How to cope with anxiety from the never-ending cycle of bad news

From constant updates on the pandemic to the plane crash yesterday, it’s impossible not to feel overwhelmed and stressed out 

KARACHI: Pakistanis are no strangers to tragedy, often described as resilient. But let’s be real: breaking news is breaking us. 

2020 has been one of the bleakest years; beginning from the news of the coronavirus pandemic to the PIA plane crash yesterday, it’s impossible not to feel overwhelmed and stressed out with the continuous influx of bad news. 

We’ve listed a few ways you can cope with the never-ending cycle of bad news:

1. Be smart about your news consumption

We live in a smart world and updates and alerts make it near impossible to avoid following the news altogether. However, it’s important to keep your news consumption habits in check. Constantly scrolling and updating your feed on Twitter or Facebook, especially if it gives you anxiety, is not healthy. We suggest taking a break and checking in very few hours and exhibit self control.  

2. Avoid triggering words and topics

There are some topics and words that may be triggering for you. For instance, for sexual assault survivors seeing headlines of assaults and rapes maybe triggering and have a personal connection to their own experience. In this case, you may want to stop following the news outlets who make such reports, or make use of “mute” options available on many social media platforms. 

3. Distract yourself

If you do decide to unplug for a couple of hours, it’s important to keep yourself occupied. Read a book, do chores around the house, take a bath, listen to relaxing music. 

4. Catch up on sleep

Stress often causes sleep deprivation and in turn sleep deprivation causes more anxiety. Experts suggest it’s important to avoid your phone, tablet or anything digital at least an hour before you sleep. It might be hard to adjust to, but doing so will help you manage your sleep cycle and get into a healthy routine.

5. Accept reality 

When you feel stressed over some bad news or triggering headlines, remind yourself that some things are out of your control. This doesn’t mean that you should force yourself to stop feeling anxious. In fact, you need to know and accept that feeling anxious is completely normal, especially given the circumstances. It’s about finding ways to manage your anxiety in a healthy way. 


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