An endless series of bad news is difficult to process. If you don't protect yourself, you can get very stressed out. That's how you let bad news slide off you.
You are completely done with the negative delusions of the day, but you still look at your phone every free moment, only to be attacked again by all the frustrating suffering of the whole world. Recognizable? Then read on quickly, because to keep feeling good in an endless spiral of bad news, you need mental hygiene.
Mental hygiene is taking good care of yourself:a structure in your day, enough rest and sleep and lots of exercise. This protects your physical and mental health. Limiting your screen time and consciously dealing with the news you consume are also important. “Especially in uncertain times, we want to look up as much information as possible in order to have a sense of control,” says American clinical psychologist Jacqueline Bullis. In the short term, being glued to the TV or scrolling through social media can provide a sense of calm, but in the long term the opposite is true. “Then this behavior can lead to more anxiety because we believe all that information gives us more control,” she says. “The more we look for that control, the more anxious we become. It is not possible to know for sure what the future will bring.”
Even under normal circumstances, it is unhealthy to stare endlessly at a screen and absorb the news. In the event of a pandemic, it's extra vigilant because many of us are afraid of missing out on something important, Bullis says. This invites you to be constantly 'on' when it comes to new information. Especially now that our daily rhythm has been disrupted by lockdows, we have less to do and more time to scroll and worry, it is important to be aware of consuming news.
Choose your news sources. Not every piece of news is "necessary" to know. Does it make sense to look up daily how many new corona cases there are, for example? Pick two or three sites you trust and check them once or twice a day. Remove all news sources and people who are causing you stress and anxiety from your feeds.
Look for positive news. What are themes that inspire and motivate you to grow? Or that you simply like? Set up your social media feeds in such a way that you are inspired daily by people who speak to you. Surround yourself with themes and ideas that give you energy, because inspiring news is also easy to find in an endless network of content. So take control of your feeds, and be critical of what you want to read. In addition, there are media that bring positive news, such as the Instagram accounts @goodnews_movement and @upworthy.
Share the positivity. Also in your social contacts it is easy to let bad news dominate the conversations, with all the opinions that entails. Therefore, look for ways to get out of the minor negative world news. For example, try Netflix Party, where you can watch a movie or series together and remotely. Or create a group app in which you share positive news items with each other. Good news still exists!
Text:Emma Verweij / Image:GettyImages