After a day of work, running errands, and taking care of the kids, you want to relax. It’s hard to get that relaxation in when there are so many things going on in the world that aren’t conducive to your happiness. With news stories about pandemics, murders, wars, and famines, turning on the news is sure to induce anxiety. It’s even harder to get away from it all when we have so many ways to get lost in the news, from social media to print media to cable and network news. For your own mental wellbeing, you need to find a way to unplug.
Assess the sources you’re getting your news from.
Do the websites, Facebook groups, magazines, and news channels you use make you feel like things are unbearable? Switch to a source that’s a little more tolerable. If your uncle or childhood friend fills their social media feed with alarming posts, hide them. Seeing pictures of family members or funny videos on social media can be nice, but if someone’s posts are putting you in a bad mood, hide or unfriend that person. If the news you’re watching seems to focus on the negative, try finding a different source.
Check the notifications on your phone.
Go into your apps and turn off the pop ups on the ones you don’t want to interrupt you at night. After a long day, you don’t need to be bombarded with ‘breaking news’ or whatever else your app thinks is important. If the apps on your phone constantly alert you to every news story, you may end up feeling anxious every time your phone sounds or vibrates. Set aside some time each night to cut yourself off from looking at your phone. Don’t lie in bed trying to get to sleep while looking at news stories or social media posts.
Stop your doom scrolling.
There’s a term called doom scrolling, which describes the way people scroll through their social media sources focusing on bad or alarming news. If you find yourself participating in that, find a way to stop. If you feel anxious whenever you check your newsfeed, then any time you get the urge to do it, replace that action with something else. You could read a book, do some knitting, or play with your pet, for example.
Self care is important.
Make sure you take time for yourself every night. Enjoy a long bath. Read an enjoyable book. Watch a funny TV show. Don’t overwhelm yourself with what’s going on in the world, no matter what it is that’s going on.
Just living your life from day to day can feel like a lot. When it’s time to wind down, turn things off and enjoy your evening. If you notice you have a hard time turning off from the news, you might benefit from speaking with a mental health professional. Contact Chenal Family Therapy to learn how we can help you.