What’s going on around the world is awful, and we all stand with Paris and other nations who have been attacked by terrorists at this time. Sometimes it’s a good motivator to get involved and help. Other times, it can be harmful and even overwhelming to think about if you’re not in a good place or being aware causes so much anxiety that it becomes harmful. Being exposed to these things on repeat can have a negative impact on people.
This happened to me around the time of the Sandy Hook shooting. I would have full-blown panic attacks over seeing it on the news. I had no connection to the tragedy, but the constant barrage of images and relentless coverage was overwhelming and really upsetting. While I was happy that people were stepping up and helping, it was still triggering. I would avoid the news, but constantly praise organizations and celebrities on social media that were stepping up and doing things to help.
If viewing these things have a negative effect on you, you have a few options.
- Change the channel
- Utilize a coping skill or do something fun
- Blacklist posts tagged for triggering events on Tumblr
- Temporarily unfollow or block
- Hide certain people/posts from your Facebook newsfeed
Once you feel safe again, you can get involved.
- Pray/send positive thoughts to those involved
- Post a positive picture on social media
- Have the French flag transparent over your Facebook profile picture
- Donate to the Red Cross (that helps all around the world)
- Make a video asking for support of the cause or educating others on different aspects of the situation
Events like these can be very upsetting if you aren’t prepared for them, but if you take the time to take care of yourself, you can actually help out in some really great ways. The biggest thing is to not force yourself to do things you’re not ready to do. If you are struggling with stress and anxiety from these man made disasters, the Disaster Distress Helpline is here for you. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
The world is grieving in its own way right now. Grieving with them and showing support is really a wonderful thing to do right now. In fact, it might be the best thing you can do.