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Tips to Help Deal With Being Overwhelmed By Stressful News

It can often feel difficult to escape a bad news story. The news plays a prominent role in our lives, which has been emphasized even further during the past year. The pandemic has brought with it daily news briefings and a seemingly never-ending influx of COVID-related headlines. Additionally, the Russian and Ukrainian war has also been surfacing on television, causing people to become triggered by all such negative news. 

While staying informed with world affairs and your surroundings is essential, constant exposure to negative reporting can be bad for your well-being. It can be tricky to unplug yourself or think about other things during the aftermaths of traumatic events in our community or across the country. However, there are ways to manage your mental well-being and control the temptations leading to endless scrolling on social media. 

Alleksana/ Pexels | During a pandemic, news media play a crucial role in communicating public health and policy information

Set a time limit 

One way to reduce the impact of the non-stop news cycle is to use screen-time trackers, available on iOS and Android, to limit the time you spend reading or watching the news on your mobile. Limiting the time you spend on social platforms and news sites can help you ease stress and anxiety. It can also help free up some of your time so that you can focus more of your energy on activities and hobbies you actually enjoy. 

You can take breaks by spending time with friends or designating a phone-free space. These spaces could include areas where you do your schoolwork, cafes while socializing while watching movies or keeping your phone out of reach while working to help avoid distractions. 

Learn to switch off

Pedro Figueras/ Pexels | Stress can overburden your mind with incessant worries

It’s easier said than done, but taking a break from social media and the news can do a lot to help tackle the effects of bad world news. A majority of social media users will see shared news articles on their feeds, and with the media’s emphasis on negative news, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by your time on social media. If you notice yourself feeling down because of the things you’re seeing on social media or in the news, take a break. You could try going for a walk, reading a book, listening to music or a podcast, playing a game, or just being outside in the fresh air without your devices.

Seek support

Contact support groups or health care professionals. It’s important to recognize the value of positive social support and to recognize that seeking help is a positive and strong step. These contacts can also help you find other helpful resources. You are not alone; reach out for support. It’s natural to feel concerned, apprehensive and stressed at times. However, it’s also important to invest time in self-care and to seek help if you are experiencing negative impacts on your health. Be prepared to take some time to find the techniques that work for you, and do not be apprehensive about seeking professional help to guide you through this process.

Ono Kosuki/ Pexels | Reading news helps you to learn something new every day, and slow down aging

Focus on things within your control

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by news stories, updates, details or outcomes, it may be time to take a step back and refocus your attention to things that are within your control. Sometimes it can be helpful to create a list. Your list can include minimum activities such as the time you wake up or go to bed, how you spend your free time, going out on walks and blocking news notifications on your phone or laptop. 

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