Tip #11: If you feel particularly anxious, take a break from the news for a few days.
The Why: The world at present is a scary and stressful place to live with much uncertainty towards the future. For a person with anxiety, reading the news can create a treasure trove of worst-case-scenarios and huge what ifs.
Of course, it is good to be informed. You can impress at dinner parties (I joke). I would always advocate for knowing what’s going on in the world, and being aware of the problems of others. But, it’s also important to know your limits.
A few weeks ago when I was having a bad mental week, I came home every night and as usual watched the news whilst eating dinner. It was too much. When I tried to sleep all I could see was the horrors flashing from my screen into my mind’s eye.
So, I decided to take a three-day break from any news that wasn’t cute and about dogs being adopted. It had a very strong impact, and my mental health improved quite considerably.
Studies have found that reading bad or negative news is a significant mood-changer; we are more stressed, anxious, and depressed after being exposed to a constant stream of doom written in negative headlines.
With a constant news stream on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, it is hard to avoid an avalanche of terrible or terrifying things. When you care about the ills of the world, or care about your country, or care about the people around you, looking at the news, full of potential dangers and threats to those you love, can send your mind into a spin.
It’s okay to take a breather.