It is becoming very common lately to hear people talking about ‘news fatigue’, craving to escape social media because the relentless stream of news is causing them stress, anxiety and depression. As human beings we are hardwired to react to immediately stressful situations by going into a ‘fight or flight’ state. But exposure to alarming headlines day after day means this becomes damaging rather than a means of safety and protection.
Of course, a rush of adrenaline and sense of indignation when we hear about injustices can be a good thing. It can compel us to take action and stand up for what we believe in. However, relentless news feeds can make us feel powerless rather than well informed – our brains don’t have a chance to process the issues and we can be left feeling overwhelmed.
Then there’s the guilt. For many of us, switching off the news for a while gives us a nagging feeling that we are not doing ‘all the shoulds’. We have a sense should be concerned about global issues, we should be politically engaged, we should… just know stuff! Again, this is good to a certain extent – it means we care. But feeling burnt out, exhausted or even sliding into depression or chronic anxiety isn’t good for us or anyone else.
So what can we do? We need to build coping mechanisms and healthy news habits into our daily routine. We’ve put together a short animation with some tips on how to deal with the news in a healthy and useful way. We’d love to hear your tips too – why not get in touch and share your ideas?