Overwhelmed about world events?

By Mel Sim

Here are five tips on how to handle the anxiety…

From the pandemic to new variants to flash floods to Ukraine and political dramas… it’s enough to get people all riled up and anxious about what’s going on in the world. We get it if you’re feeling worried and afraid in response to what seems like a bleak future and who knows what else!

Fortunately for some of us, this anxiety comes and goes, and we carry on with our lives. But for others, the anxiety can trigger a whole new set of stress where you’re afraid to go out because you’re worried of the virus, and you begin to feel like what’s the point with all the war and drama going on in current affairs!

It’s one thing to feel afraid but another to let it interfere with your everyday life. Constantly being worried about current affairs may be causing you to lose sleep, feel stressed all the time, unable to concentrate, and eventually not being able to perform at work and even affecting your relationship with others. Take for example the pandemic: You may have a close call with the virus and because of that fear, you decide to just cut yourself out from any social events (even just visiting your parents) because you are afraid of catching COVID-19 or passing it on to others! See how that anxiety affects you?

Luckily, there are ways to manage this stress and uncertainties, and the answer lies in whether you want to get over it yourself. If you feel like the world’s dramas are catching up on your mental health, check these tips out:

#1 Do things that relax you
First things first, you need to surround yourself with things you enjoy. Like baking, watching a good series, or maybe even picking up yoga to cope with that anxiety. Doing these things will help take your mind off the stress that surrounds you, even if temporary, and that can help you cope better.

#2 Take a break from the world
Similar to point #1 but this time, take it one step further by switching off from social media and turning off the telly altogeter. Take a mental health day and forget for a while what’s going on. Listen to your favourite music or read a book. Maybe you can also spend some quality time with family and friends to connect and feel as if all is well after all.

#3 Take a look inside
As in what else is happening to you at the moment. Are you currently experiencing some relationship breakdown or maybe you are feeling a little lost yourself? These are the real anxiety that’s making you feel down about what’s going on around you, as if nothing right can ever happen! Perhaps you’ve been feeling frustrated with yourself at work, or maybe you lost a pet recently. These can add on to your anxiety, especially when there’s so much going on at the same time too! Try to consider these internal factors as well and instead of lumping them all together as a hopeless situation, maybe tackle each worry one by one so you feel like you’ve regained control over your life once more.

#4 Maintain a routine that works for you
Routines are great because they make us feel like regardless of what’s happening, everything else is normal. So set a healthy routine that involves not only looking after your mental health but also your physical health. Get enough sleep, eat well, go and exercise, which can elevate your mood with all that oxytocin and improve your mood.

#5 Go outside
If you’re worried about a crowd, then pick a time when it is less crowded or head to a park with wide open spaces. The stillness of nature can help calm you while seeing others out and about doing their thing can help you feel some form of normalcy. If you’re at work, take five and get up for your workstation and go for a walk around the office. Maybe even head outside to feel the sun and the breeze! Good old vitamin D works all the time!

BONUS #6: Contribute to what’s causing these anxieties
One way of coping with these world-affair anxiety is knowing that you too can play a part. For example, if news of people struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic is causing you to feel down, you can contribute and donate to them. Or maybe even volunteer at a charity organisation to feel that you’re at least doing something to solve the problem and create positive changes in your community. Spring into action, like joining advocate groups or maybe even volunteer for political parties. This way, instead of feeling like others are controlling your world, you can feel as if you are deciding your own future for yourself.

Share with us how you are coping with what’s currently going on in the world right now @graduan on Twitter.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

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