Five tips to protect yourself from disturbing news

How not to be overwhelmed by the war that is being played out on the European continent? What happens when we spend hours in front of news channels? What attitude to take to the media? Expert advice to get through this period.

How to take a step back from the war in Ukraine? © Getty / tjhunt

The sounds of gunshots, the resurrection of the dead or the wounded, images of refugees fleeing their devastated country, words like “nuclear threat”, “risk of a third world war”, “recession” or “food shortage”. How to reduce pressure and counter rising anxiety and sadness?

Psychiatrists Christine Barois and Serge Tisseron, university professor and media specialist Pascal Lardelier and columnist Eric Libiot were guests of Ali Rebella’s “Grand bien vous faire” program. They gave advice to keep the right distance from current events in Ukraine, a three hour flight from Paris.

1 – it’s okay to be afraid

Don’t add guilt to fear. Psychiatrist Christine Barua recalls, “It’s okay to be afraid. This human emotion is adapted to the real danger that exists close to home.”

Serge Tisseron thinks fear is likely to get worse remorse for not doing it sooner against the threat of Vladimir Putin. But “we should be able to better relate our suffering to our past: if we ourselves were children of refugees, if we recently experienced death … Distinguishing past and present suffering allows us to understand what is happening.” in us.”

2 – Take back control

Instead of fighting fear, Serge Tisseron suggests “taking a course on it.”, limit. And perhaps imagine that this war will also provide an opportunity to profoundly transform society. “In the face of disaster, we organize mutual aid chains. Since we want to be independent from Russia, we will certainly have to develop virtuous practices such as car sharing…”

For Christine Barois, the absence of a way out is distressing. She advises take back control of our lives by making appointments with information: television news, for example. “We have to re-ritualise our meetings with information. We can listen to the newspaper or read the press from time to time…” adds Pascal Lardelier. He even advises removing notifications from your phone. While Eric Libio admits: “Right now I’m watching shows that take a step back, debates like the ones in C politique: we see all the trends, the pessimists, the optimists…”

3 – Understand how the media works

In the 1990s, the Guignols said, “You watch too much TV.” With the development of news channels, this phenomenon has expanded. However, for Serge Tisseron “continuous information makes us naked“We hear gunshots, sirens, we see human suffering… Elements of context are rare and we feel helpless.

Pascal Lardelier explains: To get attention, these channels do everything to make us addicted. We must take a step back!“For this, Christine Barois advises sometimes to cut out to relive family moments.

4 – Don’t get stuck in a bubble

Should we therefore cut off all contact with the news? “Especially not!” says Serge Tisseron: “We are surrounded by people who talk about the war in the bakery, at work. Cutting would be counterproductive… We even have to talk about it between adults, then we will be more able to answer children’s questions after digesting the information.

5 – Use the usual anti-stress techniques

Christine Barois chooses to consume omega-3, engages in cardiac coherence, sports and meditation. Serge Tisseron reads to escape.

But you can also take action: sort out your closets to donate clothes. This allows the children to be involved. And, as one listener suggests, it’s time to gorge on “visual art, lyrical art, and nature. I see many beautiful images. I go to the squares, watch the flowers grow…”

Move on

With :

  • Christine Barois: Psychiatrist and psychotherapist specializing in adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. He specializes in managing stress, anxiety, burnout and depression.
  • Serge Tisseron: Psychiatrist and Doctor of Psychology. He teaches at the University of Paris.
  • Pascal Lardelier: University Professor, Author and Lecturer (Communication Sciences, Socioanthropology), Seminar Leader (ESCP, University of Burgundy-France, Corte Doctoral School), Academic Supervisor (IGS Group).
  • Eric Libiot: Things (almost) seen

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