Reaching Out For The Good News!

Helpful tips to staying informed calmly.

Apr 22, 2020

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Today, people can get news 24/7 from cable TV, reading newspapers online, to social media posts. And in this troubling time, when it is important to stay informed about local and national coronavirus updates, too much negative news can be harmful to your physical and mental health.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains that the coronavirus is adding stress to people’s lives and that this fear and anxiety can be overwhelming. Stress can change sleep and eating patterns as well as worsen health and mental health conditions. The CDC provides a list of ways that people can cope with stress and the first way is to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories.

Much if the news today focuses on disasters and rarely positive news Logan Jones, PsyD. told verywellmind. “Unfortunately, a lot of the news we consume today isn’t so much reporting as it is a way of keeping people addicted to the news cycle,” he said. “Consuming too much of this kind of news, whether actively or passively, can be very toxic, and what you hear has an impact on your mood.”

This is because people’s response to what they perceive as danger activates the fight or flight response and this causes our bodies to act accordingly. If this reaction is activated frequently, it can take a toll on physical and psychological health according to Harvard Health.

If news is the cause of additional stress, then how do we turn off the stressor and still stay informed? Here are some tips from experts on managing your bad news consumption and still get a healthy does of good news.

Minimize the news you consume
While people must keep informed about restrictions and directives, the World Health Organization (WHO), recommends seeking information updates only once or twice a day. "Keeping your media use in check helps to keep your stress in check," Aditi Nerurkar, M.D., MPH told mindbodygreen. "If people are engaging in the news for three to five hours right now, their mental health is probably not optimized." 

Only watch reliable news
Where you get your news is also very important. “A healthy way to approach the news cycle is to rely on outlets you know are credible, have experienced reporters who do their research, and provide balanced perspectives,” Logan Jones, PsyD told verywellmind. You can get information that you need to know about Covid-19 on the WHO’s website or from local health authorities.   

Create a separation from your news
Helpful tips from mindbodygreen include removing your phone from your work space if you are working from home or going to work and removing your phone from your nightstand so you will not be tempted to look at news before you go to sleep.

Move on from the news
Go to a safe place after you watch the news. Exercise or take a walk after you watch the news to work off stress. Phone a friend and don’t talk about the news. Color a mandala or hug a family member or pet. Just do something that will switch off the bad news and sooth your anxiety so you can go on with your day.

Consume good news
There are many avenues for good news online. Read Goodnet for articles on how to constructively deal with the coronavirus from creating virtual community, to digital museum tours, to tips for working from home. Or choose articles about spirituality, innovation or people that are doing acts of kindness. Watch a good news video, stream a feel-good film, or listen to upbeat music. Good news is good anytime, anywhere.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.