Today, we’re living in a world with a 24/7 news cycle, and trying to keep up with it – especially in the context of COVID-19 – can be overwhelming for most of us. While it’s important to stay informed, it’s also imperitive that we don’t allow the news to consume us. But how can we possibly find balance in today’s media climate, when most programming and commercials are constantly mentioning the pandemic? We’ve put together some tips to help all of us find a healthy balance in the midst of a lot of noise.
- Know how much is enough (for you) – It may be hard to step away from a continuously evolving story but try making a conscious effort to break away. For some, that will mean watching the news only in short doses, at certain times of the day, setting a timer before turning on the television, or limiting scrolling time. The key to this tip is to not wait until you are feeling anxious or sad. Know your limits and work within them.
- Find a good summary – Finding solid news sources that will summarize that day’s events for you is a great way to help tailor your media intake to your needs. Then, you can check in on your own schedule and avoid the repetitive nature of most news cycles today.
- Go to trusted sources – It’s no secret that there are plenty of conspiracy theories related to COVID-19, and no shortage of news outlets that actually report on these theories, making it sometimes difficult to decipher fact from fiction. Getting your information from trusted sources is another way to make sure that you’re consuming credible information. Some examples include:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- The Health Nexus
- Information from your home state or local county
- Keep a healthy relationship with social media – Remember that not everything on social media is true and often isn’t vetted like professional news sources. Scroll and read with caution, and share information only when you’ve double checked its validity.
- Find some positivity – Regardless of all the uncertainty and negative events, there’s still a lot of good news happening out there. Make sure to include that as part of your news cycle, too! Here are some fun suggestions to check out either by yourself or with your family:
- Check out John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” broadcasts
- goodnewsnetwork.org/ - bringing us only good news since 1997
Above all else, staying in close contact with friends and family is always encouraged. Even if you find the virtual rendezvous a bit overdone at this point, maintaining an open line of communication with your network can only have positive outcomes. Reach out to a friend you haven’t seen or spoken to in a while or plan a virtual hang out with some extended family members. It may not be the social scene you’re used to, but reaching out and sharing a laugh during these unprecedented times is certain to help everyone get through this.