Friday, April 19, 2013

Embracing the Mundane. Preventing Information Overload.

How do you deal with tragedy? Violence on TV? Overwhelming news footage and emotional imagery?

In our house this week I embraced the usual, the regular routine and the daily tasks that I often grumble about. I focused on laundry, cleaning and snuggling with my sniffly 3-year old. I can't say it was a glamorous time, but it was fulfilling and I am content.

Growing up I remember the nightly news being part of our family's routine. House fires and natural disasters haunted my childhood dreams and Dessert Storm made me nervous of the dangerous situation on the other side of the world. I never would have thought my children would know dangers closer to home or that social media would bring devastation into my home, onto my screen and phone 24 hours a day.

I have seen articles that suggest we turn off the news and try to limit the exposure our children have to violent crimes and other emotional events. We are supposed to talk with our children, open communication and express our feelings and fears. But, I want to know, what about the adults? How much exposure is okay? When are we just adding extra stress to our daily lives?

I love staying in the loop with information, but it is easy to be overloaded by a twitter stream, FB video links and constant news updates. Not all which end up being accurate, but everyone is clamoring to post it first. It is the equivalent of driving past a bad car wreck, but also getting out of the car to watch every gruesome detail. Is it healthy?

I agree we want to know if we are safe, if our loved ones are safe, but after that it can be easy to get sucked into the fear and anger.

I don't want to live every moment of every day in fear. So instead I chose to spend the week in the moment with my family. That included a battle of wills with my 5-year old, a few sick sleepless nights with my 3-year old and laughing and sharing my day with my husband. Life is good and these are the mundane days I want to celebrate.

So, my question for you is this:
Do you turn off the news at times like this? How do you cope with the added stress from events out of your control?

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