Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising…
With the whole world’s eyes on Oscar’s incident, we can temporarily distract ourselves from the pandemic and the war, and other terrible things currently going on. Even though it sparks another controversial debate. Pretty much everywhere you look online, you can stumble across upsetting news.
Not being able to step back once in a while can have a negative influence on your mental health. In the light of recent events, it’s especially important to learn how to take care of yourself.
But if we know that reading the news makes us upset, why is it so difficult to stop?
If you ever open the news in the morning just so that you can check one thing and then end up reading for an hour, with your anxiety increasing after each click, you’re engaging in doomscrolling.
Doomscrolling The News
The term refers to a destructive tendency to scroll through negative headlines with no end in sight. If you’re a highly empathetic person, it’s especially easy to fall victim to doomscrolling; you might feel like it’s inappropriate to live your life as if nothing happened while other people are suffering. Furthermore, you might follow the news to at least partly experience what’s going on and free yourself of the guilt. Another reason is that it’s a part of our survival mechanism. Our brains force us to consume more and more information in an attempt to prepare us for what’s to come. However, this kind of compulsive scrolling isn’t helpful and only makes us more anxious in the long run.
So how can you take a break from the news?
It takes consistency and developing new habits. But you can learn to stay away from it just in time for the summer. Continue exploring this article to find out the best techniques to adopt in your life.
Prioritize your mental health
Understand that just because you aren’t following the news doesn’t mean that you’re indifferent to what’s happening in the world. Instead, you should channel your anxiety into something productive, such as becoming involved with charities. A lot of organizations are currently accepting online donations for various causes. You can also sign up for volunteering. Giving away to the community can make you feel like you’re making a difference and appreciate the present moment more.
Focus on positive news
Negativity sells and the media sure loves the shock value. Luckily, it’s not impossible to access articles that look at the other side of the coin. For example, you can focus on the reports from the border describing how people from all walks of life come together to help the refugees.
Be smart about how you use the Internet
Even if you don’t look for the news, you’ll come across it one way or another. The best way to reduce your chances is to spend less time surfing the Internet. You can set yourself a time limit and only scroll for an hour or so per day. Additionally, remember to never read the news right before bed as it can cause a spike in anxiety and keep you up at night.
Keep a gratitude diary
Keeping a gratitude diary can help you redirect your attention to something positive and ground you in the present. When you focus on what you’re grateful for in your life, your mood improves and you become more relaxed as a result. This also makes it less likely for you to engage in compulsive scrolling to deal with difficult emotions.
Take advantage of the current technology and download an app that allows you to block certain websites. It helps you so that you don’t end up searching for the news every chance you get. You can also keep your phone on silent – even opening a notification from your friend is enough to make you go down the rabbit hole again.
Limit yourself to one media outlet
The easiest way to become overwhelmed is to read the same information from different sources. Sticking to one outlet will allow you to be up to date with what’s going on but without doomscrolling.
Joanna is the Junior Wellness Lead for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, specialising in mental health, wellness and lifestyle. In her spare time, she likes to write scripts and dance.