How to Deal With Living in a State of Perpetual Crisis
7 min read
fairly easy
Feel like the world is ending? You're not alone. Here's how to cope.
At this moment, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed by the state of the world. We are facing an unprecedented climate disaster, the impact of which is already causing droughts, famine, flooding, wildfires, and mass extinction events. The political situation on the national and global level feels perpetually tenuous. And we continue to suffer through a seemingly unending pandemic, one that has thus far killed more than 680,000 Americans and 4.5 million people across the globe.

To put it mildly, things are not going great, and some crises, like climate change, are certain to worsen in the years to come. And living through this period of perpetual global tumult is no picnic, even for those who are privileged enough not to have been personally impacted by it—just the constant deluge of bad news can have a paralyzing, anxiety-inducing effect.


"We are currently living in a time when our attention is drawn to chronic threats daily," Dr. Chelsea Ratcliff, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Sam Houston State University, writes in an email. "These threats are often societal in nature, meaning it can feel like there is little one individual can do to address or eliminate the threat. This can leave us feeling tired, overwhelmed, and even hopeless."

Many of us are lucky enough to live in places currently untouched by crises like war and the most palpable effects of a warming planet, which makes something like "feeling overwhelmed" seem pretty silly by comparison. But the human brain can think about and plan for the future, and ours are now recognizing that we may not be so lucky in the years to come.

We are currently living in a time when our attention is drawn to chronic threats daily."

"Right now, we're inundated with information about major threats, such as the ongoing pandemic and climate change, and our brains have evolve to keep a tight focus on threats so that we can escape them and survive," Ratcliff says. "Unfortunately, in this modern age, the…
Rebecca Fishbein
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