How to stay informed without going mad
During this crazy time
I had almost decided against writing a newsletter this week, as there is very little I can say that will have any impact during this difficult time for so many people. We are less than a week into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and I think it’s important that I mention it here as I often see content that dodges the subject and instead fills the gap with something along the lines of “with so much happening in the world” // “with everything going on!” But that’s not what I want to do here. To me, that fails to actually tackle head-on what is happening.
This war is happening in front of our eyes. Every minute, new video footage is uploaded to social media channels and shared globally. Even the most careful of us cannot avoid the torrent of images, videos and news articles as the people of Ukraine admirably defend their nation.
I’m sure I am not alone in feeling like there is a constant struggle between wanting to stay informed and needing to protect my own mental health. Last week, for instance, Craig took to reading /r/worldnews as soon as he woke up, relaying what had happened in Ukraine the night before. I’m not sure if it was exhaustion, recovering from a stomach bug or end of the month work stress— likely a combination of all three— that meant I was not in the right frame of mind to take in this information at that time.
However, there is always a voice in my head saying: “Not everyone can choose to switch off from this. People are living it.”
So, how can we achieve an equilibrium that both keeps us informed and ensure we don’t fall into a pit of despair?
Here are some things I am doing in an attempt to achieve said equilibrium:
Reading and sharing only reputable news sources
Checking the news 1-2 times per day
Avoiding violent video content
Dodging comment sections
Donating to reputable organisations - We have donated to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal and intend to also support UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) among others
Putting my phone aside during the evening in favour of reading or light-hearted TV
What are you doing to both stay informed and sane at the same time? Let me know over on Twitter @ContentByTheSea or reply to this email for a chat.
📚 The Obelisk Gate by N K Jemisin (The Broken Earth Trilogy #2) - The second instalment in the fantasy series I mentioned last week. No spoilers, just highly recommend if you enjoy high fantasy and exploring new worlds.
📺 Louis Theroux Forbidden America - Porn’s MeToo
Louis has returned to the world of adult entertainment to explore how things have changed since the #MeToo movement rocked the media. Not Louis’s best work but still a worthy watch for any Theroux-siast like myself.
That’s all from me this week. I’ll be back next Wednesday with more musings on topics that are important to me, including but not limited to: mental health, work/life balance, internet culture, and much more.
People saying unprovoked nice things about Conversations By The Sea
Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:
23rd February: This is how it’s always been
16 February: You can only do your best
26 January: The way to a person’s heart
19 January: How do you work?
12 January: Being a morning person is overrated
5 January: Treading lightly into 2022
15 December: How do you compare?
8 December: Lessons on mental health from Henry Cavill
1st December: Give the gift of rest this Christmas
24 November: Who are you?
17 November: Christmas comes early