The world we live in is a cycle of neverending madness. It’s important to stay informed on what’s happening around the globe so you’re aware of reality. Knowing what’s happening helps you make well-rounded decisions and understand what people are experiencing both locally and globally. If you’ve been watching lately, then you’ve likely been bombarded with media about the coronavirus pandemic.
While it’s crucial to stay up to date on the latest, constantly paying attention to the media isn’t the best idea. It’ll more than likely take a toll on your emotional, mental, and physical health. It’s important to take care of yourself and remember when to step back so you’re at your best.
Researchers found that constant media exposure leads to higher stress levels and perceptions of threat. The more we watch, the more we worry. So, we must do what we can to reduce our stress and practice self-care.
If you want to beat news cycle stress, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Avoid Checking The News Every Day
If anything, you should check the news periodically to ensure you’re keeping up with the latest information. But it’s important not to become obsessive. When you remind yourself that certain things are out of your control, you accept that there’s no point in worrying. All that does is tear down your health and steal your happiness.
Pay attention to how much you monitor the news so you can determine if it’s too much. If you’re checking the media several times a day, then you need to step back. Avoiding constant media consumption will help to prevent burnout and give your mind a break from the chaos.
Limit Social Media Use
When people have something to say, they turn to social media to vent their frustrations and share their opinions. Social platforms easily spread information and make it easy to communicate with others. However, it doesn’t help you stay away from the media.
On average, people spend around 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media. Since the pandemic, however, that number continues to rise. According to Statista, 26 percent of Americans are spending more time consuming media than they were prior to the outbreak.
If you’re going to reduce your stress, you need to be honest about how social media impacts your health. It’s easy to spend hours scrolling through social content when you’re stuck at home. But it’s better to be productive and keep your mind busy on other things so it doesn’t consume you.
Find a Hobby
Instead of focusing on news articles and what people have to say about the latest, you could put that energy towards something meaningful. People finally have the time to start a hobby and try something new.
If there’s something you’ve been meaning to look into or you feel passionate about, now is the time to prioritize it. Being forced to stay at home and away from people gives you the alone time you need to focus on a new skill and become good at it too.
Of course, it’s never necessary, but you could also look into monetizing your hobby. You’ll have an extra flow of income and can use your passion to pay the bills.
Talk to a Friend
We’re all experiencing the effects of the pandemic on top of the other events occurring around the world. It’s safe to say that those around you can relate to your struggles and are likely also feeling what you’re feeling.
During difficult times, it helps to talk to a friend. Most of the time, people aren’t seeking advice, but instead, want someone to listen to their frustrations and hear them out. It brings relief to know that someone cares about what you’re going through and is willing to offer their comfort and support.
Perhaps your friends are busy or you don’t have the energy to hold a conversation. In that case, you can set up a YouTube playlist of your favorite content creators and watch their videos on autoplay. We don’t have many options for face-to-face contact right now, but someone speaking to their audience and making eye contact with the camera makes them feel included in the conversation.
Learn Stress Management
Along with rationing your news intake, it’s also crucial to practice managing your stress levels. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as turning off the computer or television. You need to actively work to manage your stress and anxiety so it doesn’t negatively affect you.
Some common ways to manage stress include:
- Yoga and meditation – Yoga is a mind and body practice that requires your full attention. It combines controlled breathing, poses, and meditation to help you focus and relax. It’s difficult to go to the yoga studio during these times, but luckily there are plenty of options for online yoga classes.
- Healthy food – You are what you eat, and if all you consume is greasy fast food, your body will feel sluggish and slow. Make sure your diet consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, and plenty of nutrients.
- Exercise – Exercise releases happy chemicals in the brain such as endorphins that keep depression and anxiety at bay. It also aids in keeping you healthy and well-balanced.
You don’t have to succumb to the stress that comes with watching the news. Instead, you can find other ways to be productive and keep your mind healthy and stimulated.