I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to the news. It’s 7:18 AM and I’ve already checked to see what I’ve missed while I slept (nothing) and it was the last thing I checked before I put my phone on the night stand for the night. I’ll take a peek on my lunch break, while I’m cooking supper and when I’m just bored. Worse, I can’t seem to help myself from reading the comments. It’s bad. I know it’s a problem, but I feel anxious just thinking about not checking it. And, yet checking it causes me to feel anxious, angry and depressed. So why do I do it? Good question.
I want to be an informed citizen. I want to be knowledgeable. I fact check and read articles from both sides to help keep my bias in check. I don’t want to live my life in a tunnel where my focus is only on myself and those in my bubble. Yet I know there must be a balance between knowing and caring about what’s going on in the world around me and living my life. If I’m consumed in reading about the terrible things going on in the world, I don’t have time to do something about them. If I’m focused on the bad things the news has to offer (there aren’t many feel-good stories in the news), then I miss out on the wonderfulness and beauty that exists alongside the ugliness.
And so, here’s what I’m doing to help myself have a healthier relationship with the news…
- Schedule time for myself to check the news. An alarm will pop-up on my phone giving myself permission to see what’s going on.
- Turn “Screen Time” on and set limits on news apps and social media.
- Remove news apps from my widgets and notification center.
- Brainstorm ways to distract myself when I feel the urge to check the news:
- Read a book
- Watch a Hallmark movie
- Do my nails
- Clean out a junk drawer
- Go for a walk
- Call a friend
- Ask a friend to hold me accountable
Now that I have a plan, I feel better about my ability to kick the news habit. Any one else out there find themselves in a similar spiral? What do you do? I’d love to hear from you!