You don’t have to be terribly empathetic to get upset by watching the news. If you are very empathetic, though, the news become a real trial. We get upset by all the awful things that are happening in the world, depressed about the lack of compassion, overwhelmed by the feelings of despair which the people in those stories must have experienced – because we share them. I have struggled with this for a long time and still sometimes do. But there are some strategies that help a lot, which I’m going to share today.
It’s tempting to just stop watching the news altogether. After all, there’s nothing we can do – we just get really bummed out everytime. However, it’s also a fact that a democracy cannot work with uninformed citizens. And people look at you strangely when they mention a story that has been all over the news lately and you go “Uh, what was that?”. And finally, maybe there is something you can do, sometimes – like with the current wave of refugees all over Europe, which can only begin to be handled because plenty of normal people volunteer to help -, but you have to know about that first. So I’d like to make a case here for keeping up with the news, even when it’s hard… who am I kidding – even when it’s terrifying. Here’s what helps me cope with staying informed.