Does the thought of reading or watching the news make you queasy? Have you begun to curse aloud while reading your social media feeds? Do you find yourself saying, “It can’t possibly get worse,” and then of course it does?

Many of us are suffering from outrage fatigue-too many days, weeks, and months in a row of seeing indiscrete, impolite, immoral and violent behavior everywhere we look. We access the news with feelings of fear and dread. We prepare for social engagements with preemptive antacids or headache remedies. The world is no longer what we remember or long for, and we are tired. Tired of OMG moments and feeling helpless. What can we do to stay sane and sound during these times?

Don’t try to fix the whole world on your own. While it’s true that one person can make a difference, you cannot solve all the problems around you single-handedly. Trying to work your day job, volunteer for every cause that touches your heart, and talk your silly relatives over to your side in politics is going to wear you out and make you bitter. You must prioritize the people and issues that make demands on your time and energy.

Ask yourself what causes and people are truly the most important to you. Consider your natural talents. Where will you make the most difference? Maybe you should run for office or start a charity, but maybe you need to spend more time providing the very best family game night ever known.

Learn to smile and nod. There has been a decline in civil discourse and critical thinking lately that is alarming. However, when you’re fighting outrage fatigue putting more effort into defending your position with a logical argument is hardly relaxing. Don’t get me wrong; I am all for well-considered, courteous, discussion and debate. Yet, there is something to be said for the old-fashioned art of politely and graciously changing the subject. Conversation feels like a vanishing art, but with a little practice you can relearn how to divert chit-chat from toxic subjects and give yourself a rest.

Take up some form of meditation. Wait, wait… before you push the woo-woo alarm. The business community, educational professionals and healthcare providers are all on the same page here. Learning to relax, controlling your breathing, and practicing mindfulness have all kinds of benefits. In addition to the well-documented benefits for concentration and general health, a mindfulness practice can give you a break from feeling outraged, whether that outrage is justified or not. The mental distance provided by meditation can help you to see solutions where you previously only saw roadblocks, and may help you to realize that the world perhaps has more decent people fighting the same good fight than you thought.

Leave a Reply