Whenever there is something big happening in the news that is potentially trauma-inducing, I kick into high gear when it comes to self-care. This week has been one of the hardest for many to handle since Trump took office, and that's really saying something considering all that has happened.
What a lot of people don't understand about the news is that, just because what's being reported on isn't happening to you personally, it doesn't mean that it can't bring a lot of emotions to the surface. As people have become more aware of the way talking about trauma affects others, trigger warnings have become the norm. But with the news, that's not always the case.
Don't beat yourself up if you can't keep up or don't want to because of the way the news cycle is making you feel. It doesn't make you a bad American or a bad ally. It makes you a human who needs to take care of yourself.
Here are some ways to make sure you are watching out for your well-being when the news turns into a trigger.
1. Turn it the hell off.
Don't put yourself through hell because you think you have to be informed so you can have an intellectual conversation about it in class tomorrow. The fact of the matter is that it's an ongoing conversation. You don't have to add something to it every single day if it's hurting you.
2. Put on an animated movie instead.
Bright colors! Funny sidekicks! Silly songs! And you still get to yell at the TV about toxic masculinity and the patriarchy! My recommendation: The Road to El Dorado. Works every time.
3. Delete Twitter.
Pro: People have used Twitter as a way to become politically engaged.
Con: People have used Twitter as a way to become politically engaged.
Sometimes you really just need a good meme or a relatable tweet about being a broke college student. You're not going to get that in the middle of a wild news cycle. Delete the app. We both know you're too lazy to open your computer and scroll that way. You can redownload when things die down.
4. Turn off your Washington Post notifications.
And your New York Times notification. And your CNN notifications. And your MSNBC notifications. Just put your phone on Do Not Disturb. The most recent update is not the first thing you need to see when you just want to play a game of Solitaire or text your best friend about that guy you sit behind in class.
5. Get outside!
Blast some Stevie Nicks and enjoy this beautiful fall weather! Go for a drive with the windows down, pop in your Air Pods and go for a run, or just read a book. The news can't touch you if you're actively tapping out on technology.