Distressing News

Have you ever read or watched distressing news online that left you feeling sick the entire day or week?

Every hour of every day, international news bulletins flash up on the media, and when you go online, you find a whole lot more about the latest stories. But many of these are distressing to watch and listen to. And when a stream of horrific news confronts you, it can seriously get you down. It’s important to stay strong and remain sane for your sake and those around you, so if the news is upsetting you, take a step back. With these coping tips, you’ll be able to gather the basics and still get on with your day.

Heed warnings

If a news presenter warns you may find the next clip or report disturbing, turn off the program or leave the room for a few minutes. You will gather enough about its content from the warning, without having to witness the details. If there is no official notice, but you suspect the unfolding words or pictures will upset you, heed your instinct and turn away. It’s not cowardice but common sense to avoid details with which you can’t cope. By staying away from disturbing news, you are likely to be more productive and happier.

Find something to smile at

If a news item makes you sad or distressed, cheer yourself up with a happy thought. It could be something good in your life, like your pet or personal achievements, or it might be a funny incident that tickles you when it comes to mind. Perhaps you have a humorous book or a crazy photo that will brighten up your mood. Otherwise, listen to a chat show or watch some comedy clips.

Talk to someone

Sharing negative feelings with a friend will help you cope with them. When the news gets you down or stresses you out, have a chat with someone. It could be your partner, your neighbour or your work colleague, or someone in your family; whoever helps you to feel at ease. It might help to unload your concerns about the story to your listener and hear what they have to say about it. They may have another way of looking at it which will bring you comfort. Or you might prefer to forget about that news item and discuss something entirely different. Whatever you talk about, the person could help you to calm down a bit.

Find good news

The good news doesn’t often draw an audience. Happy stories rarely reach the headlines, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. You only have to look around you to see someone looking happy, or do a quick search online to find an uplifting true story. Think of all the healthy babies born to doting parents each day, or all the lives saved by rescue missions that don’t reach the headlines. Pick any subject you like – you’re sure to find some good news about it somewhere.

Whatever distressing news you read, watch or hear online, protect your well-being. By staying strong in mind and body, you’ll inspire others to do the same, doing your bit to make the world a better place.

Maryam Baduna

As a content designer for the service-based industry, Maryam helps make content creation much more structured and user-centered. Her process is all about research, user needs, channel and journey mapping, language and emotion, creation, sharing, and iteration. She helps service providers find clarity in their messaging so that they can connect with their audiences more effectively.