Healthy Ways to Handle Bad News

Throughout life, we all receive news that threatens to throw our world out of balance. Knowing how to deal with disappointment can determine whether the challenges break you or make you stronger.

Maybe you received a phone call that a loved one has passed away unexpectedly, or perhaps your company downsized and cut your position. In each scenario, you hear life-changing information, and there is nothing you can do to change the reality of the situation.

While the news may leave you feeling traumatized, try to remember the sting won’t last forever. This realization is the critical first step toward recovering from the loss. Deciding to overcome and survive despite negative news will help you to feel motivated by hope.

However, taking time to grieve is equally important. Give yourself permission to cry, go for a long run, punch a pillow—burn off negative energy, and then resolve to move forward.

A Strategy of Self-Care

When loved ones are going through difficult situations, you may recommend they take time to nurture themselves. Give yourself that same love and respect. Don’t try to manage your anxiety and grief alone. Talk with someone you trust as you process your feelings. Exercise regularly and eat healthy foods to boost your energy and mood. If you are a spiritual or religious person, rely on your faith and fellowship with others in your faith community.

Supporting a Loved One When the Going Gets Tough

Seeing someone you care about suffering can sometimes seem more difficult than going through a painful situation yourself. Help your loved one heal with your presence and remind them that they are not alone.

Spend time with your friend or family member. Be available. Call or visit in person to listen if they want to talk. Offer to take care of the ordinary responsibilities of everyday life. Go to the grocery store. Pick up dry cleaning. Help with childcare or household chores. It’s the little things that often have a significant and lasting impact.


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