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img_3328 When the News Hurts

This has been a tough couple of weeks, actually it’s been a tough year for survivors of any form of violence. Emotions are high. My social media contacts are everything from silent to vigilante. Television isn’t safe, and neither is a Google search.

My anxiety is heightened and I’m a bit Weary by Wednesday from all of this.

Did he? Did she? Who’s telling the truth and who is lying? And how do I sort my feeling and emotions out in the midst of all this turmoil?

On one hand, this is a great time. Speaking up and telling our story is actually happening. Survivors have a voice. People are listening. On the other hand, the rhetoric is out of control, EVERYONE has an opinion on who is right and who is wrong. It feels like an over-the-top Law and Order SVU episode, but it’s not coming together and it is almost the top of the hour. I don’t think I can wait for the finale next week when “to be continued” flashes across my screen.

In the midst of #metoo, let’s not forget to understand our own healing needs.

Each survivor will deal differently with their experience. There is no right or wrong way to cope with the aftermath of violence. Just because it’s a #metoo thing, doesn’t mean you have to. The way another deals with trauma may be different than the way you will. That said, we don’t want to be stuck in victim mode, we need to move forward to over-coming and becoming a survivor.

So how do I hold on this week? What do I need to do to lessen the anxiety I am feeling today when the reality of my past collides with current day news headlines? How do keep functioning when everything around me is hell-bent on triggering emotions I thought I had under control?

What do I do when the news hurts?

Here’s my plan. I’m starting right here in the arms of Jesus with my Bible in hand.

  1. Read God’s word every day. Because “the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:25 New International Version). In the midst of crazy, there is still a trustworthy source for truth.
  2. Be still. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10). Spend time in prayer. Take some time to understand why you are feeling uneasy.
  3. Journal. Journal. Journal. I can never journal my feelings and emotions enough. Getting my thoughts down on paper has been and continues to be a life saver. I sleep better once my thoughts are down on paper and I can let them go.
  4. Go for a walk, ride your bike, or press the weights. Working your muscles releases tension and helps lessen anxiety.
  5. Turn off the noise. It’s alright to just turn off the television, temporarily block people on social media, or whatever you need to do for a little self-preservation. Talk to a counselor or a trusted friend who is sensitive to your triggers. It’s okay to turn down the volume.

When the news turns the way it has these past weeks, I am ever reminded that I still carry around some baggage. Trauma is a tricky thing. I consider myself a survivor, but that doesn’t mean I am without issues.

What would be your top five ways of anxiety when the news hurts you? If you need someone to talk to about how the news is making you feel these days, I would be honored to listen. Thanks for stopping by this week. I’m praying for you.