Living in today’s society can be stressful.
Living in today’s society can be stressful and exhausting with 24/7 access to hundreds of news sources. Numerous large issues are being discussed and debated which may leave some feeling hopeless, scared, overwhelmed, anxious, sad, confused, angry, and more. Here are 5 ways to try to leave the habits of consuming news at a healthy level as you try to engage more in daily life and everyday moments.
1. Be mindful of how much news you consume.
Are you someone who has alerts turned on for breaking news? Or someone who often doom scrolls through the trending topics on Twitter for an hour before bed? There’s a fine line between being informed and dedicating too much time to consuming the news, which can deplete our energy and bring a host of negative emotions. By deleting certain apps on your phone, only sticking with a few trusted news sources, dedicating ten minutes a day to watching the news, and setting time limits for apps or websites, you’ll be able to stay informed without spending too much of your time and headspace getting bombarded with stories, articles, and opinions.
2. Get out of your own head.
No matter who you are or what you do, taking a step back when appropriate can do wonders for your mind and stress levels. Going for a walk, listening to music, cleaning or organizing, spending time outside, exercising, reading, watching a TV show or movie, drawing, listening to a funny podcast, taking a bath, calling a loved one, treating yourself to a coffee, and other self-care activities can help you get back in touch with yourself and care for your mind and body.
3. Take action.
If you’re feeling like you want to and have the resources to do something for a cause you care about, go for it! Take some time to research ways you can get involved with certain issues such as calling the appropriate representatives, donating to a fund, volunteering, participating in a march or protest, signing a petition, and more.
4. Talk with loved ones or someone close to you.
Although talking about politics or current events can sometimes be tricky or uncomfortable, speaking with someone you trust who may have similar opinions or worldviews to you can allow both of you to get feelings of hopelessness or anxiety off of your chest. If you don’t want to get too specific, you can say something along the lines of: “Hey, I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed by everything that’s been going on in the news and in the government lately. How have you been doing with that?” You may find a handful of your friends or family are also struggling and may be able to use each other as an outlet and come up with ways to move forward and take care of yourselves.
5. Talk with a professional.
If you feel like you’ve been trying to stay afloat and are constantly overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety or stress or sadness, seek out a professional who can help you work through some of these intense emotions and manage daily life tasks. A therapist can offer you an unbiased, supportive stance where you can speak openly and freely. Our therapists can help you when things feel too overwhelming and teach you strategies to manage overall anxiety.
Written by Carolyn Simon, MS, LPC