How to Balance Mental Health and Staying Informed

We’re living through a uniquely difficult time that has changed our lives in countless ways. It can be easy to feel like all you’re seeing and hearing is bad news, and taking in too much negative information can seriously hurt your mental health. At the same time, most of us feel guilty or nervous about stepping away from the news. Here are a few ways you can balance your mental health and keeping up to date on the news.

Limit Your News Exposure

This is the most obvious solution, but it can also be the most difficult. You might feel guilty about not paying attention to what’s happening in the world, but the truth is that our brains aren’t capable of taking in so much negative information all the time. Taking a break from the news and social media is nothing to be ashamed of. It might be the best thing to do for your own health, especially if you’re prone to anxiety or depression. You can limit your exposure to the news by checking social media less, changing your browser settings to not show you the latest news articles, and switching from watching the news channel to watching a new show.

Identify Negative Thinking

Learn to identify negative thought patterns throughout the day. Anxiety and negative thoughts can be more common than we think, and it’s important to work through them. Meditation and journaling are great ways to get in touch with your thoughts and reflect on them.

Think About What you can Do

Recognize the things you can and can’t change in your life. Try to worry less about things you can’t control, like how long this pandemic will last, and focus on making positive changes in your own life. For example, you might not be able to stop the pandemic, but you can practice social distancing and wear a mask in public. Use the time you have in quarantine to focus on improving your health or getting into a new hobby. Try to give yourself permission not to worry about the things that are outside of your control.

Take Breaks from Technology

Limit the time you spend using your phone and computer and use that extra time to take care of yourself. Take a walk in nature or learn a new skill instead of spending so much time online. This can be difficult if you’re working remotely, but try to only allow yourself to use technology for work. When the work day is over, turn off the computer and do something else to pass the time.

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