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Are you feeling overwhelmed online by the Orlando tragedy?

It has been a very emotional few days as many of you know. No doubt you have read the news or seen upsetting or traumatic images at the loss of life over the weekend in Orlando. Many of you have posted messages of support for the families, the LGBT community and Orlando. Perhaps you have been directly affected as a member of that community. Social media is currently ablaze with news conferences and hashtags, not all of it is positive. It is with this in mind, that we would like to reiterate that Cybersmile is here for you. If you feel directly or indirectly affected online by the Orlando tragedy here are a couple of ways that Cybersmile can support you.

1. You can email Cybersmile directly 24/7 at [email protected] for confidential support from a trained advisor.

2. You can post here on the forum your thoughts and feelings about how the Orlando tragedy has affected you or if you have questions or concerns about the online media coverage. Please note this forum is NOT confidential. This is a safe public space where fellow Cybersmilers can support one another.

3. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed by the coverage, be it through your news feed, Twitter account, Facebook or through a conversation online -There are some quick self-care techniques you can also use to help you through this. This can be done in combination with the above support or on its own. I have extracted a few tips from a blog I wrote on Mindfulness in the digital age, which can be found in full at the link provided www.cybersmile.org/blog/mindfulness but here are a few techniques to get you started:

•TAKE A DEEP BREATH- Place your hand just beneath your naval, as this will help you tangibly feel the rise and fall as you breath in deeply. Then pause for a count of three. Breathe out. Pause for a count of three. Continue to breathe deeply for one minute, pausing for a count of three after each inhalation and exhalation.

•TAKE A BREAK- If you are finding all the coverage or heated conversations online about Orlando upsetting, then step away from your computer or phone. Go for a nice walk, play some uplifting music or talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.

Remember you are not alone. Research has shown that over saturation of traumatic events online or on TV, can have an impact on our wellbeing and mental health whether it directly pertains to us or not. So please don't be afraid to address how you are feeling or to reach out for support. We are here for you!
Reflective Joy,

Thank you for this post. As someone who is (constantly!) on Twitter, I do find myself feeling "over-saturated."

Unfortunately with my personality, I also have a tendency to take this empathy to an extreme, dwelling on these tragedies as I'm about to fall asleep. In fact, last night I was up for several hours with nightmares about both the Orlando shooting and the alligator tragedy at Walt Disney World.

The way I personally get through these things, especially in the middle of the night, is to divert myself with humor, such as with Youtube videos of a favorite talk show.

Mindfulness is also important, and this week rather than go for intensive yoga sessions, I have opted for "reflective" classes (basically all of us do poses that require us to relax for a full hour).

And the third thing I do is pull up my favorite dance music and blast it on headphones. My poor eardrums, but this actually shakes me out of a terrible mood.

I really like your suggestions, and I'd like to know what other people are doing to cheer themselves up. It's great to have this forum, because through it, we know we're not the only ones.
Those are some great suggestions Heidi! Especially your yoga reflective classes. I should check to see if we have that out here as well. Music too is definitely a great way to take a break from the negativity or painful tragedies we need on constant replay in the media. I thought of another awesome tool, which could be journal writing. If we feel overwhelmed, we can write why we feel that way, but maybe follow up with a few lines of what we are grateful for. This can help remind us of all the good in the world and the little things that bring us joy and appreciation.

I too would love to hear more suggestions from fellow forum users If anyone has any!
As an aside, Reflective Joy, I used the wrong word to describe that yoga class.

It's actually called, "Restorative Yoga," not "Reflective Yoga," but you get the general idea. It is very cool, though, because it's not intensive exercise like "hot yoga." Although intense yoga classes also help with stress management, "Restorative" yoga involves reclining and seated poses and a lot of relaxation techniques coupled with mindfulness. I leave these classes feeling like I've been sitting on a beach -- completely relaxed and at ease.

I would highly recommend it to anyone who experiences anxiety or stress. Even if you are older, or haven't exercised in a while, or have never tried yoga, these types of classes are for everyone and help you get "settled" and calmed down.

Just needed to make that correction! :-) Thanks!

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Sounds fabulous. I definitely should look into that. I have been meaning to try and find something new like that. Definitely anything that helps calm and ground us is a good thing!