The news at the moment is a pool of negativity. From a cost of living crisis, crippling energy bills, rising interest rates on your mortgage, a predicted recession, failing national health service, the war in Ukraine still raging on and the mix of Covid still in there adding to the mix, it is very easy to think there is very little good out there at the moment. The thing that is particularly hard as well is that so many of the things that are scary are things we have very little or no control over. We can’t have a say in the war or even who was been chosen as our new Prime Minister. It’s so easy to look to the winter and the cost of heating our homes and feelterrified.
I know as I write this with some privilege. That while I am worried about the future, and we’re definitely making cut backs, we’re not in the awful position some people are of having to choose between food and heating. But here are some things that help me when I feel overwhlemed with negativity.
Focus on What you Can Control
When everything feels so crazy and out of control, the reality is there is so little of it that we can control. So much we have no say or no control over. Which leads us to feel angry and afraid and causes anxiety to spike. So what I do instead here is look at what I can control or influence.
Instead of getting upset about all of the things in the news, I look at what I can change in my life and home that will make things easier. For example, recently we have fixed our mortgage for 10 years so we know what our mortgage payments are going to look like for a good few years which has made me feel much calmer. We have also done an exercise at home on how we can reduce our energy consumption. I have found it useful to focus in on our family unit.
The little things I can change here, to keep us as safe and happy as we can be.
Remember That Negative Headlines Sell and Make Money
Look past the headlines. Magazines and newspapers are here to make money and they make money buy you buying their papers of clicking on their websites. The more evocative or fear inducing the headline, the more likely it is to sell. In reality, things are most probably not as bad as they make them out to be. I have considerably reduced my news consumption in the last few months just for this reason and I have found by doing this it helps my anxiety. I also wrote a review recently of a news app called Charlie which can help with doomscrolling.
Gratitude is so Important
I have talked about Gratitude before and I know I will talk about it again. I think it is so important for mental health and it is something I have practised for quite a few years now. Taking time each day to look at the good things in your life, the things you are grateful for can really change your mindset. I know things are really, really tough, but there will always be something even on a very bad day that you can find to be grateful for. If you don’t already, I would definitely recommend starting a gratitude diary.
Make Time for Connections & Self Care
The little things matter, they often lead to big things. Buy they are the little snatches of time for you. It’s so easy to let them slip when the going gets tough, but they absolutely should be the things that you prioritise. The coffee with a friend, the hobby that makes you smile, building in time to exercise and look after yourself. These things do not always have to cost money, but they do matter and make a massive impact on your mental health.