When times are hard, it’s difficult to avoid consuming depressing news. Here are 5 tips that can help you control your impulses.
The pandemic has affected all of us to different degrees, but one thing that most of us have in common is our increased exposure to the news. Spending so much time submerged in distress is bad for our health because it sparks the urge to check the news several times a day, hoping we don’t miss a thing, feeding in to some perverse curiosity. Because it’s 2020, there’s an internet term for this: doomscrolling.
Doomscrolling is a necessary evil at this point, something that’s extremely hard to avoid when restaurants and bars are closed and going out with friends requires social distancing. We have constant reminders of all that’s going wrong in the world from everywhere we look. Still, even if it’s tough and if you feel like its your civic duty to remain informed, your health should be prioritized and you should work on eliminating your exposure to stressful stuff.
Here are 5 tips that can stop (or at least limit) your doomscrolling:
Make a schedule
Schedules come and go, especially when working from home. Still, try your best to adjust every couple of weeks, molding your schedule into something that’s flexible but that works for you. These guidelines should allow you to work, exercise, eat healthy and have time for yourself, preferably away from your phone and computer.
If you’re finding yourself constantly checking the news and not having time to do much else, schedule some outside walks and phone calls. Give yourself deadlines that push you to get your work done early or on time. Be realistic with yourself and your plans.
If you’re feeling too caught up in negative feelings and need something to recenter yourself, try meditating. Use a guided app and disconnect from your screens for a session that will hopefully make you feel present and that can prevent you from going to that anxious place you go to after reading too many crappy news within a short span of time.
This is a particularly difficult time to be social with friends and family, either because you’re living alone or because, despite it all, life remains as busy as it always has and it’s difficult to make time for others. During the first months of the pandemic, people were more excited to call each other and connect through Zoom. Now that we’re growing used to it, interacting with others is almost a chore. Don’t let go of your connections even if you feel like there’s nothing to discuss. Even a 5 minute talk with a friend can make everyone involved feel better.
Keep an eye on your triggers
If politics are making you anxious, try blocking these topics for a little while, at least until you’re in a better headspace to consume them. Use all of the tools at your disposal: block push notifications, mute people who get intense on social media and avoid topics that get you riled up. One effective method of filtering out news is to subscribe to a newsletter and use that as your main source of information.
Follow something online that makes you happy
If you’re having a tough time staying away from social media then make sure you engage in positive things whenever you’re scrolling. Follow accounts that make you feel happy and peaceful, that put you in touch with things that are fun, creative or simply soothing. In short, follow all the cats and dogs accounts you can. Also, here are 10 Instagram Accounts To Boost Your Mental Health.