Since Russia invaded Ukraine, you might feel there’s an overflow of information every day. Being exposed to violent or sad news can negatively impact your mental health. I want to share my thoughts on the media effects because there might be people who share similar experiences. Even if you aren't actually there or you aren’t the one who’s being hurt, your mental health can be impacted by continuing to be exposed to the news about others’ pain and distress.
I need to keep up with current events and news for my work. Nowadays, I even keep the TV on and do research on the internet while I work. As I continue to take in sad news all the time, I realized that I constantly feel tense and anxious without a chance to relax.
So much is going on every day in the world. You might have wondered why some don’t even pay attention to the news. You might have felt guilty for feeling happy, watching funny TV shows, or hanging out with friends when there are people in many countries, currently going through very difficult times.
If you feel the same way, then please take care of yourself first. You’re likely someone who keeps up with social issues. It might be a part of your daily routine to have various thoughts racing your mind about the issues. You might often encounter heartbreaking videos and pictures. It is indeed important to keep yourself informed. Being indifferent is truly scary, but taking media breaks is equally very important.
If the news is triggering, try taking breaks from them until you feel calmed down, or you can set a time schedule to do research. If necessary, you can unfollow accounts or delete apps. Please don’t feel guilty to feel happy. Take your time to enjoy your favorite movies, listen to feel-good music, hug your loved ones, and talk to someone about what’s on your mind and what makes you feel anxious. I’m sure they will listen to you.
If you need someone to talk to, please let me know.
Don’t think that you’re the only one worrying about trivial things, no matter how small they seem to be.
You’re really thoughtful.
Love Yourself First
Translated by Mutsumi Ogaki
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphic by Maya Kubota