Getting bad news is a part of life – sadly. We’re all going to experience bad news thrust upon us at some point or another, whether that’s a death in the family, a job redundancy, an accident, a break-up or something else. Of course everyone reacts to these things differently and it’s important to remember that we all process bad news in different ways.
But I think as long as we’re processing it in a way that’s not harming ourselves or others, then it’s okay. Because the period straight after finding out bad news is a really weird and confusing time. We can’t all head straight off to a 2 hour therapy session to help manage our emotions. Most of us have to do it by ourselves.
I want to share some things you can do when you get bad news in this post. Because in September, I got a few pieces of bad news and had a very stressful couple of weeks towards the end. The last full week in September was a LOT for me to handle, it just seemed like one thing after another after another.
My anxiety was increasing, my nerves were shot and don’t even get me STARTED on the nervous poos I had that week (if you know, you know).
There were plenty of times where I just had to try and manage my nerves and my feelings because of all the stressful things I had coming up and the news that I had received. Which got me thinking about how I personally manage myself when I have received some bad news.
So if you’ve had some bad news recently (and if you have, my love goes out to you), here are a few suggestions of things you can do afterwards. They won’t reverse the news. They probably won’t change anything. But they might help you manage your emotions, even just for 10 minutes
Journal it out
I have found so much benefit in journaling over the last 6 months and it’s been particularly helpful when faced with some crappy news. It gives me a safe space to vent or talk about my feelings. Even those confusing feelings you’re not sure anyone else would understand. If you don’t know how to process bad news, start by opening your journal.
Related read: 30 Journal Prompts For Mental Health
Have a sleep
A firm favourite act of self care for me and that’s sleep. God, I love sleep. I love naps. I love my bed and the coziness and warmth it brings. And sometimes, after receiving bad news, that’s ALL we need. Bad news can drain us physically and mentally and our bed is there to catch us for a moment or two of rest.
Take care of your basic needs
Sometimes when we receive bad news, we forget about our basic needs. We forget to eat dinner, to wash or drink a glass of water when we feel dehydrated because we’re so caught up with the news, the emotions and how we feel. Which is fine. But in moments of bad news, remember that your mental, physical and emotional health matters too.
Related read: 5 Basic Acts of Self Care You Shouldn’t Overlook
I think a lot of time, when we receive bad news, we feel like we have to be strong for other people. We shouldn’t let our guard down or show our emotions. We shouldn’t show vulnerability. But I think that’s a load of horse crap and vulnerability is a beautiful thing that allows us to process and connect with others. Damn if you need to cry, just cry.
Spend time alone, if you need to
There are so many benefits of alone time and this is one of them. I think a lot of people would suggest leaning on others or finding support when you receive bad news but sometimes, the best support we can receive is from our inner self. Sometimes we just need to be alone to process some bad news – and that’s okay!
Do things that make you feel like yourself
When we’re caught up in bad news, we often feel a little lost and forget ourselves. We’re so focused on what we have to do next or how we’re feeling or how someone else is feeling that we forget to do those little things we like that make us feel like us. Which ultimately, makes us feel worse.
Related read: 6 Small Ways To Feel More Like Yourself
Get the information
This might not be helpful for everyone but it certainly is for me, so I wanted to share it anyway and that’s getting the information. Information is power in my eyes so if I receive some bad news, I like to know the facts. The more I know, the better I feel and the easier I can process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Bit broad but important. I’m not going to suggest meditating here because I know after receiving bad news, sitting still with our thoughts is probably the LAST thing most of us would want to do (although if meditating would help you, then that’s amazing!) but simply breathing deeply and focusing on your breath is a small but wondrous act of self care in tough times.
Of course all of these things are subjective and relative, depending on the type of bad news you’ve been given. But if you find that something on this list would help you, next time you’re given some crappy news, I urge you to give it a try.