How to Handle Depression When World Events Overwhelm You
It seems we're asked to handle depression due to overwhelming world events and tragedies almost every day. Everywhere we turn, there’s another deadly event or natural disaster. As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I find that these world events can overwhelm me and can increase my depressive symptoms. Over the years, I have found ways of coping so that I can live a happier life even when world events overwhelm me or increase my depression.
Things You Can Do When World Events Overwhelm You to Decrease Depression
Help Others to Alleviate Suffering
When hearing about world events, you might feel that you couldn’t possibly do anything to help with the situation. Mother Teresa said,
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.
The well-known Starfish Parable shows that while we may not be able to help everyone, we can make a difference to one person.1 If your heart feels heavy by certain events, brainstorm ways that you can help just one person who is suffering. While you will positively impact that person’s life, helping others can also help you feel better.
Get the Facts to Gain Perspective
After hearing of tragic events, you might begin to feel that these events could happen to you. Sometimes, getting the facts helps you to gain perspective. I remember being afraid to fly after the events of 9/11, worried that I, too, could find myself in a hijacked airplane. I discovered that over 4,000 planes were grounded on the morning of September 11, 2001.2 This gave me the confirmation and peace of mind that even if I had been flying on the morning of September 11, 2001, the odds were overwhelming that I would have been safe. Immediately, my fear of flying ceased.
Distance Yourself from World Events to Feel Better
I distance myself from these events by changing the way I interact with the media. For me, this has taken a few different forms:
- I limit my exposure to the nightly news.
- I decided years ago to remove CNN as my browser’s opening website. I now just have Google, but a site such as GoodNewsNetwork would be a positive replacement.
- I fill my social media feeds with as many uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging companies and people as I can find.
Unplug to Nourish Your Soul
Then there comes a time when I just need a digital detox. By unplugging completely I’m able to spend time doing things that nourish my soul:
- Spending time outdoors.
- Playing card games with family.
- Writing in my journal.
- Volunteering at the humane society.
- Having lunch with friends.
Do you have any other ideas to feel less depressed when overwhelmed by world events? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your ideas.
Sedas, M. (2017, November 2). How to Handle Depression When World Events Overwhelm You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2017/11/depression-when-world-events-overwhelm-you
Author: Michelle Sedas
Thank you so much for your comment. This, too, is great advice and I'm glad you posted it.