The media that we watch each day impacts our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. So, when you get into the pattern of watching television news every day, you’re probably hearing a lot about coronavirus. While it’s important to be up to date too much information will take a toll on both your physical and your mental health. Therefore, you need to find a balance that allows you to be informed and educated without causing yourself anxiety which could result in depression, especially if you already have health issues. To help alleviate these negative impacts on your life, there are several things you can do.
Limit Your Television Watching Daily
You don’t want to leave your television or streaming news on while you do chores around your house. This can negatively impact you. Instead, limit yourself to 30 minutes daily of news exposure and social media combined.
Allow Yourself Some Time to Worry
Allowing yourself to have a scheduled time to worry each day will help you manage your anxiety and its symptoms. This shouldn’t be near your bedtime because your brain will need some time to settle down afterward. Make sure you schedule it somewhere else in your day then move on to something else. Give your brain some time to get used to this and you’ll find yourself letting go of worries easier.
Know-how You’re Feeling Before Watching TV
Take note of how you feel both before and after the news. Ask yourself if you feel informed and calm or are you experiencing some negative emotions. When you find yourself being negatively impacted, step back to consider how much news you’ve watched, what sources you’re getting news from, and then do your best to reduce such consumption.
Only Watch Reliable News Outlets
You should rely on credible news outlets with experienced reporters who are known to conduct thorough research so you get balanced perspectives. Set aside a certain time in your day to watch the news before moving on to other things.
Consider Other News Mediums
Remember, you don’t have to get all your news from the television. There are other sources that are also available, including:
- Close friends and family can give you a summary of the daily news. This is a great idea if you’re having your anxiety triggered by watching the news. In this case you’ll find that most psychologists will tell you to do this and not watch any news at all. Ask them to give you occasional updates throughout the week so you are up to date on what’s truly important.
- Consider subscribing to a newsletter or a podcast instead of flipping through the channels, watching the news on television, and thus gathering bits and pieces of information from a variety of sources. This is great for anyone who’s struggling to limit their news intake because then it’ll be automatically limited for you. Additionally, this is good for anyone who’s busy because you can listen to it while you’re up moving about – yet another way to help you lessen your anxiety over world events.
Have a Positive Mantra
Choosing healthy news consumption doesn’t mean you’re denying reality. It simply means you’re creating boundaries for yourself. One way of reminding yourself of this is by creating a mantra. A good one here is, “Toxic reporting of the coronavirus is powerless over me. I know what’s happening around me but it won’t cause me to have anxiety or depression. This too shall pass.”
If you’re having trouble getting unglued from the news or you find yourself dealing with anxiety and/or depression, reach out to The TMS Advantage for help.
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