Stay Calm with an easy Content Diet in Corona Days!
Hello, world! Yes, we all suffer from the same trouble in the country where I am living now, and in the country where I was born, and in countries where I love to travel. Each individual is free to interpret this status with his own heart; funny, tragic, dramatic or romantic, and even all! Feelings are variable according to the conditions and this is what makes us beautiful and this colorful feature.
There is some instantaneous information that we — including me — all forget, “we must protect our mental health”.
We are so busy adding new information to our brains, and we do not see any harm in burning our existing books while we’re adding horror movie scenarios to our library. This is very normal! It is the first time that we experience this kind of situation, and we are all in the same situation. In other words, it is not just a crisis that we felt in our hearts and remained a spectator, such as a war away from miles, a famine on a distant continent, or the ashes of the Amazon forests. Let’s say the heart of the world was sick and each one of us needed a healthy heart!
I know very well, we sometimes misinterpret and evaluate the freedom which communication technologies offer us free, it’s because that I have to experience how human beings’ mental health can be disrupted after a big social crisis by misinformation. Moreover, my job is “content” for 20 years. So I wanted to list what can be done to reach the inner balance that we need, for keeping our heart and soul intact.
“Attention, there is no single statement in this article that will cause raising your worries.”
How will we protect our mental health in Corona days?
With an easy “content diet”!
Let’s look back first… In the past, “information” was conveyed to large communities by those who accessed that information, by sharing their experiences, or by through certain communication tools. Today, the situation is quite different! Communication tools can be used freely by everyone from all over the world. This freedom is for everyone, you can freely share, and you can freely consume! As if the information is hitting the mirrors and reflecting the whole world…
We need to remember urgently that we will have the chance to have much healthier moments again if we do not consume unnecessary or inaccurate information at all. Especially these days…
I will give an example immediately… Let’s say that a person who you see on a Facebook group — which you are a member of — but who you do not know, has shared a table proving that the number of cases has increased very rapidly in a country which is miles away from you. In the end, he added a frightening emoji or expressed himself with a big fear.
When you read this post, it is only the idea that “you are near death” comes alive in your subconscious mind. Likewise, when he got this information, he had the same idea and took action. There may be several reasons for this action
Let me list the main ones as follows:
– I may know more than others, let me tell that right away.
– I think I’m close to death, let me share this so that I’ll feel that I’m not alone on this path, let me relax a bit.
– I am not interested in anything other than what I read, why should I be alone, let everyone read and jump to this darkness with me
These shares are not good for anyone, neither to produce nor to consume! Never! Let me tell you one of the most shared posts in this period:
Photos of empty market shelves and people in queue…
Why is this shared? A few key reasons:
– I’m so scared, let’s get scared together…
– There is a disaster here, I dare to be in the heart of that disaster, look at me, like me
– There is a disaster here, I am in a bad situation, same in here, so we’re from the same planet
– I couldn’t buy it, so you should, if not you will be in bad condition like me. You will starve
Who do these shares benefit? For example, if you watch the video carefully maybe you can see the name of the store (generally you can’t) which is out of stock and take an action accordingly by thinking “find another store for toilet papers” or you’ll get anxious and think that this is “the end of the world”
What could it be? What can happen if you don’t have toilet paper? One of your old t-shirts can act as toilet paper (the worst case) you can wash it and use it over and over again. Anyone can create this kind of idea. But if you need drama and insistent about playing the horror movie character who wants to look behind the curtains in the bathroom scene, let me tell you the worst: water may run out, soap may run out, you may not keep your butt clean, you will burn, the world will end, who is going to survive, etc…
Believe me, under normal circumstances everyone can handle a crisis and find the right answer for the question: “what do I have to do now?” But if you have a high level of anxiety, if you’re in trouble, and you’re afraid then your strength will weaken as well as your hope about surviving.
Of course, you can give some advice to those around you, but at this point, your tone of voice and the context of your message are so important.
Every one of us knows for sure that worrying is not good for the body, especially for our immunity…
Following the examples above, I will list some information below on how to make this content diet I mentioned:
1. Check your social media accounts rarely. Your newsfeed is on fire right now and this fire burns you too. Yes, this fire is a metaphor that explains your newsfeed chaos but on the other hand, I’m sure you feel the weight of a dinosaur sitting right above your heart. Do not do this to yourself. Believe me, if you check your social media accounts just 1 hour less, you will do yourself a favor.
2. Select/specify 2–3 mass media channels and 1 alternative media channel to follow the news. You can add two to three individual and/or structural social media accounts to it. You should choose the most reliable ones, you should curate, you’re “your own media’s” curator! These may be the president or minister of health of your country or a person who protects his cold blood who shares official information only when it’s necessary and does not cause you to panic.
3. If there are people in your Fb groups or among your friends sharing posts which cause panic and increase the tension, stop following them right away! You can delete it, mute it or leave it. Your social media account belongs to you, this is “your” medium (media), remember this, so don’t let yourself see the contents inappropriate which make you sick.
4. “I do not visit any social media pages, I do not follow anyone, contents show up, pops up, confronts me, comes into my smartphone screen and mailbox with some notification!”. BUT, you can stop them and you should. Do not be afraid to quit these social media relations, acquaintances, relatives, neighbors. It’s not rude at all, this action is a precaution for your mental health.
5. Do not be affected by the titles of those who share posts. PLEASE! 5th-grade medical student, fortune teller, my childhood friend, BFF, son of my uncle’s cousin, a friend from Wuhan, etc, etc… The titles don’t matter! Which worldly feature makes one person more reliable than another? We do not know exactly yet, so do not do it, the messages of someone superior to you in one way or another are not certain unless they are official.
6. Question the incoming information! Currently, 138% of unofficial information in your environment is just “a claim”. Both the positive and the negative ones…
7. “Media is one-sided”, this is a claim too (maybe it’s a fact), but in such cases, when the world is affected, an official media channel/platform will likely share more relevant/real news from your neighbor or your FB group or friend or aunt’s husband (the doctor one)…
8. I know the posts starting: “my friend, whose father is a professor/ my brother who is a nuclear consultant of Nasa / the daughter of our neighbor who is studying in Wuhan” yes these are remarkable, but stop. You should avoid especially these kinds of posts in your content diet. When you read a post like this try to find the source then you’ll see that it’s a fairytale.
9. “4507 years ago, the famous fortune-teller said that” or “there is a movie which tells this story…” please be away from them too. At this point, you’ll try to get the spoiler about this fortune teller’s predictions and start believing that you’ll live the same. Who knows? Do you need such information? Really? No! He said what he said, you are living in the present conditions, and none of us know what to expect.
10. “These are all fiction” / “in fact, this country wants to destroy the other country” / “the bats were robots”. I don’t think so or we’ll see but not today! You can be sure that we will discuss these hypotheses later. Right now, does having this information protect you?
11. Follow the advice on health to a certain extent… We all searched for the answers to such questions “Is there anything but washing hands?” “Something more effective who can save me?” (let me know that I will save myself first and then let me be the hero). Unfortunately, we do not have such information … So let’s apply our general news filter at this point. 2–3 health-related official bodies we choose, 1–2 doctor/health unit accounts towards you are sufficient!
What I want to say is;
First and foremost, you should prevent unofficial and uncertain information. Because our mind doesn’t have a “move to trash” button. In other words, no one can delete the information he has read, seen, or heard from his memory and/or ignore, forget its existence.
This is not a content sharing or consuming competition! Maybe we’re not in the same boat, but we’re in the same ocean. Our problem is to get through these days and to continue our lives right where we left off — and probably more consciously. Sharing uncertain and unofficial information is the same thing as leaning against someone trying to stand up It is no different from leaning against someone who tries to keep up/stand up. Attention, please! There is a big difference between being a shoulder to shoulder and pulling down someone.
Some people cause anxieties, and it damages our health, and you can avoid them, you’re responsible for your media.
I repeat shortly some of the best things you can do yourself:
1. Let your social media readings be short. I think it is enough 5 times a day. (I’m not saying you should log out / disconnect because if we don’t behave realistically, it will be hard to follow the advice)
2. Filter your social media groups and Whatsapp groups. We don’t know if those messages are real. Do not take into account the unknown people’s contents. Check the source. Do not hesitate to evaluate ignore and/or mute options. When this storm rests you can hug the whole world again the days when you do not have to wash your hands 3746928536 times a day.)
3. Choose the sources you should follow the updates about the world and don’t break your own rules! If you do, stop and try to turn back your safety mode “content diet”
Of course, there is another question “What should we share?”
Let’s not get caught up in expressing how bad the situation is! Remember, wherever you share, your message can reach a helpless person, cause his desperation to endure, and even destroy the motivation of those who have the only strength they have.
Let’s share information based only on official sources — if it will support saving lives …
This long and narrow road has a day as well as a night … We knew this in the past, mostly while we were alone … who knows, which kind of darkness people experienced in long long nights. But today we are together in this long and dark night, we are waiting for the sun to rise!