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Overwhelmed by global issues

(28 Posts)
Apricity Wed 13-Nov-19 09:41:31

Dear lovely fellow Grans, how do you deal with feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and powerless by the news from everywhere?

Climate change, pollution, overconsumption, deafforestation, corruption and greed in every area of government and corporate activity, gross human rights abuses, social polarisation, widespread anger and aggression just to name a few issues. These are real and incredibly serious issues with far reaching consequences.

I think of myself as a positive person, a loving partner, mother and grandmother doing my best environmentally in my own small corner but at at times I feel so depressed about the world we live in and we are leaving to our precious grandchildren that I feel quite overwhelmed. I am acutely aware that by good luck I live in a relatively safe part of the world and do not have to deal with the truly horrendous issues that some people face.

Do other other Grans have these thoughts and how do you manage and deal with them?

winterwhite Wed 13-Nov-19 10:02:57

Yes, re news from everywhere. No, re our grand-children. They'll make the best of the world they find themselves in, as our own parents did. I shudder when I think of what the grind of daily life in the 1940s must have been like for our mothers and grandmothers, but those of us who were children then know how much better life is now in many ways.
(Talking like the OP in terms of living in a relatively safe part of the world.)

Urmstongran Wed 13-Nov-19 10:25:26

Try not to over worry Apricity it will change nothing. Look outside, go for a walk. Being outdoors brings a better perspective. Have a news/media break for a while.

The sun will still shine, the grass will still grow and the world will turn.

I don’t mean to sound cavalier about your concerns I just hope you can worry less. For example all those floods around the River Dom? Might be due to severe neglect - residents say no dredging for years so of course the level of water would rise!

Calendargirl Wed 13-Nov-19 12:34:56

We oldies worry about so much. Now it seems anxiety in children is up 48% in the last 15 years. Why? Are things so much worse than before, are children just more aware, does social media contribute to this?
I can understand why old heads fret about stuff, but dread to think how it will pan out with the youngsters of today.
As individuals, we can only do so much, we cannot sort out the world’s problems.

Gonegirl Wed 13-Nov-19 12:43:39

It's all horrible, that's true. But maybe every age has its own reasons for worry.

We have no immediate threat of a third world war (please God). The slave trade has been greatly reduced and the remains of it horrifies most people.We do have a better social support system than ever before, although it's still not good enough. There has always been anger and aggression, just no internet to express those things on. There has certainly always been corruption and greed. Politicians and councillors have always taken "back-handers.

Our grandchildren, i hope and pray, will cope. Think XR. They are starting already.

eazybee Wed 13-Nov-19 12:50:50

No I don't. I have always read a great deal of history and every age has had its worries, fears and catastrophes, caused by nature and by man. One simply has to cope.

Yehbutnobut Wed 13-Nov-19 13:11:56

I’m just glad I won’t be around to see how my grandchildren will be affected by our mistakes 😢

Jane10 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:42:08

I suppose that there have always been lots of things to worry about in the world but we just weren't so aware of them. Our 24 hour news and Internet etc etc brings it all right into our homes. Hard to escape from that unless you just switch off either physically or psychologically. Go out for a walk, meet a friend for a laugh, sing, read a book etc etc whatever gives you a complete change of things to think about.

lemongrove Wed 13-Nov-19 13:50:06

I expect grandmothers worried about their grandchildren in the 1400’s too ( and at any time before, or indeed after.)
The world is still turning, and life is so much better all round.
No, I don’t feel overwhelmed because as others say, we know it’s only the relentless amount of info/news coming at you at all times of day ( rolling news, which is repetitive anyway.)
If you do feel overwhelmed though, try reading and watching and listening to world news much less for a week and see how you feel then.
Put music on instead, and read good books and go out with friends etc.Don’t allow things to control your life, you are in charge.
My Grandma ( who had a phrase for everything) used to say
‘Do your best and leave the rest’.

SueDonim Wed 13-Nov-19 13:56:50

I curtail the amount of news I see. I read online, not on tv, so I am in control. I do think the non-stop rolling news we have nowadays contributes to anxiety. Sometimes it's hard to switch off from it.

I've lived in two Developing World countries and I count my blessings that no one in the UK is in the position their citizens are in.

Hetty58 Wed 13-Nov-19 13:58:53

My mother was keen on 'keeping track, up to date with the news' in her later years. She became increasingly alarmed and distressed with 'the way the world's going' too.

We had a few chats about it and I thought that the only real difference from her younger days was that she was perhaps better informed, compared to an earlier blissful ignorance.

Her distress was utterly pointless, though, as it made no difference to anything. I therefore plan to do much more gardening and watch less news.

Apart from voting, signing petitions and supporting my favourite causes, I will make no difference either, so I won't
depress myself!

Chestnut Wed 13-Nov-19 14:02:45

I agree the answer is to have a 'news break' and stop watching and reading about all the dreadful things in the world. It wasn't until maybe 15 years ago that I really started to pay attention to the news and then it becomes addictive. You worry that something has happened and you'll miss it, so you keep tuning in. If this worries you then why not briefly check the BBC website once a day just to see if something important has happened, but nothing else. Then focus on other things.
I admit the relentless news coming in from all directions must be affecting children. When I was a child I had no idea at all what was going on in the world, which was lovely. Even as a teenager I took no notice. But then I didn't have a mobile phone.....

ladymuck Wed 13-Nov-19 14:23:44

These days of the internet and instant news, we are aware of what is happening globally, and on the whole, it is depressing. Mankind seems determined to destroy the planet and everyone on it.

Chestnut Wed 13-Nov-19 16:08:20

But I'm sure our grandparents said that during WW1 and our parents during WW2 when it must have seemed as though the world was falling apart.

sodapop Wed 13-Nov-19 16:23:51

It can be depressing Apricity but you can do your bit to help in whatever way you choose. Recycling,reducing carbon footprint etc. This will give you some control and if we all do the same it has to help.
Donate to whichever charity is close to your heart then get on with your life. You are helping your family as well so there is only so much you can do. The world needs happy people too.

chelseababy Wed 13-Nov-19 16:40:54

My mum used to watch News 24 all day till the soaps came on - no wonder she was depressed!

Labaik Wed 13-Nov-19 18:27:33

Although it's never bothered me watching wildlife programmes where animals hunt and kill other animals [they have to eat, don't they] I'm finding myself unable to watch programmes that show endangered creatures eg saw something the other day about elephants dying because of the terrible droughts and orangutans threatened with extinction because of poaching etc. This is all because we seem to be incapable of caring about what we are doing to the planet. Oh, and there was something else about the Great Barrier Reef. I'm afraid I have to switch off; it upsets me so much.

Pantglas2 Wed 13-Nov-19 18:30:19

I grew up on a farm where foxes raided the chicken coop, the chickens ate the grubs on the ground and we ate the eggs and the chickens and I can’t tell you how well I sleep at night. Accept your place in the universe folks!

Apricity Thu 14-Nov-19 08:10:57

Thanks for the feedback. I think I need to step back from newsfeeds for a bit and spend more time in the garden.

Yehbutnobut Thu 14-Nov-19 08:38:32

Apricity it’s a measure of how much you understand that certain issues threatened human life in years to come. Judging by the majority of the replies to your OP most on here haven’t a clue.

Jane10 Thu 14-Nov-19 08:46:31

Of course we 'have a clue'! Too much of a clue!

Witzend Thu 14-Nov-19 09:02:51

I can only suggest that you stop watching/listening to the news, or at least severely limit it. I have, largely because of being so sick and tired of the B word, though I do flick through the paper every day, and keep an eye on the BBC website.
But it can be relentless if you're not careful, and I should know, since my dh is a news addict - it's on radio or TV so much, I frequently have to escape to another room. He's the sort of person who doesn't let things worry or upset though at least not too much.

Of course none of this means I'm not well aware of the issues, as a pp suggested - I'm all too aware, that's the trouble.

Amagran Thu 14-Nov-19 09:18:19

I share your concerns, Apricity, and sometimes it does all seem overwhelming and hopeless.

I think though, that many of the issues with respect to human rights abuse, anger, aggression, lawlessness etc. have always been with us but modern communications and social media bring it constantly to our attention.

To look positively about these awful issues, people today are more aware and our standards and expectations are now so much higher, that what was acceptable in the past, is no longer.

As for the immediate issues of climate change, political polarisation and aggression, I suppose if we all do our bit to keep our own corners clean, these negative situations will gradually change. I am heartened by how much more awareness there is these days.

Hetty58 Thu 14-Nov-19 09:42:31

I feel that all our little efforts are worthwhile - but they can't possibly solve the problems. Rather, they help soothe our consciences a bit as we won't make the necessary drastic changes. No government would be able to force things either as they don't want to make themselves unpopular!

M0nica Thu 14-Nov-19 09:55:46

Every generation has over reaching fears, my mther was born in WW1, I was born in WW2. Most of my first 50 years was lived in the shadow of the bomb. Now we have global warming.

But somehow we come through these problems. I think the best thing is to concentrate on what you can do on a practical and personal level to overcome them. Yes, one persons effort seems very small, but when it is multipled 20, 100, 100,000, 1 million and 10 million times. All these individuals doing there little bit then we can move mountains and make a difference.