In recent years, in particular, the news has featured a lot of very negative things. From the pandemic to war and violence, it may seem as if the bad news far outweighs the good. It comes at us from many different angles, whether through television, radio, or social media. This onslaught of negativity can become stressful and overwhelming. It can even lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety in time. While it is normal to want to stay informed about the events around the world, if your news consumption is taking a toll on your mental health, it may be time for a change. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up watching the news entirely, but you may consider changing the way you consume media and implementing some rules for yourself in order to protect your own wellbeing.
How Negative News Can Affect You Mentally and Physically
In addition to causing stress, anxiety, and depression, too much negative news can also lead to other side effects. For example:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Changes in diet or lack of appetite
- A lack of motivation
- Low energy
- A sense of dread or helplessness
- Panic attacks
- Decreased performance at work or school
Changing the Way, you Go About Media Consumption
How you decide to go about changing the way you consume the news is entirely up to you and your own personal needs. However, you may consider trying one of the following tips.
#1. Set time limits for yourself throughout the day to consume the news in whatever facet you choose. You can set alarms on your phone to alert you of when this pre-determined window has arrived and when it is over. Avoid watching the news or checking social media outside of these set time windows. This can help ensure that news consumption isn’t taking up too much of your time and you are able to focus on other things. This can take a lot of self-discipline but can lead to some great results.
#2. Consider taking a news detox. Sometimes, it can help to completely take some time away from the media and give yourself a break. Going on a news detox for a week or even longer can do wonders for your mental health. It can help you re-focus on what matters most in your life and change your perspective. You may find this time to be very restful and therapeutic, and you may even decide to extend the detox longer than you originally planned.
#3. Choose your news sources carefully and consider limiting them. Not every news station is going to broadcast negativity regularly. In fact, there are some news channels that make an effort to include a good news segment each day or on certain days throughout the week. You’ll also want to ensure that when you are choosing a particular news source, it is credible. Consuming misinformation can lead to excessive levels of stress and anxiety.
#4. Don’t watch the news or check social media before bed. When you are consuming news that could be very negative right before you go to bed, this information will be the last thing you’re thinking about that day before drifting off to sleep. Those negative stories can not only impact your quality of sleep but can stay with you and affect your mood going into the next day.
Taking Care of Yourself When it Becomes Too Much
Whenever you find yourself in a place where you’re overwhelmed by the events going on around the world, take some time to take care of yourself and recharge. Some ways to do this include:
- Get out into nature. Being in the great outdoors can help if you feel overstimulated. There are fewer noises and distractions in nature, and you can regain your sense of focus.
- Consider what activities help you to feel better when you’re stressed. Spend time doing an activity you enjoy while staying away from the media. This could be painting, playing with your dog, or spending some time with family and friends.
- Consider practicing yoga or a type of meditation. This practice can help ground you and make you better aware of your mental and physical feelings.
- Don’t be afraid to consider therapy. Speaking with a counselor can help you get a better understanding of your own emotions and learn how to handle stress in a much healthier manner and also help to reduce stress.
It’s no secret that the news, especially in recent years, has become scary at times. There is a lot of serious things going on in the world and when you’re hearing about them all on the news each evening, it is easy to become stressed and overwhelmed. This can also lead to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. This is why it is so important to stay in touch with how you’re feeling and make changes in how you consume news if necessary. This may involve only watching the news during certain time windows or even going on a news detox and giving it up for a while entirely. When you begin to feel yourself become overwhelmed by negative news, consider getting out into nature or speaking with a therapist. Good mental health is crucial for living a happy and healthy life. If you’re struggling, our team at Achieve Concierge can help. Call (619) 393-5871 today.