How To Cope With A Catastrophic News Cycle

It’s been an incredibly hard week for Australians, with many of us still trying to come to terms with the Bondi Junction and church stabbings in Sydney.

Nationally, Bruce Lehrmann was found to have raped Brittany Higgins, and internationally, Iran striked Israel.

Meanwhile Ballarat in Victoria has been struck with its own series of events; we’re all hoping the body of Samantha Murphy is soon found, while Rebecca Young and Hannah McGuire lost their lives in a suspected murder suicide and alleged murder.

While the news comes in all forms, the good and the bad, it seems right now, the news cycle is catastrophic.

If you’ve noticed you’re feeling down, confused or anxious, know that this is normal and you are not alone.

Following October 7, The Briefing was joined by Professor Ian Hickie, co-director of the Brain & Mind Institute at the University of Sydney, who identified ways to cope through troubling times.

The Briefing team thought it would be a welcoming reminder for listeners to revisit some of these techniques with the recent events unfolding in Australia.

Professor Hickie says it is “absolutely normal” to be distresed by the events we see happening on the news, and it is hard to simply shut off when we all have personal and social connections to what’s happening.

Listen here:

However, he says it’s important to give ourselves a bit of a break from the negative news exposure.

“If you one of those people who actually is really personally very distressed by continuous exposure to the news cycle, going back to check all the time, watch the images again, try and find out more detail, then you really need to limit that,” he said.

“You need to put stops in [and] you need to do other things. You need to engage in other kinds of activities.

“[If] it’s really affecting your sleep, it’s really causing you to be more anxious, you do need to take more individual actions to moderate that to relieve that distress of that anxiety and certainly, maintain a normal sleep wake cycle pattern.”

Help is available if you or someone you know needs support:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
If you are in need of immediate assistance, call Triple Zero (000)

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