Triggered by Political News?

Have you been triggered by the news lately? When media footage is filled with bullying, shaming, sexual predation and menacing behavior by people supposed to be our leaders, many find themselves experiencing increased depression, anxiety, nightmares and other post-traumatic stress symptoms. If you are a sensitive person, these upsetting displays of aggression may impact your nervous system even more. Unless you avoid media entirely, maintaining good self-care habits during these tumultuous times can be a real challenge.

Here’s the tip. First, take stock of how much time you’re spending with news media. Self-care may start with cutting media exposure way back. Second, observe how you’re watching. Give yourself permission to get up and move around, to yell and scream at the screen during disturbing revelations. Stay in your body. Honor your instinctive response. Give your sad, mad, scared feelings a voice.

It’s important to give the negative images/words/sounds bombarding your nervous system a pathway out of your bodymind! Monitor your reactions carefully for experiences of feeling frozen, collapsed, depressed, and/or anxious after viewing/hearing news. Numbness is a tipoff for unexpressed fear, anger or grief stuck inside. Seek support. This is too upsetting to handle alone. You need help to thaw out and come back to life. You may need professional guidance to unwind your nervous system. No blame.

Finally, once you’re resourced again, take action! Join groups whose ideas touch your heart and soul. Volunteer, participate. This will alleviate anxiety and has the fringe benefit of creating a more fulfilling life. You can make a difference!

Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW, 858-481-5752
Twitter @EmotionalRx

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