Carolyn Hax: Politics burnout craves a newsbreak

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Adapted from a recent online discussion.

I try to keep informed with politics and the state of the world, but I’m getting so, so tired. I have depression and anxiety and struggle to deal with my daily first-world issues — how do people deal with watching the world fall apart? I want to do something to help, but I can’t afford to donate, and protest crowds give me panic attacks.

— Politics Burnout?

It’s OK to take a break. Even the most engaged politicos and activists would tell you that you need to take breaks to be effective — at anything, for sure, but certainly something as stressful as watching your world take a turn that threatens values you cherish or depend on.

So figure out what you need to take care of yourself — both your need to be engaged and your need to disengage and rest.

As for what you can do when you don’t like what your elected officials are doing, and you can’t donate and won’t march, then start calling. Calls to offices calmly stating your position are a key element of…

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