Since being in isolation many of us have been hooked into media more than usual, news, TV and social media. I have seen a lot of confusion, tension between friends and people becoming very polarised and dis-empowered.

A friend in Europe who has been in full lockdown has been asking me about several things from the media including the claim that world-renowned performance artist Marina Abromivic is a follower of Satan and Trumps claims that the virus was made in a lab in Wuhan both had neagative influences on her well-being.  It got me thinking about how I process media, what I choose and don’t choose to read, watch or believe. I think having a good strategy or approach to media, especially during these times when everyone is feeling more vulnerable is more important than ever for our health and wellbeing.

I have also seen people tumble down conspiracy rabbit-holes and many including myself not knowing what to believe and what not to.

A few weeks ago I read an article about a couple who had returned from America and were supposed to isolate for two weeks. Instead, they came to their holiday home in my local area, played golf, went to the supermarket and spread the disease they didn’t know they were carrying.  I felt so furious, which is fine, it’s totally Ok to feel angry, it’s what I did next that was out-of-line, I went into blame mode, writing a bitchy piece of Facebook name-calling and calling the people out. I think calling them out is OK too, they were definitely endangering their community but calling them ‘privileged F***kers’ was a blame and shame rant. The reason I felt angry was that I believed I was pretty safe living in my sleepy beachside town away from the city and when my safety was put into question I did not take responsibility I lashed out with unkind words. Luckily a wiser friend picked me up on this and I went back and adjusted my comments. I still felt angry but the moral of the story is what I wrote did not show kindness or responsibility. 

With such an onslaught of information and misinformation even trusted sources perhaps can’t be trusted at times. We just have to look at the U.S President and some of the dangerous statements he’s made. He should be a trustworthy source. Trump is a great example of someone who blames and shames are rarely takes responsibility. We need to be careful not only of what we say but also what we choose to share, absorb and accept. We need to look after our psychic well-being as well as our mental health.

Sometimes, with our current media, it’s hard to discern fact from fiction. Not only do we need to look at the source of the material but to feel into our emotional response, acknowledge and respect this, check in with what our intuition is telling us, ask ourselves is this kind, is this respectful, do I actually want to be reading or watching this and how can I take responsibility?

So, be kind, be discerning, maybe limit what media you access use kindness and responsibility as a way of filtering information and ask does it really matter? For example, if an Artist is the head of an underground satanic cult does that really matter to my life? Does it affect my life in any percieveable way? We all know terrible things are happening in the world do we need to blame (wrongly or rightly) someone? Blaming takes away our personal responsibility for acting on what we know is wrong with the world. It’s much easier to point the finger. Most conspiracy theories have a grain of truth in them but they disempower us because they blame ‘Them’ for whatever the problem is. When we are disempowered it affects our mental health and wellbeing.

For media mental health keep in mind these keywords: Kindness and Responsibility and take everything lightly remembering that someone else’s opinion is just that…their opinion, take it with a grain of salt.

Be kind to yourself and take responsibility and If the information coming from the media is upsetting you don’t engage with it. Use kindness and responsibility as filters for the media you’re watching, reading or listening to. Be kind and generous to people who have ideas, beliefs and opinions different to your own. This is an opportunity to connect and band together. Blaming, name-calling and being hostile to each other will not serve us now, rather we can take responsibility to be kind and look after each other.

If you need extra support during this time please contact My Way Therapy and book a consultation.