Here’s the thing: staying glued to news programs can overwhelm you, release stress hormones, and cause insomnia, worry, and unnecessary anxiety.
Control what you put in your brain
I’m not saying don’t watch the news, but know when to turn it off or temporarily disengage. Events are unfolding at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to keep up. Immersing yourself in the negativity without taking breaks for helpful and healing activities will affect your thoughts and your body negatively.
I experienced this myself. Quite unexpectedly, I felt like I just couldn’t handle another piece of information. We can get overwhelmed with information coming through the radio, TV, friends, family, neighbors, or social media. We may not know what to think or what to do. We may become hyper-vigilant, trying to keep up, putting our flight or fight survival mode into overdrive. This means dealing with an excess of hormones like cortisol (which can cause, among other things, slower healing, weakness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, high blood pressure, and headaches) and adrenaline (which, among other things, increases heart rate and blood pressure). It also means that our hippocampus and amygdala won’t be able to store short-term memories properly, and you may find yourself feeling scatterbrained. Stress and anxiety negatively affect memory.
What you can do
Take frequent breaks from the input. Taking breaks can also feel overwhelming and traumatizing at first. It’s important to know that if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, feeling stressed, or anxious, you should turn off the media and do something healing for yourself. Take a bath or a shower, clean a room, rearrange your pantry, clean out a drawer, take inventory of your supplies, journal, reach out to a friend; anything that will make you feel better and serve as a distraction from the situation. Think of all the things you can do to make yourself feel better, and use that list over the next several weeks.
Think back to a time when you felt overwhelmed, and life was uncertain, and you got through it. Remind yourself that you coped then, and you will this time, too. Focus less on the changes and uncertainty and instead focus on centering, grounding, and calming yourself. Go back to watching the news when you feel you can handle it. Watch in short doses, taking short breaks in between.
If you’re stuck at home, use this new gift of time to do the things you’ve been putting off. Get started writing that book, read to your kids, organize your digital photos, and organize a closet. You get the idea. Think of the things you’ve been wanting to do and wish you had the time to do, then start doing them. It’s amazing what getting into the “flow“ does to make you feel accomplished.
Connect with people using social media. See if you have “Nextdoor.com” for your neighborhood and connect electronically with your neighbors. You can share information about stores and product availability, other resources, and important information.
Check-in on elderly loved ones and elderly neighbors. Help whoever you can.
Read uplifting material, whether it’s a spiritual text, poetry, or old love letters. Watch comedies. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read!
Journal! Not only will writing get worries off your mind, but it could be a keepsake for your children, later on, a historical record of what’s happening and your thoughts and feelings about it.
Do something physically challenging for stress relief. Jog in place, or pull out one of those old exercise videos and have at it. Make a game of it with your kids. Movement feels good and releases endorphins and other calming hormones. So does guided meditation, yoga, and stretching. Do the things that help you feel grounded, like praying or gratitude exercises.
Control what you’re eating. Sugars and carbs cause inflammation, and inflammation lowers immunity.
Six things that keep your immunity high
- Eat healthy foods in moderation and take a daily multivitamin.
- Exercise for 30 minutes daily.
- Get enough sleep.
- Wash your hands.
- Minimize or stop alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking. Now is a great time!
Make time for yourself
As we become accustomed to these new events and our new temporary lifestyle, let’s put ourselves on our own to-do lists. Make yourself a priority too. Remember, airlines always tell us to put on our own oxygen masks before assisting others. There’s a reason for that: you’re not going to be of any use to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself first.
Stay well and stay healthy, my friends.
Conscious awareness: Be aware and make conscious choices before acting. Self-awareness releases us from making impulsive and potentially damaging decisions. Learn about setting boundaries
Self-care: We can only choose to focus on and be responsible for ourselves, our own thoughts, actions, and behavior. The good news is that we can change ourselves with patience, persistence, and practice. We can take responsibility for getting our needs met, instead of waiting for someone to change or meet our needs for us. We are in control of ourselves and no one is responsible for us but us.
Learn about codependency and maladaptive coping skills
Learn about C-PTSD
Recognize the Cycle of Abuse
Join the Free Email Survival Course:
Weekly lessons, strategies, and homework to start you moving forward from the effects of hurtful or toxic relationships, dysfunctional thinkers, and Lemon Moms.
Private Facebook group included for members only.
Join the Waitlist!
When someone’s vibe feels “icky,” or they have “unusual” personality quirks, would you know if they are genuine warning signs or if you could be in danger?
Coming Fall/Winter 2023
Icks, Personality Quirks, or Warning Signs? How to Know the Difference, by Diane Metcalf
Sign up for exclusive access to free chapters, progress, contests, and launch team, and be notified when it’s available!
Discover the Secrets of Identifying Danger
Have you been caught off guard by toxic individuals?
Want to enhance your ability to spot warning signs and protect yourself from emotional mistreatment and abuse? Look no further!
This upcoming book delves deep into the complexities of human behavior, guiding you through the maze of narcissists, psychopaths, manipulators, liars, and self-absorbed individuals.
Learn the crucial skills to differentiate between harmless eccentricities and genuine red flags.
Feel empowered to rescue, protect and heal yourself from their mistreatment or abuse
I AM: A Guided Journey to Your Authentic Self, Workbook and Journal, by Diane Metcalf
Experience the power of self-affirmation: using positive statements to improve well-being and performance. Learn research-based steps to write the most effective affirmations to manifest love, positivity, peace, self-confidence, motivation, success, and other wonderful things.
Get it Here:
Lemon Moms: A Guide to Understand and Survive Maternal Narcissism, by Diane Metcalf
For as long as I can remember, there was something “different” about my mother. She wasn’t like other mothers.
My mom didn’t hug or kiss, smile at, spend time with, or play with me. She never seemed happy to see me. She didn’t ask about my school day and wasn’t interested in knowing my friends. She seemed to have no interest in me or anything that I did. My mom called me hurtful names and obscenities, and at times, she ignored me, not speaking to me for days, weeks, or even months. When she felt sad I was expected to emotionally care-take her. When she didn’t feel like parenting, I was responsible for my siblings. When she lost her temper she hit. When I was disobedient, there were bizarre punishments.
I was not allowed to express feelings, ask questions, or show initiative or curiosity. My feelings were discounted, minimized, or invalidated. She re-wrote my memories, and I was expected to believe her version. I was to obey, stay quiet, and not question.
If any of this sounds familiar, you are not alone. If there is manipulation, power struggles, or cruelty in your relationship, this book can help. If you second-guess your memory, doubt your judgment or sanity, or continually seek your mother’s withheld affection, attention, approval, or love, this book can explain why.
Get it Here:
Get the TOOLBOX posts twice monthly in your inbox!
About the Author
Drawing from her personal experiences of growing up in a dysfunctional household, Diane Metcalf has developed effective coping and healing strategies. With the assistance of professional therapists and mindful personal growth, she has honed her skills and now happily shares them with others who are interested in learning and growing.
As an experienced advocate, speaker, and writer, Diane is well-versed in topics such as narcissism, family dysfunction, abuse, and recognizing warning signs. Her extensive knowledge is drawn not only from her personal experiences, but also from her work in human service fields, including domestic violence, partner abuse, and court advocacy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Science in Information Technology.
Diane’s transformational books on healing and personal growth, such as the highly acclaimed “Lemon Moms” series, offer emotional support and guidance in understanding narcissistic traits and healing past wounds. Her approach emphasizes self-awareness, intention, self-care, and establishing healthy boundaries as essential components in the healing process.
Learn more about the Lemon Moms series: Lemon Moms
See what’s happening on DianeMetcalf.com
This website is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional therapy.