Have you noticed lately that there are drastic swings daily in the way the news media represents our current economic crisis. One day it’s the end of the world, the next day recovery is here.
I can’t remember a time that perception is so intrinsically tied to news events. This last week a number of large companies announced their first quarter earnings. The stock market gyrated almost as fast as the news headlines. If a company had better than expected results, the recession is over, but if it missed expectations, watch out.
This type of reporting can really take an emotional toll… if you let it. I am a news junkie to a certain extent, but sometimes the media goes into overdrive. I find myself swinging from depressed to ecstatic in just one well placed news story. In times like this I have found three things that really help…
1. Turn off the Noise
The easiest way to limit the emotional roller-coaster is to turn off the feed. Turning off TV and internet news can be a God-send in these troubled times. Keeping the TV off of CNN, Fox News, and your local network affiliates will help keep you sane. Local news is the worst, with mayhem and madness a regular staple. You’ll notice that the usual dinner time anger disappears with one click of the remote.
One of the best ways to limit internet news overload is to change your homepage. If your default page is MSN, Yahoo, or AOL, you’ll be prompted with sensational news every time you open your browser. Even on the best days, there is always junk bombarding you. Try setting your default page to Google or some other non-descript page and you’ll find immediate relief.
2. Read a Good Book
Instead of TV, try reading a good book. Whether fiction or non-fiction, a good book can take you far away from the media madness. I find that interesting business books by Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin and others offer an education without the depression. Reading your favorite novelist can really clear your mind of the emotional roller-coaster and take you to almost any place you want to go. Just choose the book of your choice.
3. Help Someone Less Fortunate
In troubled times, it’s easy to have a constant mirror on ourselves and our problems. And many times that mirror is a magnifying one, that makes our problems much bigger than they really are. If we can turn that mirror into a window and focus on others… especially those that are less fortunate, our problems will seem much less daunting.
Helping others around the world is actually very easy and rewarding. Organizations such as Heavenly Treasures and Tom’s Shoes are examples of people helping others to succeed. Both of these organizations make it easy to help by giving back when you buy their products. Heavenly Treasures helps people all over the world by creating micro-enterprises in impoverished countries and selling their products here in the United States. Tom’s Shoes will give a pair of shoes to a needy person each time you buy a pair. I love this simple concept.
If you find yourself depressed after the latest round of news, try one of these simple escapes. Hey… you may even get a new pair of shoes out of it!