February 10, 2021

Staying Calm Amid Bad News

Sheetal DeCaria MD




It is important to actively try to protect your mind during these troubling times when stressful events are everywhere

During this troubling time in history, news channels are full of distressing headlines with more disturbing news. It’s important to keep up with current events, but after what extent does continuously engaging with the news become an unhealthy overconsumption? Here are 5 things you can do to remain well-informed while healthily coping with bad news: 


  1. Refrain from looking at your phone until after the first hour of your day. When we wake up, often the first thing that we do is pick up our phone and check our notifications. This makes it really easy to come across negative news in social media, news channels, and other outlets. By refusing to look at your phone as soon as you wake up, you can reclaim your tone and mood to shape the day. 
  2. Do not read the news before bed. Our brain still continues to process much of the information we’ve been exposed to during the day throughout the night. By absorbing negative news within an hour before bedtime, you are much more likely to lack quality sleep. Set a timer on your phone if you need to so that once it goes off, you know it’s time to put your phone down for the rest of the evening.
  3. Meditate! Meditation can be a great way for the mind to detoxify itself of negativity. By taking a few minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing, you will have time to reflect and channel that energy into positive thoughts. 
  4. Follow more wholesome accounts on social media and the internet. Often when we scroll through our feed on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, we come across unexpected negativity. Rewire what shows up in your feed by following more wholesome accounts, such as bloggers that share content on a hobby you enjoy, or accounts that post cute videos of animals! The possibilities are endless.  
  5. Give back! Sometimes the repetition of distressing news can leave us feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by everything going on around us. A healthy response may be getting involved and researching ways you can volunteer your time to contribute towards a good cause. It can be something as simple as helping your elderly neighbors get their groceries, or donating to your local food bank!



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