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Global Pandemonium: Prioritizing Mental Health During Chaotic Times

troubled woman staring at laptop.

Let’s be clear. There is nothing normal about the times we live in.

It has been back-to-back crises for many, with global pandemics, geopolitical conflicts, and at-home mass violence hitting the news on an almost daily basis. And there’s so much pressure to stay constantly connected—to be aware of everything going on, to always have something to say, to somehow act to make the world a better place.

That’s all well and good until you start to feel burnt out. And then, the constant doomscrolling, frequent news updates, and just as frequent calls to action begin to take a significant toll on your mental health. For example, did you know that people who frequently engage in heated political discourse are 52-57% more likely to develop depressive and anxiety disorders?

Not sure how to get the rest you need? You’re in the right place. Let’s look at how you can disconnect from all the chaos, improving your mental health and empowering yourself to have a more positive impact in the future.

Disconnect by Engaging in Productive Hobbies

If you’ve been putting too much energy into doomscrolling, you might consider shifting that energy elsewhere. Hobbies are a positive outlet that can significantly improve physical, mental, and emotional health. At first glance, you might shrug off the idea of pursuing hobbies as silly or childish, but there is a way to balance the rigors of daily life with hobbies that will recharge you.

If you’re struggling to figure out how hobbies will fit into your life, try:

  • Schedule time solely to engage in your chosen hobby.
  • Set realistic goals and expectations for your hobby time; for example, you probably won’t build an entire Warhammer army in a single two-hour session.
  • Multitask—combine fun things you like doing to spend your time more effectively if you find solely working on one thing frustrating.
  • Segment and organize specific spaces for your chosen hobby. Let that location be your place to play, and only play.

In our hustle-and-bustle culture, we often consider time taken for ourselves for pure enjoyment a waste. If this is you, try being kinder to yourself: have patience, practice mindfulness, or put on some music that you like, and let yourself be immersed in the moment.

Connect With Your Support Community

Sometimes, we live too much inside our heads. It’s really easy to ruminate on the state of the world when that’s all we focus on. It’s also an issue if you are spending too much time in a social media bubble, which can cause body image issues due to having constant points of comparison and unrealistic body image standards. If you’re feeling stuck in any of the above ways, try reaching out to your support community.

Did you know that feeling a sense of community is responsible for lowered anxiety, depression, and stress? It’s true—getting out there and creating new experiences with the people we care about has a positive effect on our overall well-being. If you want to connect but don’t know how, or maybe don’t have as broad a support group as you’d like, try any of these options:

  • Go to a local hobby store or activity center to meet others who share your interests.
  • Use friend-making apps to connect with like-minded people, then plan your first excursion at a place you enjoy.
  • Reach out to old friends and rekindle the relationship.
  • Volunteer at an organization doing work you care about, and get to know the others who work there.
  • Join a sports league. You don’t have to be any good; you just have to be willing to play, learn, and have fun!
  • Visit relatives. Whether you’re just stopping at mom and pop’s house or looking to connect with relatives you rarely see, this can be a great way to maintain lasting connections.

You might not make new friends right away. But putting yourself out there will help build your self-confidence and give you a break from the chaos on social media.


We know it’s tempting to keep doomscrolling. But consider the cost. Putting yourself first makes it easier for you to contribute to the conversation later. Keep your cup full, and you’ll be able to cope with the challenges life throws your way–and maybe even do some good in the meantime.

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About the Author: Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter, @KatieBWrites93.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-troubled-woman-using-laptop-at-home-3755755/

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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