Here's What To Do When the News Is Triggering

There has been prominent coverage of an array of cases all over the news, our timelines and everyday conversation, and to say that it is overwhelming is not doing the context justice. Regardless of if you are a survivor of these crimes or not, it can be easy to become overwhelmed, triggered and somewhat numb to the media’s hottest topics.

Everyday, we see mugshots flash across the screen, “breaking news” headlines, live court cases, events on campus [necessarily so] informing students and educating them on different matters and sometimes, it does become overwhelming whether we want to admit it or not.

We currently live in a climate where it is encouraged to step out of your comfort zone and share everything. Arguably, I disagree that one should share things because it is popular to do so. No, you should not keep everything in but, you also should not have to feel as though you have to let everything out because it is socially encouraged to do so at the present time.

If the news has you triggered, here are a few things that you should do to regain peace.

Disconnect

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Disconnecting from media is not a crime people. Preserving your mental health is and should be your top priority no matter the cost. If you have anxiety by the thought of logging onto social media, you reserve the right to unplug altogether. Log off, take a moment (or a few months) to regain a sense of self and come back when you are ready.

Filter you social media

If you just have to be on social media, filter out keywords in your settings app. Yes, this is a thing. The same way many big brands filter out profane and hateful language, you can filter out trigger words and pages that make you feel less than easy. No, you are not running from it, you are simply protecting your peace and your mental health. Utilize those mute features!

Rest

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Lack of sleep impacts us more than we know and this can also be the cause to your anguish. With all that is going on, it can be easy to stay up at night distracting yourself. One huge hindrance that we often neglect is the need for sleep. Yes, you actually need it to function and to process your inner workings properly. That whole, “no sleep” gang is a hype that needs to be broken and it starts with you. So, say no to the parties this weekend, put your phone on do not disturb and overall, quiet the chatterbox.

Talk to a professional

So sadly you cannot handle everything by yourself. In retrospect, understand that that’s okay too. Getting the help you need to sort out your problems is not only a big step but is also a long term step to understanding your recovery. Sometimes, when we hear or see certain things we tend to dwell on the smallest detail until the point that we blow it up and out of proportion. Recognize your signs early, write them down and get to a counselor. GSU offers free counseling services for students as well and also offers a free student subscription to the WellTrack app.

Take a self care day

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We all hear about self care and we all love to embrace it until it’s time. Seriously, take the time to have a “me day”. Self care is so important and the more you avoid showing yourself that love, the harder it will be for you to recover. No one is good when they are running on fumes, so treat yourself better!

Designate a quiet place to get all of your feelings out

This is something that I wish I would have learned earlier and that is to designate a specific space to cry, scream, yell and sob until I felt better. That isn’t to say that you should neglect your feelings when they hit you, but it is to say that you want to have a spot where it is just you and your feelings. It can be a spare bedroom, a closet, your car, wherever you feel the most open. After that session, take charge and write out everything that happened or whatever thoughts and emotions came to you.

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Overall, the news can be vicious, tactical and triggering. You do not have to experience a scenario to understand it or to internalize it. There are so many people around you and on campus who are dealing with so many emotional insecurities so don’t ever think that you are suffering alone.