By Sandy Kyriakopoulos, PsyD; Associate Vice President, Clinical and Community Integration at The Village for Families & Children
Do you find yourself daydreaming and staring off into space? Or reaching for your cell phone all day long—for no specific reason? Perhaps you are half-listening to conversations around you. In all of these cases, it may be the result of being overly “tuned in.”
The human brain has a tremendous capacity for intellectual information. Similarly, our hearts are able to navigate a number of different emotions successfully throughout the course of the day. But what happens when there is too much information or too much emotion thrown at us? We tune out.
Tuning out is not accidental, but a way for our psyche to take care of itself. We see it in trauma survivors all of the time. It is as if our brain or our heart has hit the “fill line” and can’t continue to process. We need to listen and pay attention to these moments of tuning out.
With all the media and coverage of COVID-19, it is important to stay informed. Yet, too much information and too much emotion may be overwhelming, for adults and children alike. So, if you find yourself tuning out, take a break from the news and find things in your life that you can to tune in to.
Tune in to the things in your life that bring you joy and pleasure. Tune in to your family, friends and neighbors by reaching out to connect with them. Tune in to those things you haven’t had time to do in a while, like making a special dinner or resuming a hobby that you have missed. By tuning in to the good, it will help you and your family find balance in these unpredictable times.