It is okay to not look at the news. Just as a reminder.

Just as a reminder: it's okay not to look at the news. Especially in light of so much bad news is out there. Part of me wants to provide examples, because I try to provide examples for everything--but this is one case where I won't.

You already know. If you turn on the TV right now, or look at news sites, it's on the front pages. We're sitting with bated breath, waiting for more information. Is everyone okay? I hope everyone will be okay.

Why? we keep asking. Why?

But when you already struggle with depression, with anxiety, with memories, it is okay to not look at the news.

It's okay to be ignorant of the up-to-the-minute updates. It's okay to wait until the next day, or the next day, once there are more details, so not to get caught up in the emotional roller coaster. When you're already on a roller coaster, things like this is basically a booster for emotional upheaval. Maybe you're afraid it will send you off the rails.

It's okay to stay generally ignorant of the news until you are ready to handle it. Go ahead, create a protective bubble around you. You can deflate it when ready.

Don't feel bad if others are streaming CNN on their phones (why are they using data on depressing things anyway?) and you are happily looking at photos of cute schnauzers.

Or videos of babies giggling at dogs.

Or asshole cats knocking things over.

It's okay to tell people to shut up if they try to go on in detail about it. You understand that it's going on and it's terrible news, but you really can't talk about it right now. No explanation needed. Only assholes will keep pushing, because only assholes like making other people suffer.

It's okay to give people who are anxious about it a hug, and say you're here for them. You can provide support without having to listen to details.

Because details, at least to me, are of the devil. They needle at you, bounce around in your mind, and your anxiety might latch onto some of the details and turn into longer-term phobias or anxieties. And that won't help you.

If you still want to keep up with the news, I recommend reading about it a few days later. The emotions usually settle down, and the reporting becomes more factual, and less conjecture. This is what I do, for my own sanity.

So as the latest bad news is broadcast, remember, you don't have to look at it right then and there. Postpone it as long as needed for your own sanity.

 

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