a particular interest in trauma, attachment, domestic violence and the LGBT community.