I hate following the news, because my heart breaks for all the victims, and it always seems that there's a victim, doesn't it? There is very little good news that gets reported on.
As a "creative type," that thin skin gives me the sensitivity I need to follow the emotions I write on the page, but it real life it can get in the way. I work alone all day, so reading an upsetting news story can get me all worked up into knots with only my sensitive brain for company.
In my book this month, my heroine, Paige, is a social worker who has lost her thick skin. She used to be able to handle other people's pain, but not anymore. She's on stress leave because pouring her heart into her work has left her burned out. But when our hero comes on the scene with his newborn nephew, she just can't turn him down. He needs someone to show him the ropes in baby care, and she needs a quick "win" to hopefully get her back into feeling confident in her job again. But Mike is a cop who wants to work SWAT, and while he's willing to face the worst stuff every single day, Paige isn't sure she can do it anymore... even in a supporting role.
I've read that with all of the news that comes flying at us from every corner (social media, news channels, websites, radio, etc) that most of us actually become less sympathetic. Our hearts can't break for everyone, and being bombarded with so much heartbreak actually makes us less likely to feel sympathy for the victims.
So, while I'd like to be a well-informed citizen, I do have a few tricks to keep myself sane, too.
1. Only click on those news stories when I have my family at home with me.
2. Limit my contact with news stories and trust my friends to keep me up to date on the really big stuff that matter.
3. Take time in the morning to be grateful and connect with God. If you aren't a spiritual person, that might just be positive thinking, or outlining the things you're grateful for. Regardless, it does help me to keep things in perspective--not everything is awful! There is so much beauty in the world still!
4. Do my best to improve my little corner of the world. I might not be able to reach all of it, but I can do something nice for someone nearby, can't I? I can take the time to smile at someone, contribute to a charity, or give a compliment.
What do you do to keep yourself sane in these news-bombarding times?
And calling for backup!
Police officer Mike McMann is always cool under pressure, but taking custody of his infant nephew has left him in a cold sweat. Coming to his rescue is social worker Paige Stedler. Paige gives him a crash course on parenting—and a tempting glimpse into a life beyond the badge. But is Mike ready to trade in his SWAT team aspirations for a white picket fence?
A great list!ReplyDelete
A timely premise for your new novel, Patricia, because as you say, global and local news can really get one down. Your tips to keep ‘sane’ are great. I also have become somewhat of a headline reader...if the news item looks like it’ll be depressing, I don’t read it. I love the cover of your book and look forward to reading it!ReplyDelete
Thank you! And I agree--I've become a bit of a headline reader, too. Sometimes those headlines are misleading and I find out later... but it works for the most part!Delete
Your book sounds wonderful, and I love the cover! My strategy for dealing with tough times is the same as yours---try to lift someone else up.ReplyDelete
Thank you! It does help, doesn't it?Delete
The cover of your book is sweet overload!!ReplyDelete
To stay sane I try to take time out of my current stressful life (my mother is critically ill and has been in hospital for close to three weeks thus far in FL) by eating a midday meal in peace, if I can, while reading at least a few pages of an uplifting book or story.
I like your sanity techniques too.
That alone time to decompress helps a lot, too!Delete
Love the cover. I'm about half way finished with the story. Need to read faster, but sometimes life gets in the way of reading.ReplyDelete
Oh, I'm so thrilled that you're reading it! <3Delete
I definitely limit how many of the heartbreaking stories I look at on the Internet. I also like to balance things a little by looking for the positive stories about people doing things, and try in my way to be one of them.ReplyDelete
I'm always so happy to find some positive stories. I need those, too!Delete
I actually like to read something that will make me cry but is a real life survival story like Corri Ten Booms Holocaust survival. It gives me hope that even though there is so much bad in the world, people do prevail.ReplyDelete
Corrie Ten Boom was so inspirational. She had such insight into suffering.Delete
I like your list. I try to remember that the headlines are designed to grab your attention and up your blood pressure. In the real world, there are jerks, but also people who offer to help load dogfood into my mother-in-law's car, or stop for stranded motorists, or smile in solidarity with a mom whose toddler is melting down. The good people far outweigh the bad. Loved the story, by the way. So sweet.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Beth! I'm really glad you liked it! And I agree--there are more good than bad, they just don't make the news.Delete
A helpful list. I just spoke with a friend the other night about this. We've both been so anxious in these bad-news times. We agreed to glance at headlines so we are aware of what's going on in the world, but not read all the stories, take action about the most important things, (write a letter, donate, etc.) and then focus on improving our community.ReplyDelete
I think there are a lot of us who are in bad news overload. We might not be able to change the whole world, but we can help make another person's life a little bit easier!Delete
I try and keep a positive outlook on things, hoping that people will learn by there mistakes in life. I love the cover of this book. Thanks.ReplyDelete
They did a great job in this cover!Delete
I keep hoping that people will learn, too.
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