Today, I want to talk about something a little bit different.
How do you keep writing when the world is full of so much devastation and loss?
It’s something that’s been weighing on my mind the past few days with the earthquake in Mexico City and the hurricanes in our part of the world, and so today, I just want to offer some advice on how to keep going when you feel so emotionally weighed down by the news.
A huge part of the journey that I’m on is creating a happy life for myself as I grow my business.
But it’s so hard to focus on any of that when there’s so much sadness in the world, people and children losing their lives or losing their loved ones.
It’s truly heartbreaking, and whenever I feel like that, it’s so hard for me to sit down and write or do any kind of work. It just makes me feel like curling up into a ball and crying.
Now that I’m a parent, more than anything, it’s really hard for me to read all these horrible things in the news.
So how do you deal with that? How do you keep moving forward without giving in to all the devastation and heartbreak in the world and the tragic news we encounter daily?
Here are some things that I’m doing to deal with this, and I’m hoping they’ll help you too:
1. Don’t get on social media first thing in the morning; instead, do your important work first.
I’m so guilty of reaching for my phone first thing when I wake up. First of all, it wastes time and ends up making me late.
But most importantly, there’s a lot of sad and horrible things going on in the world constantly it seems these days so you don’t want this to be the first thing you read in the morning.
Instead, listen to some music or an audiobook as you get ready or drink some coffee and then sit down immediately to write for the day. Then it’s okay to go through Facebook. If you can wait until the evening, that’s even better.
2. Get away from social media.
This is another hard one because a lot of the times we just open the Facebook app or website automatically.
But this is one of the biggest ways that we find out about the news. I’m not saying be in denial of everything. But if it gets to be too much, then stay off of facebook or get off as soon you realize you’re on it.
3. Unfollow or unfriend people and pages that are causing you anxiety for whatever reason.
If you have “friends” that are always negative or sharing things that are causing you stress or making you upset, it’s okay to unfriend them or unfollow them. Same thing for pages and groups.
Your feed should be full of things that give you joy for the most part (since we do often keep up with the news too).
What I like to do is hide certain stories that trigger anxiety or overwhelming feelings of sadness. I don’t want to feel upset all the time over what’s happening in the news, as much it’s important to be aware of what’s going on and how we can help.
But there’s only so much we can take. So if you want to train Facebook not to show you certain kinds of posts, go to the top right corner of a post, click on the dots and you’ll see a dropdown menu with hide post.
I do this a lot with stories involving kids because that’s especially hard for me to read about. And like I said, unfriending or unfollowing is always an option too.
4. Do follow stories of hope.
Yes, there’s a lot of tragedy in our world right now, especially this week, but it’s so important to also read about those stories of hope. Stories of people doing good in the world.
It’s so easy to lose our faith in humanity, so also make it a point to follow websites and pages that share stories that make you smile, laugh, or cry tears of joy.
5. Get your mind off of what’s so upsetting with something fun or relaxing.
When it’s really hard to focus or get rid of those feelings of sadness or anxiety, dive into a good book, watch some funny TV, or meditate for five minutes and empty out your brain.
Spark some joy back into your life.
Finally, I want to leave you with this quote from Ray Bradbury: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
There will be always be tragedy and heartbreak in the world. It’s just the world we live in, but seek solace in your art and your work.
Use it to make the world a better place. And never stop writing.