3 Ways to Overcome News Burnout
Do you feel exhausted by relentless news headlines? David Sipress of the New Yorker said this cartoon is one of his most popular creations. Perhaps you have an impulse to check your Facebook or Twitter feeds. But you can stay informed AND maintain your energy and well-being. Here are my three tips on overcoming news burnout.
Respond rather than react.
The former puts you in control, while the latter enables negativity. First, acknowledge your feelings, which may include anxiousness, helplessness, or fear. Second, ask yourself, “How come I’m feeling this way?” Perhaps it’s an uncertainty over the future, or a feeling of a lack of control. Finally, use one of these three exercises to relieve stress:
- Go outside for some fresh air and unplug from technology, including your phone.
- If you can’t take a break, stamp your feet as hard as you can for ten seconds.
- Use breathing exercises to calm your nervous system. The 4-7-8 exercise is one good example.
Get quality sleep.
Being well-rested is key to managing stress and maintaining your energy.
Create a nightly wind-down routine:
- Stop watching and reading the news by a certain time.
- Shut off all screens at least a half-hour before bedtime: laptop, TV, phone, tablet.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
- Replace screen time with something relaxing. I shower, cook for the next day, or stretch.
If you feel helpless or powerless, take concrete action in a way that’s comfortable for you. This could mean attending your Congressional representative’s town halls, donating money to a worthy cause, or volunteering.
Taking action includes self-care. Start with the basics: get enough sleep, and eat healthfully. Exercise is a great way to boost your energy. I meditate daily, which helps me manage stress and stay focused.
Suggested further reading.
Cute cat videos (because Watching Cat Videos Lowers Stress, Increases Productivity at Work)