Talking about world news is enough to make anyone lose their appetite and with holidays coming how do you handle discussions of world news when it begins to get uncomfortable? There is a difference between discussing current events and giving your guests anxiety during a family meal! Some people think that discussing the drama with everyone they know will help change the situation and we are not suggesting that there are not some very concerning situations going on in the world today, but we need to keep in mind a saying in the media, “If it bleeds, it leads.” In other words, their job is to find the worst possible thing to report. Much of it is about ratings and competition with other news channels and it can be difficult to discern what’s really going on.
Large numbers of Americans are in anxiety treatment, dealing with clinical depression, alcoholism or drug addiction, and discussion of world news may agitate those who are already on edge. It is important to be sensitive to those around you when discussing world events. If you’re on the receiving end of such a discussion, it’s a good time to practice setting boundaries and sharing your discomfort. You can ask to park it for later or refocus the discussion on the idea that we’re here to celebrate the holiday; let’s not spoil it.
Give yourself permission to celebrate even when the world is on fire. Rituals and celebrations keep us in the present moment and teach us to be grateful for the things that we have. The phrase “gratitude in action” means being present in the current situation and making it as good as it can be.
Being intentional about conversations is another idea. Think about discussion topics before your guests arrive. You can even say that we’d prefer to leave the topic of world news off the table tonight and focus on other things. Some people even go as far as organizing games and planning an agenda for a gathering.
Ultimately, by being mindful of the impact of world news discussions, setting boundaries, and intentionally curating a positive atmosphere, you can ensure that your holiday gatherings are filled with joy, gratitude, and meaningful connections. As the world continues to present challenges, these moments of celebration become even more precious, providing a respite from the uncertainties outside our festive gatherings.
Feinberg Consulting helps families and individuals through some of life’s most challenging times by providing services in Intervention, Case Management, and Coaching for individuals and families experiencing a mental health crisis, requiring an addiction specialist, anxiety management, depression support, senior services, medical case management services or a substance abuse evaluation. Do you know someone who’s struggling? Please reach out: 248-538-5425.