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Exposure to conflict coverage can impact mental health

War coverage exposure may impact your mental health

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-The Israel-Hamas War, and the ongoing war in Ukraine can impact mental health.

"I think we are all experiencing the anxiety," said Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Public Information Officer Suzanne Grimmesey, "The war that is going on, we see it we hear it daily."

Grimmesey suggests avoiding too much media exposure if possible.

"The images that we see on the media create almost a tattoo on our brains and they become very intrusive and we can't stop thinking about them."

She said there are three simple things people can do.

"One is to put ourselves and our whole family on a media diet, pick out one or two reliable sources you trust, check them one or twice a day at most, if you are a family that likes to put on the news on in the evening put it on for 30 minutes and turn it off," said Grimmesey.

The second tip is to take a pause.

"Stop and pause and take note of how you are feeling, so feelings, like feeling anxious and stress can impact us quite a bit, they distract us, they make us irritable, we can't concentrate, so being aware of how we are feeling helps us to do a little more about that."

The third tip has to do with self care.

"The third thing is to take care of ourselves; get outside walk; move our bodies; stay hydrated; do the things that practice self care."

People taking a break with friends and family members are the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta like those ideas.

Jessica Ryu likes to play with her one-year-old daughter Autumn.

"I try to intentionally stay uninformed on things that I don't have control over.," said Ryu.

Ryu said that helps her stay calm, but she knows others aren't as fortunate.

"Some people don't have the option to not think about it, those people are experiencing it."

UCSB student Victor Rodriguez said he still thinks it's important to know what is going on.

"I definitely do feel stressed, it puts a lot of pressure just knowing the world is not in a good place right now ," said Rodriguez. "But I do think that like having some of the content come into your life is important."

Grimmesey said it is not selfish to practice self care.

She said the upcoming holidays can also compound feelings.

If you are overwhelmed try to acknowledge it and take action.

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Article Topic Follows: Health

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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