How to Take a Break from the News
It’s good to be informed and stay aware of what’s happening in the world. However, being bombarded with stressful news during your waking hours can take a real toll on your mental health, and can skew your understanding of the world around you.It’s okay to take a break now and then – in fact, tuning out for a while can be a vital form of self-care. Come up with a plan to reduce your exposure to the news. Use your new-found time and energy in productive and fulfilling ways, and remember to keep things in perspective when you are ready to return to watching the news.
Limiting Your Exposure to the News
Determine how long your break will last.Before you begin your break, decide exactly how much time you want to spend away from the news. Just taking a break for a weekend might be enough to help you destress. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, you may need a couple of weeks. Either way, setting a specific goal can help you stay on track.
Avoid social media.All too often, you will find your Facebook feed filled with a selective sampling of the news that your friends and family (and probably you) are most worried about. Even worse, it comes with limitless scrolling, so it seems to go on forever! Take a break from social media until you are ready to return to following the news.
- If you have to, uninstall social media apps from your phone, or temporarily disable your accounts.
Switch off news notifications or redirect them to a junk folder.If you have your phone set to deliver daily news updates, go into your settings and turn them off or redirect these updates to a junk folder. If you’re on any mailing lists that send news to your inbox, consider unsubscribing – at least temporarily.
Turn off the TV.If you’re in the habit of having the TV going in the background when you’re at home, switch it off or change the channel.If someone else in your home wants to watch the news, let them know that you are taking a break for a bit and ask them to respect your wishes. If that doesn’t work, try to leave the room until they are done.
Turn off your phone when you can.Having a smartphone makes it all too easy to stay connected to the world. Turn it off whenever you are able to, especially before you go to sleep. If you want to use your phone as an alarm, set it on airplane mode before going to bed. This will prevent your phone from blowing up with notifications overnight, and reduce the temptation for you to jump online if you happen to wake up.
Use extensions to control what you see online.Look for browser extensions and apps that let you customize your web browsing and social media experience. Extensions like “Remove All Politics from Facebook” (for Chrome) or the “Social Fixer” plugin (for multiple browsers) can be lifesavers when you are trying to get away from the news.
Using Your Time Wisely
Try stress-relieving activities.If the news has been stressing you out, you may find yourself worrying about it even when you aren’t actively paying attention to it. Use the time that you’d normally spend watching or reading the news to do activities that help you unwind. These could include things like:
Replace news time with social time.Take advantage of your time away from the news to connect with people you care about. For example, if you normally watch the news with your family every evening, try getting everyone together for a board game or a stroll around the neighborhood instead.
- If you do not feel like socializing, then you can also replace news time with reading something that is unrelated to the news, such as a fiction book.
Read or watch something fun.If you’re feeling media starved, you don’t have to fill that void with the news. Try an uplifting alternative, like a fun book, an inspiring blog, or a movie or TV show you enjoy. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, if you’re looking for something new to try.
- If you really want to read the news, then another good option might be to check out positive news stories.
Keeping the News in Perspective
Be aware of news biases.The events that show up in the news tend to be extreme: major disasters, acts of extreme violence, and freak accidents are the types of things most likely to be reported. When the media feeds you a regular stream of horrifying news, it can start to seem like the world is a pretty dark place.
- Remember that what you’re seeing is a carefully selected sampling of the worst and most unusual things that are happening at any given moment.
Seek out good news.When you read or watch the news, make a deliberate choice to look for stories that put a spotlight on positive things that are happening in the world. This doesn’t mean you have to read nothing but cute human interest stories or pretend that nothing bad is happening. However, it is important to recognize that even in dire situations, good things can happen and people can make a difference.
- For example, if a major disaster is dominating the news, look for inspiring stories about communities coming together or ordinary people doing heroic acts.
Limit your news time to 10-15 minutes in the morning.If you spend too much time taking in the news, it will begin to feel overwhelming. If you’re ready to start paying attention to the news again, take it in small doses. Set aside a specific time every morning to read a few carefully selected stories, or listen to the news in brief on the radio.
- It’s best to set aside your news time early in the day, rather than later, when you are trying to concentrate on work or unwind after a long day.
- Do not read the news before going to bed, or it may disrupt your sleep.
Look at the bigger picture.While there are always bad things happening in the world at any given time, remember that the same goes for good things. Take a few moments every day to think about the ways the world has changed, and continues to change, for the better.
- For example, you might consider how advances in medicine and technology have made our daily lives safer and dramatically improved the quality of life for many people even in the last decade.
Take positive action.Sometimes, watching the news too much can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless. Try using the time you’d normally spend watching the news to make a positive change in the world, even if it’s something small.Taking action can help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control.
- For example, you might donate a little money to a disaster relief effort.
- If there’s a political issue you’re worried about, make a call to your representative.
Video: WHY IT'S OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK (REALLY!) | The Red Fairy Project
How to write a killer crime novel, by Val McDermid (who’s sold 15 million of her own)
Heart Health: The Best Foods for Your Heart
How to Control Chakra
Judge proposes sentence of 1 per grope for sexual harasser
Lulus Just For You Slate Blue Backless Sweater Size Large
Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free
How to Do a Free Wheelie in a Non Gear Cycle (Beginners)
How to Promote Safe Sleep for Your Baby
A woman quit her job to become a sex toy tester
Best veg food Diet to gain weight