“Every time we experience or hear about a traumatic event, we go into stress mode. Over time, our adrenal glands can become fatigued.”
So says Susanne Babbel. She’s a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery. “One way of coping with this continual exposure is not getting overloaded with the news. And pacing yourself with your consumption,” she added.
She says to pay attention to when you feel overloaded. “Whenever you feel like you are ‘off,’ that is your signal that you need to stop.”
Babbel was commenting on a 2018 review of studies about the consequences of stress. The review found that a constant flow of negative news causing stress can damage your health.
Bad News Can Equal Bad Health
Can you recall a time when we were deluged with as much daily bad news as we have been lately? I can’t. Every time we turn on the news, we see grim statistics of sickness and death. And the seemingly unending spread of COVID-19.
One step in the right direction for staying healthy these days is reducing the time we focus on this global emergency.
Another step is filling our minds with positive thoughts. For some it could be reading a book or watching a movie. For others, it might be listening to music or engaging in a hobby.
If you’re feeling overloaded with bad news lately, I want to try to help with a few feel-good stories. Each is connected to how people are dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Climbing New Heights
Charley Adams and his 80-year-old mother have gone out for a meal every Thursday for quite some time. But the Ohio retirement home where his mom lives has been on lockdown for the past month.
Because she lives on the third floor, he hasn’t been able to see her up close. That changed recently when he was hoisted up to her window in a bucket truck.
Adams owns a tree preservation group, so he had access to the truck. “I called and said, ‘I’m right outside your window,'” he said. “I thought it would be funny – something to cheer her up a little bit.”
Mobile Lesson Plan
A sixth grade teacher in South Dakota has been trying to explain a math problem to a student via emails.
But the student was struggling. Then she received an email from her teacher saying, “I’ll be over in a couple of minutes.”
The next thing she knew, Chris Waba was on the girl’s front porch holding up a whiteboard explaining the lesson.
“We had really tried to work through it digitally, but you can just tell when you need to do something else,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many family members apart. But some folks are adapting.
In Nashville, Tennessee, a 6-year-old girl and her 81-year-old grandfather live across the street from each other. Hugs are out of the question right now. But they’ve proven they can dance together. On opposite sides of the road.
Their daily “dance-offs” have gone viral. The girl’s mom said, “I’ve never seen him dance. But he’s really putting forth great effort and has some special moves.”
Celebrities Pitching In
People dealing with the coronavirus infection can’t get to the grocery store. Some other vulnerable folks are afraid to venture out.
Fortunately, celebrities are using some of their wealth to help. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined forces with others to establish “America’s Food Fund.”
The group started its support of existing food banks with a $12 million donation. Also pledging support were Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos then donated $100 million to Feeding America. It’s one of the beneficiaries of America’s Food Fund.
More Celeb Sightings
Singer Rihanna donated $5 million to a variety of organizations to fight COVID-19. Including the World Health Organization and Feeding America.
Legendary country music star Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University for its coronavirus research efforts.
Elton John, Mariah Carey and others hosted a live concert at John’s home. The purpose was to raise money for charity.
Reality TV star Kylie Jenner donated $1 million to Los Angeles hospitals. For the purchase of protective masks and clothing for medical staff.
New York Tenants Get Relief
More people in New York state have contracted the coronavirus than in many other states put together. And they’ve had many more deaths.
Fortunately, some people are doing what they can to help. A landlord in Brooklyn is providing free rent for one month for 200 tenants.
Another New York landlord learned one of his tenants – a pizza place – was providing 400 pizzas a day for healthcare workers.
He froze their rent for three months. In addition, he wrote them a check for $20,000.
Elderly Patients Have Recovered
As we know, people over 70 are very much at risk when it comes to the coronavirus.
When 103-year-old World War II veteran William Lapschie tested positive for the virus, there wasn’t much hope.
But the Oregon resident recovered. And recently celebrated his 104th birthday.
Reports have also come in about other elderly people recovering from COVID-19. One was a 102-year-old woman in Italy. Another was a 103-year-old woman in Iran.
It’s going to be impossible to escape all bad news coming our way for the foreseeable future.
But allowing room for good news will help lift our spirits during these trying times.