Taking Care of Your Mental Health When the News is Awful

February 9, 2023

Not a week goes by without awful, troubling, traumatic, angering, frustrating, and scary news.

The news of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on February 6th has made a deep impression on people.

It's normal for news like this to result in strong feelings.  

It can be difficult to engage with current events and also difficult to ignore them. 

It's important to be aware of what's happening in the world. 

It's vital to take care of yourself and your mental health.  

And that ^^^ is a whole bunch of conflicting but true information. So what can we do about it? 


Pay attention to what comes up as you engage with the news.

  • Notice how the news makes you feel.
  • Recognize, If possible, how it feels to disengage from the news for a bit.  
  • Pay attention to how people in various communities have to engage with the news in different ways.
  • Remember that the ability to disengage from what's happening is a privilege.  
  • Notice when you're ruminating on things outside of your control. 
  • Recognize when you're doomscrolling - obsessively scrolling negative news, often to try and get answers when we're feeling afraid.  

Do Something

When you notice conflict or behaviors that aren't helpful to you - do something different.

  • Help people more closely affected by the news. 
  • Get involved in issues that are meaningful to you. 
  • Advocate for systemic changes that may help prevent something like this in the future.
  • Limit news intake for a bit. 
  • Do an activity that you enjoy. 
  • Stay connected with friends and family; lean on them when you need. 
  • Stay active - moving your body helps release stress. 
  • Talk to a therapist about your feelings. 
  • Plan an enjoyable event. Remember that your life will continue after this news cycle. Planning something to look forward to can help.  

Get Support

There are many ways to get support for yourself or people close to you. At UNC-Chapel Hill, you can use the Resource Hub on the Heels Care Network to filter for the resources that will work best at this moment.

Sharing and printing options: